By Robert Yoon and Kevin Liptak, CNN
(CNN) — Nearly a month after last year’s presidential election, Mitt Romney’s campaign donated almost $90,000 to the American Red Cross, federal election filings showed Friday.
The donation also came a month after Superstorm Sandy pummeled the East Coast, coinciding with the final week of the presidential contest. Both candidates were forced to put their campaigns on hold briefly as residents of New York and New Jersey assessed the widespread damage and destruction.
As President Barack Obama juggled campaigning with his duties as commander-in-chief, Romney also attempted to show compassion for Sandy victims, replacing what was originally a campaign rally with a “relief event” where supporters brought supplies that were then shipped to affected states.
After addressing the crowd briefly, the GOP nominee hopped off a makeshift stage to glad-hand with supporters and collect items as they filed past to donate relief goods like bottled water, canned foods and fleece blankets.
Later it was revealed that some of the supplies being collected were actually purchased by the Romney campaign, filling out what could have been an embarrassing photo-op for the GOP nominee.
Romney’s campaign told reporters that a Red Cross warehouse in New Jersey was accepting the provisions, despite a statement on the charity’s website saying they “do not accept or solicit individual donations or collections of items” because processing them requires resources better used on other projects.
The Red Cross said then that they “appreciated” the support from the Romney campaign, but would “encourage individuals who want to help to consider making a financial donation or making an appointment to give blood.”
At his event, Romney encouraged supporters to donate money to the Red Cross, and his campaign said the candidate himself had personally donated to the group. They did not divulge the size of Romney’s contribution.