Cantor Fitzgerald, the New York City-based financial services firm that lost more than two-thirds of its employees in the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center, has announced a $10 million donation to help families affected by Superstorm Sandy.
Launched by the Cantor Fitzgerald Relief Fund in conjunction with Cantor Fitzgerald and its affiliate BGC Partners, the Hurricane Sandy Family Support Program will distribute a total of $10 million in the form of $1,000 prepaid debit cards to ten thousand families with children in nineteen schools in communities in Brooklyn, Queens, Long Island, Staten Island, and New Jersey that were hit hard by Sandy. The schools selected for assistance are in communities where Cantor employees live or have other connections.
"We understand the tremendous loss that has shaken so many families and are committed to provide money directly to those in need," said Cantor Fitzgerald and BGC Partners chair and CEO Howard W. Lutnick. The firm had to relocate about five hundred employees from one of its offices in lower Manhattan when the storm flooded the area, Lutnick told the Associated Press. That office has yet to reopen.
The announcement spurred skepticism in some circles, with a number of critics pointing out that the firm has yet to follow through on a $10 million pledge to the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, Crain's New York Business reports. A Cantor Fitzgerald spokesperson told Crain's that the company fully intends to fulfill the $10 million pledge over time. He did not specify when, however, and noted that there was never a deadline attached to the commitment.