ABC7 Unite: Teens rebuild man's home destroyed by Superstorm Sandy

LONG BEACH, Long Island (WABC) -- Teenagers are working to make a difference by helping to rebuild a home destroyed by Superstorm Sandy.

The group of teens from New York and New Jersey with the Orthodox Union are working with Habitat for Humanity to lift up the home of James Hodge that was destroyed during Sandy.

It's part of their project, Community 2020.

The home in Long Beach should have been rebuilt eight years ago.

"Being able to first-hand build back the community, helping something that is greater than myself has been so amazing," said Ayelet Rosman a volunteer with Orthodox Union. "He's been so expressive of his appreciation. He comes over while we're working."

Others agreed and said it has been nice to get out and give back amid the pandemic.

"After sitting at home so many months and now finally getting out, and like helping people. It, like, makes me feel good inside," said volunteer Malkie Derdik.

"After Sandy I went into a distribution for the community and what we were doing, feeding the community and giving toiletries and clothing," Hodge said.

As the director of the Martin Luther King Jr. Center, Hodge has been a rock. One that sadly kept taking hits after he lost his home.

"And then my mother passed away, my nephew got killed, and then it all happened within year and a half time that these traumatic experiences really happened to me," Hodge said.

But now, the love that Hodge has poured into his community is being redeposited to him and he said he is honored to have the teens help him out.

"The best feeling, honestly is giving back," Rosman said. "And it just everyday makes me so happy and so accomplished. There's no better way to spend your summer."


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