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Operation Northern Comfort prepares for first fundraiser

— In an attempt to recruit that talent, ONC has put itself in the public eye with booths at community events like the Syracuse Nationals. Look for them at the Westcott Street Cultural Fair on Sept. 23 and the Baldwinsville Volunteer Center’s Volunteer Day on Sept. 24 at the Baldwinsville Public Library.

Despite its limitations, ONC has already undertaken a number of worthwhile projects, from the cleanup of a riverside home on Foster Road in Clay to cleaning out two apartments at the Skyline complex in Syracuse. And the projects are getting bigger.

“We partnered with ARISE of Oswego County,” Bonanno said. “One of problems ARISE has is that they have to have volunteers to do the work. They’ll provide the funds, but they can only do 14 or 15 a year, and they have a two-year waiting list. But with what little funding they have, they look for volunteers to erect the ramps, and we’ve done two in Oswego County.

“Another project we’ve done is Case Mansion in Auburn,” he added. “There’s a guy who’s renting it from a Presbyterian church, and he’s starting a ministry. He’s going to convert it into housing for homeless veterans. We offered to adopt a room. We spent three weekends going in and scraping and painting and putting up wallboard and finished a room.”

In order to continue doing these kinds of projects, ONC needs both the funds and the manpower to take them on.

“We often come across residents who are short on funds,” Bonanno said. “They’re unable to purchase materials to do the repairs needed. When they call us looking for help, it’s difficult. We can’t complete the work unless we have the funds to work with. So that’s why we’re having this fundraiser.”

To help ONC address the manpower issue, visit Operationnortherncomfort.org and click on the tab to volunteer.

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