“Buffalo will go all the way.” “The majority of Americans are caring and kind.” “Evil has no home here.”
These and other sentiments emerged in the outpouring of responses The Buffalo News received in response to last weekend’s tragedy. They resonate with every possible level of the Western New York community, from corporate boardrooms to running nonprofits to blocking club volunteers to the anonymous person dropping a bag groceries in a community fridge.
A regional effort gained unstoppable traction. Its mission: to help those most affected by the Tops’ attack to heal and find safety, to restore and continue the revitalization of the surrounding neighborhood and, most importantly, to change a narrative filled with despair into a narrative of despair. hope and resilience.
The effort is multiple.
First, the families of the deceased and all those immediately affected by the attack must receive all possible assistance. Many organizations undertake this essential effort, including Tops Markets. In partnership with the National Compassion Fund, Tops has established a Buffalo Survivors Fund 5/14; 100% of all contributions go directly to victims and survivors.
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The Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo and United Way of Buffalo & Erie County are collaborating on the Buffalo Together Community Response Fund, in collaboration with other philanthropic organizations. These donations will also address immediate needs, but will continue beyond the current crisis to work toward long-term community building and address systemic issues that have marginalized communities of color for decades. To visit BuffaloTogetherFund.org to learn more and make a donation. United Way also offers its 211 call center, open 24/7; a simple phone call can help direct anyone who doesn’t know where to turn.
Those who want to help those most affected by the shooting would do well to direct their resources to these two efforts. They are run by organizations that have a proven track record. Tops’ partner, the National Compassion Fund, is a leading authority on mass casualty assistance.
Community Foundation, Buffalo Together’s lead organization, has already demonstrated its proficiency in engaging other organizations through its recent Covid-19 response fund.
Donating to either fund is as simple as pushing a few buttons. But the options are many. Many organizations, from large to small, accept donations and volunteers.
The continued closure of Tops has created a gaping hole in food availability for this East Side community. Starting with Western New York’s largest philanthropic food resource, FeedMore WNY (feedmorewny.org), food and cash donations help fill this gap. In addition to FeedMore, there are many smaller local efforts, such as a collaboration between Phylicia Dove of the Black Monarchy store, Drea D’Nur of Feed Buffalo (feedbuffalo.org) and the activist group Black Love Resists in the Rust (blackloveresistsintherust.org). The shop collects food and toiletries donations in person and the Feed Buffalo website is a central donation point for wider assistance.
Food donations poured into the East Side from all over Western New York and across the country. The Western New York Resource Council office at 347 E. Ferry St. has essentially become a mobile Tops site and provides food and other supplies non-stop. At the end of the street, at 247 Ferry, is the Buffalo Community Fridge, which is open and distributes 24/7; volunteers and donations are always needed here. See the list accompanying this column for many other ways to help with food.
Help comes in many ways and from all sectors. Some are there day in and day out, serving meals, coordinating donations, giving advice and providing other important services. They are the heroes of the moment.
Others draw valuable attention to the need by helping in any way they can. Among them are the Buffalo Bills, Sabres, Bisons and Bandits. As Bills offensive tackle Dion Dawkins, who helped serve hot meals at Jefferson and East Ferry, said, “It’s definitely personal.”
There are countless inspiring stories of people around the world who responded to the Buffalo tragedy. The only thought that comes to everyone’s mind is, “How can I help? »
We feel the same. At The Buffalo News, we’ll connect you with the latest fundraising efforts and coordinate donations with a list of ways you can help.
From us and on behalf of everyone in desperate need of good news, thank you, Buffalo, for this proof that love and hope always rises up, fearless, in the darkest of times.
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