first_imgSOUTH WHITTIER – Plumbing inside the aging American Legion post needed repairing, but that was just the beginning of post commander Brian Moralez’s woes. Sunshine Acres American Legion Post 477, in unincorporated South Whittier, had electrical wiring problems and needed major roof repairs and fresh coats of paint throughout. There was just one problem – how to pay for it all. Moralez, 43, said the post barely had enough to cover monthly utility bills and other ongoing operating expenses, let alone the thousands of dollars in needed renovations. He had reached the point earlier this summer where the unthinkable – closing the post – appeared to be the only way out, he said. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe Christmas Truce of 1914 proved that peace is possibleEnter the Handy Andys, a group of about eight local retirees who go around helping cash-strapped nonprofit groups keep their headquarters from crumbling. The Andys had read a newspaper article about the Sunshine Acres Post’s financial problems and decided to make it their next big project. “I’m a veteran, so it means a little bit to me to help a post, especially this post, because it needs a lot of repair,” said Tommy Takahashi, 69, a Handy Andys member. The group went to work at the post this past week, restoring a restroom and repainting the game room. They next planned to move on to tackle the plumbing and wiring and roof repairs. And it’s not costing Moralez a dime in labor. Well, maybe just the price of coffee and a few dozen doughnuts. That part is non-negotiable, said Handy Andys volunteer Steve Morski, 79. “We supply the labor and the expertise,” Morski said. “All we insist on is coffee and donuts. If we don’t get coffee and donuts, we walk. And we mean that.” The Handy Andys formed about five years ago, when a local chapter of Habitat for Humanity shut down, leaving a group of die-hard Habitat volunteers still hungry for good deeds to do. “We liked what we were doing, so we kind of stayed together,” said Morski. For Moralez, who has seen community events at the once-vibrant post, such as awards banquets and youth programs, dwindle to nearly nothing because of the building’s shody condition, Morski and his fellow Handy Andys are “a godsend,” he said. “When you walk in, it doesn’t look like an old building anymore. They’ve given it a face-lift,” said Moralez. “If it wasn’t for these people, I’d have to close my doors.” built in 1941 [email protected] (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3024160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img