NY volunteer recognized for post-Katrina workJul 22nd, 2013 | By Candace Griffin | Category: News
At this week’s Council meeting, Parish Government issued a certificate of appreciation to Norman Andrzejewski, founder of Operation Southern Comfort, a relief organization based out of Syracuse, New York.
After Hurricane Katrina, Andrzejewski recognized that the people outside of New Orleans weren’t receiving all of the help that they needed. He decided to form the organization, Operation Southern Comfort, and over the past few years, has recruited over 2,300 volunteers from New York state to venture down here and lend a helping hand. Through fundraisers, grants, and generous donations, this organization has been able to rebuild several homes in St. Bernard.
“The organization has made 50 trips to the area since Katrina,” said Andrzejewski. “And the experience has been fulfilling for everyone involved.”
“They didn’t just come here to rebuild homes,” said Maria Hernandez, whose home was constructed by Operation Southern Comfort. “They rebuilt lives. Words cannot express how thankful I am for this organizations help.”
Hernandez, who did not have flood insurance, thought she would not be able to rebuild her house— until she found out that this organization was willing to help.
“My cousin, Rusty Serpas, said he had an application for me to fill out to receive volunteer work,” said Hernandez. “I filled it out and sure enough, I heard back from Operation Southern Comfort. They said they had good news and bad news for me though— the bad news was that they couldn’t rebuild my house, but the good news was that they would build me a brand new one! I was speechless.”
Hernandez, along with all of the other volunteer recipients are forever grateful for the help they have received and wish the best for everyone involved with the Operation.
“They may have come down as volunteers, but they are leaving us as family,” said Hernandez.
Operation Southern Comfort has recently completed their last house in the area, and plans to move their rebuilding efforts northward with a new campaign called Operation Northern Comfort— which will be geared towards helping the victims of Hurricane Sandy.
For more information about Operation Southern or Northern Comfort, visit www. operationsoutherncomfort.org, or contact Andrzejewski at 315.559.9413 or email@example.com.