Rebuilding after Sandy: the Series

The Rebuilding after Sandy web series is 19 short episodes shot over several months in NY/NJ. Two new volunteers, Maria and Melanie, fall in love with Rebuilding Together over the course of several projects, where they meet  homeowners, volunteers, elected officials, veterans, first responders, Rebuilding Together staff, partners, celebrities (like Ty Pennington!) and sponsors like Sears/Craftsmen, Lowe’s, Crate and Barrel, Meredith, Philips, Choice Hotels International, and others.

Follow Maria and Melanie on their journey as they learn about Rebuilding Together’s mission by rolling up their sleeves and helping families and communities rebuild after Sandy.

New videos will be released every few days between September 16 and October 29, 2013. You can go straight to YouTube to see the entire playlist, or you can see the videos below:

Episode Guide:

Teaser: release date Friday 9/13/13

Join us for a new 19-part web-series focused on Rebuilding Together’s Sandy recovery efforts. Follow new volunteers Maria and Melanie on their journey as learn about Rebuilding Together’s mission by rolling up their sleeves and helping families and communities rebuild after Sandy.

Episode 1: release date Monday 9/16/13
“I felt like I had to help”: Getting Involved with Sandy Recovery

Melanie and Maria are two young women looking for ways to help their communities recover after Superstorm Sandy. They discuss their own experiences during the storm, discover Rebuilding Together and begin a six-month journey volunteering to rebuild after Sandy.

Episode 2: release date Wednesday 9/18/13
“Here to fill the gaps”: Rebuilding Together’s Approach to Sandy Recovery

Having discovered Rebuilding Together and the work they’ve been doing throughout New York and New Jersey Melanie and Maria set off to meet with their local affiliates. Melanie travels to Moonachie New Jersey, and Maria heads to Gerritsen Beach Brooklyn, where they find out how Rebuilding Together became involved in Sandy Recovery.

Episode 3: release date Friday 9/20/13
“From the time we got rescued on that boat until now”: Rebuilding in Moonachie

Melanie and Maria head to Moonachie New Jersey for their first day of volunteering on National Rebuilding Day. They work with Rebuilding Together Bergen County and volunteers from Sears on the home of Millie and Pete Peterson, a couple who had to be rescued by boat the day after Superstorm Sandy. They check out the Craftsman Tool Truck and work next to Ty Pennington.

Episode 4: release date Monday 9/23/13
“Welcome home Peterson family, welcome home”: Ty Pennington

During the Moonachie Rebuild, Maria gets a chance to work alongside Ty Pennington and hear about his experience helping with the rebuilding efforts. Ty discusses how long he’s been involved with Rebuilding Together and the power of community.

Episode 5: release date Wednesday 9/25/13
“Helping them make a difference”: Explore the Craftsman Tool Truck

Maria meets a Rebuilding Together corporate partner, Craftsman, at the Moonachie Rebuild. She learns how they’re supporting the rebuilding work, what it means to be a Rebuilding Together partner, and tests out a few tools on the way! Learn more at

Episode 6: release date Friday 9/27/13
“Unanimous Mickey”: Meet a Rebuilding Together Homeowner

Maria meets Mickey, a veteran and community leader who was forced to evacuate when 4 feet of water flood his home. Follow them as they tour the Red Hook VFW, and Mickey tells Maria how much Rebuilding Together’s assistance means to him.

Episode 7: release date Monday 9/30/13
“They help the troops coming home”: The Heroes at Home Partnership

Melanie and Maria find out more about Rebuilding Together’s Partnership with Sears’ Heroes at Home program and reflect upon the importance of providing safe and healthy homes for our veterans.

Episode 8: release date Wednesday 10/02/13
“The battle after war”: Veterans helping Veterans

Throughout their work Melanie and Maria have heard countless stories from Veterans both being helped by Rebuilding Together, and volunteering their time to help others. Hear the stories of these heroes, and the reason their service continues at home.

Episode 9: release date Friday 10/04/13
“Such a sweet community”: Rebuilding in Gerritsen Beach

Melanie and Maria head to Gerritsen Beach, the small Brooklyn community that Maria toured when she first got involved with Rebuilding Together. Travel with over 500 volunteers to see the massive rebuilding day that was the result of months of planning and the partnership of over five corporate sponsors including Meredith Corporation, Lowe’s, Philips, Crate and Barrel and more!

Episode 10: release date Monday 10/07/13
“Giving them a memory in their home”: The Lowes Volunteers

During the Rebuilding Day in Gerritsen Beach, Melanie and Maria get to know Lowe’s volunteers and staff from all over the country, hear about their experiences with the storm and why Lowe’s sees giving back to their communities as such a critical part of their work.

Episode 11: release date Wednesday 10/09/13
“Rescue mode”: Meet the First Responders

Melanie and Maria talk with first responders who worked to save lives in the midst of Superstorm Sandy and hear their stories.

Episode 12: release date Friday 10/11/13
“Everybody feels a real connection”: Meredith in Gerritsen Beach

Maria talks with Mell Meredith about why Meredith Corporation got involved with Rebuilding Together and the recovery efforts at Gerritsen Beach. A few months later, Maria gets a chance to work with Meredith volunteers on the Rebuilding Day.

Episode 13: release date Monday 10/14/13
“Transforming a house into a home”: Crate and Barrel Rebuilds

Susan is a homeowner in Gerritsen Beach who escaped from her kitchen window when the storm surge rolled in her front door. Maria keeps in touch from her first time touring Gerritsen Beach, to when she visits after Rebuilding Together and Crate and Barrel have entirely rebuilt and furnished Susan’s home.

Episode 14: release date Wednesday 10/16/13
“Getting to learn something new”: Learning Through Volunteering

Over the months they’ve been volunteering, Melanie and Maria have picked up quite a few new skills. This is what its like to learn new skills as a volunteer!

Episode 15: release date Friday 10/18/13
“How many nice people there are in the world”: Crate and Barrel Rebuilds in Moonachie

Melanie volunteers at another rebuild project in the community of Moonachie. She meets the many volunteers from Crate and Barrel who are on site to lend a hand and helps Moonachie take yet another step towards recovery.

Episode 16: to be released Monday 10/21/13
“A chance to give back”: The benefits of Corporate Volunteering

Melanie and Maria aren’t the only ones that love giving back. They learn why so many people love volunteering, often through their companies, and how corporate sponsors give their employees an opportunity to give back.

Episode 17: release date Wednesday 10/23/13
“The heart and soul”: The Rebuilding Together Team

Melanie and Maria look back on their time with Rebuilding Together and realize how important the skilled tradesmen are to the Rebuilding Efforts. Terry, one of the contractors, has been donating his time so that Rebuilding Together can keep providing safe and healthy homes.

Episode 18: release date Friday 10/25/13
“Revitalizing communities”: Elected Officials and Rebuilding Together

Throughout their journey, Melanie and Maria have met countless elected officials. These are their conversations with members of congress, borough presidents and even the New Jersey head of President Obama’s Rebuilding After Sandy task force.

Episode 19: release date Tuesday 10/29/13

“So many acts of kindness”: Looking Back and Looking Forward
Melanie and Maria look back on their months with Rebuilding Together and reflect on all the stories they’ve heard, the people they met, and the organizations they got to know throughout their time as volunteers. They reminisce about all that’s already been accomplished and take a look at the recovery that continues.

Thank you:

Rebuilding Together’s Sandy recovery efforts are made possible through the support of:

  • Aleve
  • American Red Cross
  • Assurant
  • Avon Foundation
  • Be Gracious
  • Bergen County VOAD
  • Brooklyn Community Foundation
  • CBRE
  • Choice Hotels
  • Crate and Barrel
  • Craftsman
  • Current TV
  • Morton & Dinah Danseyar Foundation
  • Dermalogica Foundation
  • John and Wuana Harman Foundation
  • J.W. Turner Construction
  • HGTV/DIY Network
  • HSBC
  • Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund
  • Kekst
  • Lowe’s
  • Meredith Corporation
  • NeighborWorks America
  • Philips
  • Popular Mechanics
  • PrimeSource/GripRite
  • Race2Rebuild
  • Rebuilding Together Bergen County
  • Rebuilding Together Jersey City
  • Rebuilding Together Long Island
  • Rebuilding Together NYC
  • Sandler O’Neill and Partners
  • Sears
  • Society of St. Vincent DePaul
  • Pamela & Laurence Tarica Foundation
  • Team Rubicon
  • Tulsa Community Foundation
  • Wallace Genetic Foundation

And many other generous individuals and organizations