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Volunteers of the Year honored by Santabarbara

From left: Karl Andrzejczyk and Christine Andrzejczyk and state Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara pose for a photo. Santabarbara recognized the Montgomery County Office of AgingÕs 2020 ÒVolunteer of the YearÓ honorees Karl and Christine Andrzejczyk from the city of Amsterdam for their efforts. (Photo submitted)

AMSTERDAM — On Wednesday, state Assemblyman Santabarbara recognized the Montgomery County Office of Aging’s 2020 “Volunteer of the Year” honorees Karl and Christine Andrzejczyk from the city of Amsterdam.

Due to COVID-19, a citation from the New York state Assembly, usually presented during a special event held at the state Capitol, was presented at an outdoor socially distant ceremony at Amsterdam City Hall. For more than 20 years, Karl and Christine have dedicated their lives to serving those in need.

Among the many initiatives Karl and Chris have spearheaded to support the Amsterdam area and surrounding communities, they co-founded the AMEN Place Soup Kitchen, which began on Jan. 8, 2001, serving more than 500,000 meals since 2017. The AMEN Place functions as a food pantry that provides food to more than750 families each week, and has been a critical means of support during the pandemic, providing food to support a weekly middle school backpack program and also operating as an emergency food center.

Karl and Chris have also been very involved as volunteers at both St. Casimir’s Church and St. Luke’s Church in Amsterdam.

In 1997, Chris and Karl created a volunteer group called “Restoration “ which was made up a group of concerned citizens whose mission was to save a historical church called St. Casimir’s in the east end of Amsterdam. For this project, Chris and Karl received state and national recognition.

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