From middle schoolers to popular cover bands, Operation Sandy Relief becoming a go to group for donations

Sandy Relief affecting thousands

After traveling down to the New York City area with loads of donations twice in the past month and feeding 5,000 people, the Verizon workers from Liverpool are planning another trip, but this time, with the holiday season in mind.

The "Operation Sandy Relief" group was asked to help supply toys to kids affected by Sandy in New York City, and are expecting 10,000 people to be at the event when they travel downstate on December 15th.

They are calling it 'Merry Thanksgiving', and they are seeing help from a variety of people, of all ages, shapes and sizes.

Three sisters from Liverpool, Rayanne, Megan and Karley Colatrugio, all under the age of 14, have donated hundreds of hours of their time organizing the piles of donated supplies. While they may not be able to donate money or items, their help has meant a lot to the Verizon workers who started "Operation Sandy Relief'.

"You don't see it every day," Brian Borchik, one of the workers who started the effort, says. "When you're not involved with something like this you lose sight that there's kids like this still, and what this has taught us is that they're everywhere."

The girls are excited about helping make fellow kids' Christmas a little brighter.

"For them not to know and then just have at big truck go down with all the toys, and to be able to have them at least have something for Christmas...their probably not expecting it, it's nice," Megan Colatrugio, 10, says.

An example of how far "Operation Sandy Relief" has gone begins with children like the Colatrugio and stretches to the Westcott Theater in Syracuse on Sunday night. A Grateful Dead cover band, Dark Star Orchestra, agreed to let "Operation Sandy Relief" place bins for toy donations at the venue, an example of how people from all walks of life are contributing to the effort.

"It's a wide scope," Don Locke, one of the workers who started the effort, says. "Everybody wants to help and they're contributing in any way they can."

Here's a list of where they will be accepting new and unwrapped toys:


250 S Clinton Street, Suite 200 (2nd flr) - 9am to 5pm Monday through Friday

Mazzye's Meats:

7252 Oswego Rd (during regular business hours)

Pure Wellness Center

101 First St., Liverpool - down the street from Retreat, between AppeThaizing and CNY Yoga center. Tues & Thurs 9:30 am - 6 pm

Limp Lizard BBQ:

4628 Onondaga Blvd, Syracuse NY

201 First Street, Liverpool NY

224 N. Main Street, North Syracuse NY

HALO Tattoo

7629 Oswego Rd, Liverpool, NY

Il Barbiere Barber Shop

178 East Malloy Road, Mattydale, NY - Tuesday through Friday 8 am to 6 pm