Rebuilding Homes Builds Character for St. Joe’s Baseball Team

From St. Joseph’s College Brooklyn, Clinton Hill

Teamwork is a lesson that can be taught on or off the field.

Members of the St. Joseph’s College Brooklyn baseball team learned this first hand when they came together in December and volunteered with the Friends of Rockaway organization, which specializes in rebuilding houses that were severely damaged by Superstorm Sandy in 2012.

“Seeing families still with homes needing work, and how it affected so many New Yorkers including some of our players it was a no brainer,” said Bears pitching coach Mike Kondel.

Photo courtesy St. Joseph's College Sports Information
Photo courtesy St. Joseph’s College Sports Information

The players worked on two different houses around the Rockaway area. The work the players took part in consisted of putting up insulation, installing drywall and sheetrock, and worked on demolition of the basements flooded by the storm. Additionally, the team moved the remaining family possessions so that rebuilding could begin.

All the work the baseball team put in helped the Friends of Rockaway organization make significant strides in the rebuilding process of these homes. Coming together for this cause meant doing work that many of the players were not accustomed to and really needed teamwork usually just seen on the field to accomplish the task.

“To have the first hand experience we all had of the hurricane showed us to help out those in need,” said catcher Domenick Camerada (Staten Island/Monsignor Farrell H.S.). “It was great to have the team have a will and want to come together for a cause like this. This [work] allowed us to take in what we accomplished and give back. It was great to have such an impact even a year or so later.”

Callie Peterson, a volunteer coordinator with Friends of Rockaway, felt that the team had transformed. “They all left feeling a little different,” she said. “The guys had a good time while doing great work.”

The teamwork that helps win games on the field for St. Joseph’s was the same teamwork that helped families put their homes and lives back together.

“After hearing the struggles and first hand accounts during the hurricane, we all felt a little different and proud of what we were doing by giving back to families in need that day,” added Kondel.

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