Still Friends of Rockaway

Text: T T
By Daniel Offner


Friends of Rockaway store material for future rebuild projects at their headquarters on Beach 88th Street. Friends of Rockaway store material for future rebuild projects at their headquarters on Beach 88th Street. As part of their ongoing effort to help return Hurricane Sandy victims to safe and sustainable homes, the Friends of Rockaway, a community-based non-profit organization, will host a fundraiser on Sunday, Oct. 30.

The Dine Out for Hurricane Sandy recovery will feature seven local eateries which have agreed to donate a portion of the money raised to help Sandy victims.

Now operating as a local affiliate of the St. Bernard Project (SBP), Friends of Rockaway was founded in 2012, to help rebuild homes for Sandy-impacted families, who were displaced by the storm or could not afford to rebuild on their own.

To date, the Friends of Rockaway have helped rebuild more than 240 homes for Sandy victims.

“We’re looking to rebuild 85 homes by the end of the year,” said Volunteer Department Manager Angela Calabro. “We’re at about 61 right now.”


A mural depicting life in the Rockaways hangs prominently on the wall. Photos By Daniel Offner A mural depicting life in the Rockaways hangs prominently on the wall. Photos By Daniel Offner Calabro said that in the first year of the program, the non-profit helped rebuild 14 homes in the area.

By 2014, they had more than tripled the number of houses, completing 46 homes in two years after Sandy, and last year, Friends of Rockaway helped rebuild 74 homes across the peninsula.

“Funding is a struggle,” Calabro said. “We went from 100 volunteers a day to just 20 volunteers [per day].”

Today, more than four years after Sandy wreaked havoc across the peninsula, Friends of Rockaway continues to assist some of nearly 100 families still waiting in cue.

“If we get those two things [funding and volunteers] we can stay here as long as we can,” Calabro concludes.

To help raise the additional funding, the Friends of Rockaway will work with seven local restaurants, on Oct. 30, which have agreed to donate a portion of the proceeds to help Sandy victims. Participating restaurants include: the Boardwalk Pizzera & Restaurant, Jameson’s Pub, Pico RBNY, Sayra’s Wine Bar & Bier Garden, Playland Motel, Rockaway Brewing Company and Bungalow Bar & Restaurant.

Friends of Rockaway are also seeking volunteers to join its efforts. To learn more about Friends of Rockaway, call 718-318-2172, visit the office at 2-13 Beach 88th St., every Monday – Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., or go online to sbpusa.org

2016-10-28 / Front Page

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