NYBDC Volunteers through The Tunnel to Towers Foundation to Rebuild Staten Island Homes Damaged by Sandy
Although Hurricane Sandy hit over a year ago, many New Yorkers are still recovering.
NYBDC was able to quickly develop the Hurricane Sandy Emergency Loan Fund and the Superstorm Sandy Emergency Loan Fund to help small businesses throughout New York City and parts of New York State rebuild. While businesses are in the process of returning to normal, many houses are still unlivable due to the high costs of construction.
This past Saturday, thirty employees from the NYBDC’s Albany, Long Island, and New York City offices volunteered to help rebuild Staten Island homes devastated by Hurricane Sandy. We were connected with The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation, the organization that directed our volunteer day, after contacting NYC Service about participating in a company-wide service project. The Tunnel to Towers Foundation was created in honor of Stephen Siller, a New York City fireman who lost his life on September 11, 2011. In the aftermath of Sandy, the organization created a rebuilding program to help those impacted by the storm in Staten Island.
After receiving an orientation from the Tunnel to Towers Volunteer Managers, our group split up and began working at two different homes. Both houses had experienced severe flooding and had to be evacuated after Sandy. At the first house, located in the New Dorp area of Staten Island, our staff worked together to install insulation and drywall on the main level. By the end of the afternoon, the entire ceiling was insulated and sheet rocked and all walls in the basement level were spackled, taped and ready to be prepped for sanding and painting. At the second house, located in the Eltingville neighboorhood of Staten Island, NYBDC volunteers measured, cut, and laid flooring. The wall-to-wall wood flooring was completed by the end of the afternoon.
Both groups met the owners of the houses they were rebuilding. The owner of the New Dorp home had been living there for thirty years. The Eltingville home owner was brought to tears upon seeing the effort and progress made by the volunteers.
NYBDC employees finished the day feeling accomplished, calling it a great experience and great opportunity to work together to help those in need.