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CNY Hurricane Relief Trip to North Carolina Changes Course With New 'Dorian' Storm Victims


The huge hurricane, Dorian, didn’t impact us here, but it did make big changes to a trip Central New Yorkers are taking to North Carolina for hurricane relief.

“At first we assumed we would be doing rebuilding, which we started several months ago after hurricane Florence.” 

Norm Andrzejewski is taking another Operation Northern Comfort team down next month to help past Hurricane Victims, but now there are new ones.

“And so it could conceivably be that instead of doing rebuilding, we’ll be dong mucking out again down there.”  

The group puts together teams of about 20 people who pay $200 to spend a week doing whatever is needed for hurricane victims.  This latest trip, though might attract 40-50.  Organizers and partners there arrange all the transportation, lodging and meals. 

Andrzejeski suggests the repair crew actually might benefit more than the storm victims.

“By the way, the biggest recipients of this work happen to be us.  My work with Operation Northern Comfort has probably saved my life.  It gives me some reason to get up in the morning and a number of people have told me this, ‘It’s a life-changing experience.’”

At the same time, he says the recipients of the work often react with surprise that someone would take time out of their lives to help.

“And our clients, they’re just so happy (because) they thought it was an unsolvable problem, because after all, the people that we serve are people that can’t make it on their own.  The people that do ask don’t have the resources.  They’re taken aback by a hurricane and they’re just hopeless.  That’s another thing; we bring hope.” 

The latest Operation Northern Comfort trip plans to go down to North Carolina October 13th through 19th.  You can find out more, sign up or donate here or send a message to or call Norm Andrzejewski at 315-559-9413.

The story has been updated to correct copy errors.   

Chris Bolt, Ed.D. has proudly been covering the Central New York community and mentoring students for more than 30 years. His career in public media started as a student volunteer, then as a reporter/producer. He has been the news director for WAER since 1995. Dedicated to keeping local news coverage alive, Chris also has a passion for education, having trained, mentored and provided a platform for growth to more than a thousand students. Career highlights include having work appear on NPR, CBS, ABC and other news networks, winning numerous local and state journalism awards.