Home Volunteer


More than three months after Hurricane Sandy, thousands of New Yorkers are still living with mold in their homes, unable to rebuild safely. Respond & Rebuild helps Rockaway residents through a crucial step in the rebuilding process: mold remediation. It’s a tedious job and it’s important that it’s done well, and you can do it! This is a free service we provide to Rockaway residents affected by Sandy. We do outreach to find homes, provide a free assessment, and then bring volunteers to complete the work.

Sign up for a day of mold remediation. Jobs are lined up in advance. Advanced sign up is required by 5pm the day before your volunteer day. Signing up is easy.

We welcome the chance to host groups (schools, churches, company team building, athletic teams etc.) for extended periods of time, and may be able to direct your group towards housing opportunities. Click here for more details.

On weekdays, we ask volunteers to meet at our Rockaway office, 74-16 Beach Channel Drive, in Arverne, by 9:15. On weekends, we offer a shuttle service from the Howard Beach stop on the A train. Please arrive at the stop by 9am for pick up.

Volunteers can drive or find their own transportation to our base at 74-16 Beach Channel Drive in Rockaway. Those finding their own transportation must arrive at the base no later than 9:30am.

Respond & Rebuild is a full-day of relief work. Volunteers need to arrive on time and stay all day. Our last safety training begins promptly at 9:30 AM.

Volunteers just need to bring a bag lunch and wear a warm hat and warm clothes, and hard soled shoes such as work boots or hiking boots.

Your commitment to this work makes it possible for us to keep our appointments with families who have often been wait-listed, stood up by contractors, and turned down by insurance companies. When you arrive on time and work hard all day, you are helping us keep our promises to people who have already dealt with a tremendous burden over the past few months.

The following types of help are needed:

No Experience Necessary. No special skills are needed except the desire to break a sweat with a full day of physical labor. A day with us leaves you with the satisfaction of having helped a family get one day closer to rebuilding safely. We’ll provide mold remediation orientation, safety gear and safety training, and we’ll have an experienced team leader on site to oversee a job well done.

Special skills. If you’re an electrician or a plumber or a genius of another sort, let us know. We often have residents in our queue who need skilled workers, and can likely set something up, dependent on residents’ availability. However, if we haven’t made special arrangements beforehand, we may not have special jobs like these in our schedule. Don’t worry. As we move into rebuilding, more opportunities will arise!

Ongoing commitment. If you keep coming back to develop your mold attack skills, we’d love to make you a team leader! If you’d like to supervise sites and crews in the future, this is the job for you. Please let us know if this is your goal, and we’ll give you the help you need to get there. (And we’ll love you forever.)

Green and Sustainable Rebuilding. As residents move on to rebuilding their homes after the crucial step of mold remediation, R&R would love the opportunity to work with volunteers who specialize in green building supplies, sustainable materials, and energy efficient, environmentally friendly products and methods. If you can help make this magic happen, get in touch! We need your expertise to help develop a Green Materials Wishlist and to help arm residents with information they need for the most resilient rebuild possible.

PLEASE NOTE: At this time we cannot accept volunteers under 16 years old at any time, with or without parental supervision. We may be able to accommodate 16-18 year old volunteers, with explicit parental permission, on a case by case basis. Please email us if you have questions about 16-18 year old volunteers.