BUFFALO, N.Y. — As the clean-up and rebuild continue, many people are coming together as the City of Good Neighbors. That includes one Buffalo man who is continuing to fill his SUV with groceries and other supplies to the hardest hit communities.
Mark Johnson, a Buffalo resident, is making sure no one goes hungry, cold, or stuck in their house in the wake of the storm.
"Now that I have the time. If I can shut my business down and help everybody else, rather than trying to collect retail. I don't know this whole thing kind of changed my heart where I understand I am a businessman, but at the same time, it's like I am a person," Johnson said.
Johnson reached out on a Facebook group called, "Buffalo Blizzard 2022." He was able to connect with those in the hardest-hit communities.
With the help of his friends and others, Johnson has been able to help 200 families daily.
He is doing all of this to honor his late friend, Mark Smith, who he lost just before the storm.
"It's making me heal, if that makes sense. Since I lost my friend, this is exposing a lot of good in people, saying, 'hey, you know what, you don't have to be cold-hearted because these are the people who need your warm heart,'" Johnson said.
His heart has now touched the lives of hundreds.
"Buffalo, we are not a heartless city. You hear everything that is happening, 'Oh, it's so dangerous.' No, we are not dead. It's just frozen. It's not dead. It's not just cold. When it warms up, and everybody started loving again. You start to see that heart pump. It thaws out. And honestly, that's what is happening with our city right now," Johnson said.
All of this money to buy groceries and other supplies initially came from Johnson, but as the need grew, he started taking donations from others. Mark has now been able to help a total of 1,500 people in Western New York. He says he has no plan on stopping anytime soon.
If you would like to donate, need help or know someone who does, you can contact Johnson directly at 716-997-4143.