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King George man who grew up on Jersey shore will spend Thanksgiving week helping those who suffered in wake of Hurricane Sandy
Salmeri takes a call about a donation to help Superstorm Sandy victims.
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The Nesci sons, Philip and Andrew, were working on their Eagle Scout badges, but put those projects on hold. When they couldn't go to school--because there was no electricity--they joined the cleanup.
Kathy Nesci said she was awed by the organization of Amish families, who went through neighborhoods. One crew ripped out drywall, insulation and carpet, followed by another that disinfected rooms to prevent the spread of mold.
By the end of the day, everything that had been contaminated in the floodwaters was on the sidewalk, ready to be hauled away.
Crews moved on to other neighborhoods, focused on getting the job done.
"It's that kind of philosophy, up and down the shore," Salmeri said.
'PEOPLE WANT TO HELP'
Salmeri wanted to help his nephews' Scout group cook Thanksgiving dinner, but isn't sure if the event will be held. Officials were concerned about various groups preparing food and didn't want food poisoning added to the list of problems.
Then, he considered collecting clothes and blankets, but learned that shore residents don't have anywhere to put them.
So, he narrowed his focus to collecting money. He put jars at two buildings he owns in Dahlgren, MR & MS Hair Design and Potomac Executive Suites.
Within minutes, people responded. As he explained his plans to a hairdresser, a customer handed him $20. When he told people at SimVentions, a high-tech defense contractor in Spotsylvania County, the company donated $500.
"It's amazing," he said. "Every time I turn around, people want to help."
Brabant's Bookkeeping & Tax in King George will keep track of the donations.
Salmeri isn't surprised that residents of King George and beyond are reaching out to their northern neighbors.
He said they did the same in 1987, when he worked at the Navy base in Dahlgren and needed a bone-marrow transplant.
His sister was the donor, and his co-workers gave him their leave time so he could earn a paycheck during his four-month recovery.
"People helped me when I was hurt," Salmeri said. "It's a good time to give back."
Cathy Dyson: 540/374-5425
Donations can be sent to M&MH Design, 13242 Laurel Lane, King George, Va. 22485.