Robin Hood Foundation Highlights Wall Street's Sandy Response

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NEW YORK  (TheStreet) -- A year after Hurricane Sandy devastated the coastal areas of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, Wall Street's response to the storm stands out as an intersection between the oft-vilified financial services industry and its continued prominence in the tri-state area.

Wall Street was crippled in the wake of the storm, which destroyed thousands of homes and left millions without power. In some areas, the cleanup continues.

The New York Stock Exchange closed in the storm's aftermath. Firms with operations in Lower Manhattan, including Moody's and Standard & Poors , were evacuated from their offices. Goldman Sachs , one of the few investment banks still headquartered downtown, did not lose power through the storm and opened its ritzy offices to residential neighbors.

Major financial service dealers relied on business continuity plans that were strengthened in the aftermath of the September 11th terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. In the days following the storm, most Wall Street firms also sought a way to provide relief to the community.

Bank of America committed $20 million to community development institutions. JPMorgan committed $10 million in small business support and charitable giving, while Citigroup extended relief to mortgage customers hit by the storm. Goldman Sachs offered $5 million towards cleanup efforts and another $5 million in charitable donations. Morgan Stanley made a $1 million donation and pledged to match $2.5 million in employee contributions to the American Red Cross.

When trading on Wall Street returned to normal, some even donated proceeds from their daily churn. Jefferies donated commissions from the firm's trading operations on November 7th towards relief efforts. Bloomberg Tradebook similarly conducted its own trading day to raise commissions to be donated to Habitat for Humanity's rebuilding work.

There are also likely countless stories of Wall Street employees volunteering relief to their respective communities .

Still, no relief effort with Wall Street ties took as prominent a role in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy as the Robin Hood Foundation, a 25-year old charitable foundation created by hedge fund billionaire Paul Tudor Jones that has distributed over $1.25 billion in services and aid to New York's neediest communities.

The foundation's board of directors includes many of Wall Street's biggest names, including David Einhorn of Greenlight Capital , Steven A. Cohen of SAC Capital , Laurence D. Fink of BlackRock , Daniel S. Och of Och-Ziff Capital Management , Alan D. Schwartz of Guggenheim Partners and David Tepper of Appaloosa Management . Those members are prominent enough that they often grace the front page of the Wall Street Journal or the Page Six column in the New York Post .

Hurricane Sandy, however, proved a twist in the relationship between the financial services sector and the greater New York community, which continues to suffer from the distaste of bank bailouts and the aftermath of the financial crisis five years on.