SAG Orgs Set Up Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund

Power Outages

With much of New York City dark as Hurricane Sandy pummels the East Coast, residents are turning to their cell phones. Authorities issued an alert for residents of the city to stay indoors just before the storm wiped out cable TV -- and then all power -- in many boroughs while water surged in the streets and flooded tunnels.

The $200,000 fund will support grants up to $4,800 per person to respond to what one official called “an epic storm with devastating consequences.”

The SAG Foundation and the Screen Actors Guild Motion Picture Players Welfare Fund have created a Superstorm Sandy Emergency Assistance Fund to provide financial support grants to active SAG-AFTRA members affected by the recent hurricane, the Foundation announced Monday.

Initial funding for the fund is $100,000 contributions from each organization, for a total of $200,000. A third organization, The Actors Fund, will provide social services and coordinate grant reviews and approvals. Grant amounts of up to $4,800 per person are available.

“This was a devastating crisis and people throughout the area are having a very tough time,” said actor and SAG Foundation board member Ron Perlman.  “That’s why we’re here. Actors, broadcasters, sound recording artists are all eligible to apply.”

Longtime New Yorker and actor Jane Curtin said, “This is one really great thing we can do to help out.”

SAG Foundation President Jo Beth Williams thanked the SAG Motion Picture Players Welfare Fund and The Actors Fund and added, “We expect to be providing relief within a day.”

No SAG-AFTRA membership dues are being used to service or administer the Superstorm Sandy Emergency Assistance Fund.

The application process consists of a quick, confidential application and consultation to establish need. During the consultation, social services professionals will also assess each applicant’s need for additional assistance, programs or services. Checks will be made available for in-person pick-up at SAG-AFTRA’s New York local office within days. Members are eligible to apply if they are currently active and have paid their dues through the May 2012 billing cycle.

“This was an epic storm with devastating consequences to SAG-AFTRA members across this area,” said SAG MPPWF Chair Maureen Donnelly.

Members in need can apply by contacting The Actors Fund intake services at 212-221-7300 ext. 119 or In addition, the SAG Foundation is accepting donations for the Sandy fund from individuals and corporate donors.

The Screen Actors Guild Foundation is an educational, humanitarian and philanthropic 501(c)(3) non-profit organization funded independently of SAG-AFTRA, and exists to assist, educate and inspire actors. The Screen Actors Guild Motion Picture Players Welfare Fund is an emergency financial assistance fund of SAG-AFTRA and serves members in the New York region and all locals east of Omaha, Nebraska who are struggling with a financial, personal or medical crisis.

The Actors Fund is a national human services organization that helps everyone— performers and those behind the scenes—who works in performing arts and entertainment, serving more than 12,800 people annually. Programs include social services and emergency financial assistance, health care and insurance, housing, and employment and training services.

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