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Charities raise $400 million for Sandy storm relief, New York attorney general says

Starpix, Dave Allocca / AP

In this image released by Starpix, Bruce Springsteen and the E street Band perform at 12-12-12 The Concert for Sandy Relief at Madison Square Garden in New York on Dec. 12.

NEW YORK — Charities in New York state have collectively raised more than $400 million for Hurricane Sandy relief efforts, the state's attorney general said Thursday.

A survey of 88 nonprofit groups by Eric Schneiderman's office found that as of mid-December, the fundraising for storm victims had been dominated by five charities, led by the American Red Cross, which had raised $188 million, the Robin Hood Foundation, which had taken in $67 million and The Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City, which collected $45 million.

The Empire State Relief Fund raised another $15.4 million and The Salvation Army's eastern U.S. division raised $14.3 million.

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Donors can log on to the attorney general's website to see how those organizations and 83 others say they intend to spend that money.

Schneiderman said regulators will be following up with the groups to get more information about the services they have provided.

"The generosity of the public and the hard work of charities in response to Hurricane Sandy is inspiring. As we continue to monitor charitable activities related to Sandy relief, it is essential that nonprofit organizations operate in the most transparent way possible," he said in a statement.

The list of groups that responded to the survey included small groups who recruit volunteers to gut damaged homes, food banks and agencies that distribute medication.

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The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation, named for a firefighter killed in the Sept. 11 attacks, said it had raised $4 million as of Dec. 5, and anticipated spending $2.5 million of that money giving home supply store gift cards to people with damaged homes.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, which had been involved in rescuing animals from flooded neighborhoods, and then boarding hundreds of displaced animals, said donors had given it $1.3 million by the end of November.

Red Cross officials told the attorney general that as of Dec. 10, the organization had distributed more than 8.7 million meals and snacks in the disaster zone, provided 81,000 shelter stays and distributed $30 million in relief supplies. The Red Cross said it anticipated that it would have spent $110 million on the storm response by the end of December.

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