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Operation Northern, Southern Comfort seek to fill truck with goods for hurricane relief

— In the days after Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast, Norm Andrzejewski knew what he was going to have to do.

“As soon as it happened, a number of comments came in to our group, saying, ‘Let’s do this,’” said Andrzejewski, who formed Operation Southern Comfort in 2006 to help the Gulf Coast rebuild after Hurricane Katrina. “People were asking me, ‘What are you going to do?’ I said, ‘I’m busy. I’ve got two jobs.’ But I couldn’t ignore it. So it wasn’t long before we decided we needed to do something.”

Donations needed

Operations Northern and Southern Comfort are collecting the following items to fill a rental truck for their Dec. 22 trip to areas affected by Hurricane Sandy:

Bottled water

Non-perishable food items

Contractor garbage bags

Cleaning supplies

Tyvek work suits

Rubber gloves

Diapers

Toilet paper

P100 particle respirator masks

Backpacks with school supplies

Children’s books

Children’s toys

Cash donations for gas and tolls

Donations can be dropped off at 800 Second St., Liverpool. For more information, call Norm Andrzejewski at 559-9413 or Kristin Andrzejewski at 935-7792.

Operation Southern Comfort, as well as Operation Northern Comfort, its locally-active counterpart, has sent volunteers to areas affected by Sandy twice since the beginning of November. Andrzejewski, a Liverpool resident who has been to the hardest-hit areas of the Gulf Coast more than 40 times since Katrina struck, said it’s an all-too-familiar scene.

“It’s a lot like New Orleans, a lot like Mississippi, especially in some of the harder-hit areas like Rockaway,” he said. “There’s a lot of sand, a lot of homes that need to be mucked out. There are a lot of families hurting.”

That’s why ONC and OSC are teaming up in a new effort, one Andrzejewski is calling Operation Sandyland, to help those affected by the latest disaster. A team, led by Andrzejewski’s granddaughter Kristin, will be heading down with a rental truck on Dec. 22 to help out wherever they can.

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