The Office of Student Leadership and Activities first partnered with Rebuilding Together NYC this past August with our Discovery Program. Twenty students went to Sheepshead Bay Brooklyn to clear the basement of the house that was destroyed two years earlier in Hurricane Sandy. In a matter of four hours, the group of students filled a 20 yard dumpster that the homeowner Iggy had struggled to clear on his own. With teamwork, strategy, and a drive to accomplish the task, the first year students removed files, pictures, boxes, a washing machine, dryer, and more.
“Serving all five New York City boroughs, Rebuilding Together NYC is a nonprofit housing organization that rehabilitates homes and revitalizes communities to make them safe and healthy. With the assistance of volunteers, we provide free critical home repairs for low-income homeowners, primarily those who are elderly, disabled, and veterans.”
On Saturday, October 11th OSLA joined with Rebuilding Together NYC again to rebuild the first floor of a house in Canarsie, Brooklyn. The room was covered with four feet of water. Over the course of the past two years the homeowner and her daughter have worked with several organizations to strip away the mold infested walls and floors. The Rebuilding Together NYC team has been working on this house for the past week to add subflooring and drywall. On Saturday, two first year students, two juniors, and two graduate students worked alongside Terry the House Captain, Sabene the Project Manager, Jim and Sean. We split up into teams of two and three to work in different areas of the house. Chris and Jim worked from the bedroom and washroom to add wall supports and floor supports. Joandlys, Autumn, Suzie, and Sabene worked in the hallways and the living rooms to add drywall. Zarah and Sean added flooring in the hall closet, while Terry and I removed the flooring and replaced the plumbing for the bathroom.Students learned how to use circular saws, power drills, electric nail guns, multipurpose tools and more. Sabene, Jim, Terry and Sean trained the students with the safety protocols for each individual tool and with supervision let them experience first-hand how to use them. The participants in this HofstraCares Rebuilding Together trip provided students to learn about themselves, their peers, and their community. Whether they are filling a 20 yard dumpster or adding drywall and subflooring to renovate a house, the impact that volunteers make when giving back to the community is immeasurable.
Submitted by Megan Sniffin, Graduate Assistant, Student Leadership and Activities