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Community steps up to help those affected by Hurricane Sandy

Roger Haskins III takes packages of donations from Mike Di Giglio outside Di Giglio's Liverpool home. The donations are being loaded onto a truck bound for Rockaway, N.Y., one of the areas hardest hit by Hurricane Sandy.

Roger Haskins III takes packages of donations from Mike Di Giglio outside Di Giglio's Liverpool home. The donations are being loaded onto a truck bound for Rockaway, N.Y., one of the areas hardest hit by Hurricane Sandy. Photo by Sarah Hall.

— Even companies who generally don’t contribute to charitable causes have made an exception in this case. Hoffmann’s Hot Dogs, whose company policy is that they don’t donate to anything, gave Operation Sandy Relief 2,000 hot dogs.

In addition to handing out supplies to those in need, the Operation Sandy Relief team also hosted a cookout on Saturday to provide a little break for those who’ve been working so hard to clean up in the hurricane’s hardest-hit area.

“The cookout was an idea that me and Mike came up with in a parking lot up on Moyers Corners the other day,” Borchik said. “I said, ‘You know, we should cook for them,’ and he says, ‘Yeah, that’s a good idea.’ Five minutes later, he texted me, ‘We definitely need to do that.’”

The cookout, held in front of a police station and next to a FEMA station, ultimately served about 5,000 people.

“This is for whoever — it’s for utility workers, it’s for first responders, it’s for the victims,” Borchik said. “We’re just going to bust out grills and start cooking. We’re going to be walking up and down the street, and if people can’t get out of their houses, we’re going to hand-deliver it.”

Borchik and his fellow volunteers are still amazed that “what started out as two guys talking,” as he put it, has evolved into such a tremendous outpouring of support for a community in need.

“Every time we look at everything we got, we say, ‘I can’t believe this is happening,’” he said. “People just pull up. From 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., there’s always someone dropping something off, every single minute. It’s amazing. Cazenovia College and LeMoyne College have just stepped up and started collecting donations for us. A friend of mine just sent me a text that Fulton-Montgomery Community College is sending out our Operation Sandy link to everybody in their school to see how they can help. It’s just unreal.”

For more information or to see how you can help, visit Facebook.com/#!/OperationSandyRelief. While there will certainly be more trips in the near future, the dates have not yet been planned.

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