BUFFALO, NY — Thursday, Channel 2 took you inside The Belle Center in Buffalo, one of the drop off sites for relief donations bound for Puerto Rico. An organizer of that effort told us about the Buffalo School District pledge to help out in a very important way. And 2 On Your Side confirmed this.
The School District is now preparing for what is expected to be a number of new students from Puerto Rico, relocating with their families in Buffalo.
We're told an initiative is now in the works to collect school supplies.
The district is working with "The Teacher's Desk" to collect backpacks and stuff them with school supplies for the incoming students.
But they tell 2 On Your Side they need help from the community to make this happen.
They're asking for donations of school supplies and money.
We're told monetary donations, made to The Teacher's Desk, make the most impact because of the partnerships they have with stores like Walmart and Office Max. "We can fill a backpack for $10 and get it into their hands," explains The Teacher's Desk director, John MIka. "Probably about a hundred dollars worth of product will be in that backpack. We'll stuff em."
Mika also tells Channel 2 "Starline" out of Grand Island just donated 1,500 flashlights to The Teacher's desk.
Dozens of their volunteers will be helping Friday to put thousands of donated batteries into those flashlights which will then be donated to the city wide relief collection heading to Puerto Rico.
You can drop off any school supply donations at "the Teacher's Desk" location at 22 Northhampton.
The easiest way to make a monetary donation is at TheTeachersDesk.org where they have a donation link.
There is also a Puerto Rico Hurricane Maria Relief Fund. All donations go into a bank account at M & T Bank, managed through the Belle Center. Tax-deductible donation checks may be made payable to the "Puerto Rico Hurricane Maria Relief Fund". A GoFund-Me account has also been established
The City of Buffalo tells 2 On Your Side there are now multiple donation centers accepting donations through Friday, October 6:
- Buffalo City Hall
- County Buildings
- The Belle Center
- St. Anthony’s Church in Lackawanna
A number of Buffalo City Schools are also accepting relief supplies. The items will be transported to the Connecticut Street Armory and flown to Puerto Rico.
The following is the most current list of much-needed supplies:
- Paper products
- Manual can openers
- Canned food
- Dry foods
- Protein bars
- Baby formula
- Pet food
- AM/FM portable radios
- Portable lanterns
- Baby wipes
- Cases of water
- Feminine hygiene products.
NOTE from The City of Buffalo: All items must be unopened and in their original packaging. Please DO NOT donate clothing or perishable items, those will not be taken.