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Local pastor helped pass out Thanksgiving dinners during week long campaign to raise awareness for homeless

On Thanksgiving, the pastor and the Buffalo Dream Center delivered dinners to families in need.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — On this Thanksgiving, Pastor Eric Johns and the Buffalo Dream Center took time to deliver turkey dinners to families in need.

Volunteers gathered at the Dream Center on Masten Avenue in Buffalo and loaded up their vehicles, put together dinners and groceries to deliver. 

Pastor Johns also continued his week on the streets to draw attention to those less fortunate during the holiday season and raise awareness about Boxes of Love, a campaign to give food to 3,000 families at Christmas. 

"Well, you know, a lot of people tell me, 'Well, Pastor, of course, you know, those homeless people really need you.' And I always turn it around and say, 'Well, that may be true, but I really need them,' " Pastor Johns said. 

"You know, this is really a special week for me to be with a lot of my friends who live on the streets, and just raise awareness about the need in the community, but it's really become a part of who I am as a person. I look forward to this week, every year, just to be with the people that we serve all year long."

This is the 23rd year that Pastor Johns has spent a week on the streets with the homeless of Western New York to raise awareness. He started staying on the streets on Monday and will continue until Saturday. During that time he will sleep on the streets and in shelters, as well as eat in soup kitchens.

Pastor Johns will be joined by his sons, ages 18 and 17, who one day plan on taking over for him. 

“Boxes of Love grows every year,” Pastor Johns said. “The pandemic has especially hit families hard. We are set to help more families than ever. In all my years as a pastor, I have never seen so much need in our community.”