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posted on October 8, 2011 10:11 AM
http://www.timesleader.com/news/_lsquo_Overwhelmed_by_his_generosity_rsquo__10-08-2011.html

‘Overwhelmed by his generosity’

Man whose firm is helping clean Plainsville business aids entire neighborhood.

MATT HUGHES mhughes@timesleader.com

PLAINS TOWNSHIP – Residents of Plainsville have trouble putting into words all that Mark Odachowski and his company have done for their community.

 

click image to enlarge

Mark Odachowski (foreground), founder and president of Royal Plus, Inc., a Maryland-based disaster-cleanup company, has lent dehumidifier units free of charge to resident Ken Stephens (on porch) and more than 60 other residents of the low-lying Plainsville neighborhood in Plains Township, which was hit hard by recent flooding. He is helping connect residents with free equipment and professional cleaning supplies and today will host a block party for residents.

Clark Van Orden/The Times Leader

The family also needed power, so he asked one of the contracting companies working with Luzerne Products, Amp Electric Inc., to hook the family up to its power supply.

“I was overwhelmed by his generosity,” said Beverly Condo of Robert Street. “I was born and raised here, 63 years. This was my grandparents’ home. … Nobody has ever done that much for us in our lifetime.”

Odachowski’s Maryland-based disaster-cleanup company, Royal Plus Inc., has for the past two weeks been working for a client in the Luzerne Products building in Plainsville, a low-lying and oft-flooded section of Plains Township.

Odachowski and his employees have distributed more than 60 dehumidifier units for residents of Plainsville. He also is helping connect residents with free equipment and professional cleaning supplies and today will host a block party for residents in Plainsville’s park.

Odachowski, 44, said his company typically tries to reach out to neighbors whenever they come to a disaster-struck community by passing out food, water and cleaning supplies, and he can pinpoint the moment he realized how desperately Plainsville needed help.

About a week ago, he was passing by a home on Courtright Street across from Royal Plus’ staging area at Luzerne Products and saw a family cleaning out its flood-damaged home.

“They had a basement, and they were having trouble getting some furniture out of the basement, so we stopped to help them out,” Odachowski said. “That’s when I realized that they were staying there.

“Just seeing the kids with mud on their clothes, mud all over the place, sitting around on lawn chairs with one heater and it’s starting to get cold at night. It was really a wake-up call … My heart sank when I saw those kids.”

Help and treats

Realizing the family’s refrigerator had been destroyed by flooding, Odachowski was able to locate a donated refrigerator for the family and filled it with food as a surprise, making sure to include Tastykake snacks for the children.

The family also needed power, so he asked one of the contracting companies working with Luzerne Products, Amp Electric Inc., to hook the family up to its power supply.

And to help dry the house out, he loaned the family one of Royal Plus’ industrial-strength desiccant units, essentially a 10-foot tall dehumidifier.

Odachowski next asked neighbor Ken Stevens, of 181 Courtright Street, if he would like a dehumidifier for his home.

Stevens said he was dumbstruck by the offer.

“He said I’ve got 80 units coming,” Stevens said, “but you need to go around to all the neighbors who have power and find out who else needs one.”

The 60 to 80 neighbors were similarly overwhelmed.

“I know the one neighbor tried renting one,” Stevens said. “It was $250 a week just to rent one, and he got one for everybody. … I don’t ask nothing from nobody. Humbled is probably the best word for (how I feel).”

“That’s way over and above what anybody needs to do,” said George Owen of Robert Street. “Just the dehumidifiers alone were a godsend. We appreciate them.”

 

More supplies obtained

Odachowski has reached out to his contractors and vendors to obtain cleaning supplies and other goods for residents. Vendors Benefect and Aramsco donated supplies, and Slade Smith of Minnesota-based Industrial Hygiene Consulting is drafting a set of directions for residents using them.

“Whenever we are in a community, we try to lend a helping hand and provide some resources to at least get them moving in the right direction,” Smith said.

“Our motto in our company is, ‘being positive is contagious,’” Odachowski said. “We’re trying to show some positivity so they can move forward.”

“This is real bad; these people were devastated,” he continued. “The only thing I can do is encourage everybody to please help this community. They need it.”



Read more: http://www.timesleader.com/news/_lsquo_Overwhelmed_by_his_generosity_rsquo__10-08-2011.html#ixzz1aBx1QoeK




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