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How to help the community following Buffalo mass shooting

There are several organizations working to help distribute food to people who depended on the grocery store, which is now closed.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — In the wake of a mass shooting at a grocery store in Buffalo on Saturday, the City of Good Neighbors has come together to help those affected.

The Tops Markets on Jefferson Avenue was the only grocery store that served the immediate surrounding community. With its indefinite closure, many people need alternatives to get food.

Here's a list of some organizations that are accepting donations to help the affected community.

Donation Drives

On Tuesday, Tops announced that it partnered with the National Compassion Fund to create the Buffalo 5/14 Survivors Fund. Tops seeded $500,000 to start the fund.

Donations to the survivors fund can be made on the Compassion Fund website.

FeedMore WNY is partnering with Resource Council of WNY to distribute food donations to community members on Monday, May 16, from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m., at the Resource Council of WNY, located at 347 E. Ferry St, Buffalo.

The Buffalo Community Fridge has been directing people to donate money to FeedMore WNY after an overwhelming community response on Sunday. The Buffalo Community Fridge is warning people about a fake Venmo account that is impersonating them with the username @blfocommunityfridge-. 

As a reminder, the Buffalo Community Fridge is not accepting monetary donations.

Those interested in helping the Buffalo Community Fridge can do so by helping organize, hand out donations, clean, stock and organize volunteers its 257 East Ferry location. Non-perishable food items and especially water bottles, gatorade, as well as toilet paper, feminine hygiene products, dish soap, and formula are needed.

FeedMore said food donations are being accepted Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday noon to 4 p.m. at 91 Holt Street.

The gym Sweat Society is collecting water and juice for the Buffalo Community Fridge at the front desk. Donations will be brought to Buffalo Community Fridge on Friday. 

The Erie County Clerk Mickey Kearns announced on Twitter that he will be holding a food drive in partnership with Auto Bureaus.

"I ask anyone who is coming into one of our Auto Bureau branches or to the Clerk’s office to consider bringing a non-perishable food item(s) or paper products with them to support the many households who will have a difficult time getting to their local grocery store due to the senseless tragedy that took place this past weekend," stated Kearns. "When any of our neighbors need help, this community shows up, and many are in need. I invite everyone who can to participate."

Non-perishable items like peanut butter, jelly, cereal, crackers, pasta, rice, canned goods (such as vegetables, soup, etc.) as well as any paper and personal care items: shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant, bath and hand soaps, napkins, paper towels, toilet paper, tissues, laundry detergent are being accepted.

Locations for Kearns' drive include:

  • Erie County Clerk’s Office, 92 Franklin Street, Buffalo 
  • Erie County Auto Bureau, Rath Building, 170 Pearl Street, Buffalo 
  • Erie County Auto Bureau,Southgate Plaza, 1088 Union Road, West Seneca 
  • Erie County Auto Bureau, Sheridan Plaza, 2309 Eggert Road, Town of Tonawanda 
  • Erie County Auto Bureau, Urbandale Plaza, 2122 George Urban Boulevard, Cheektowaga 
  • Erie County Auto Bureau, Highland Plaza, 6853 Erie Road, Derby

Items collected will be take to Buffalo Fathers and Buffalo Peacemakers organizations for distribution to residents in the Masten District and surrounding areas over the next several weeks.  

Unapologetic Coffee announced on social media that they will be accepting food donations to be kept in their fridge for the Buffalo Community Fridge and delivered the items weekly. Donations can be brought to 1375 Main Street.

The coffee shop said that each bag of food delivered will also include a free bag of their roasted coffee.

Daily's Catering at 594 Main St. in East Aurora is also collecting food donations for the Buffalo Community Fridge. People can bring items that need to be refrigerated as well.

Mayor Byron Brown announced City Hall will be collecting personal care items to be donated to the Jefferson neighborhood community.

People can drop off the following items:

  • Toilet paper
  • Paper towels
  • Baby diapers and wipes
  • Toothpaste
  • Body soap
  • Hand soap
  • Garbage bags
  • Shampoo
  • Feminine care products

Collection bins will be available at the steps of City Hall until Friday, May 20.

Councilman Ulysees Wingo posted on social media that clothing donations for one of the victims Heyward Patterson's son. He is asking for boys clothing sizes 14-16. These items can also be dropped off at 1414 City Hall until May 30.

Walden Galleria is partnering with Back To Basics Outreach Ministries and FeedMore WNY for a food drive in the shopping center May 19 through May 22.

Donations of food and essential care items like diapers, soap, detergent, and other personal care products are being sought. 

Items can be dropped off on the upper level outside of Urban Air Adventure Park, lower level between the escalators at Dick’s Sporting Goods, and on the lower level between the escalators at Macy’s.

Macy's Register Round Up for Charity Campaign will benefit FeedMore WNY.

Rooted in Love, Inc., at 670 Riley Street in Buffalo is also accepting donations for produce, herbs, condiments, sauces, pasta, dairy products, canned goods, cereal and snacks. Personal hygiene products like shampoo, conditioner, body wash, lotions, toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, feminine products, toilet paper, diapers, baby wipes, formula, paper towel, shaving cream and razors. 

You can also make monetary donations on their website.

Southgate Liquor & Wine is teaming up with Rooted in Love to collect donations. The store at 1034 Union Road, West Seneca will serve as a drop-off site for customers.

Salon in the City Suites at 166 Chandler Street, Buffalo will also serve as a collection site for donations for Rooted in Love. There will be bins in the waiting room. Donations will be taken over as soon as the bins are filled.  

WNY Postpartum Connection connected with Every Bottom Covered to hold a diaper drive through May 27 to help the families affected by the shooting. The organization is looking for diapers sizes four through seven, wipes, diaper cream and diaper bags.

Donations for the diaper drive can be dropped off at the following locations:

  • The Wellness Spot on 6456 New Taylor Road, Orchard Park
  • Audubon Women's Medical at 2240 North Forest Road, Buffalo
  • Pierce Arrow Commerce at 255 Great Arrow Avenue, Suite 105, Buffalo Wednesday through Friday from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. 
  • Calming Nature Doula at 223 Grant Street, Buffalo from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. Tuesday-Friday
  • Covell Chiropractic at 500 Seneca Street, Suite 130, Buffalo from 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. 
  • Melinated Moms at 505 Ellicott Street, Buffalo from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Monetary donations can be made to Every Bottom Covered.

Buffalo Power Yoga is also accepting donations for bathroom paper products, personal hygiene items, diapers and formula in addition to non-perishable food items. They are also asking for reusable grocery bags. People are welcome to bring their donations in reusable bags. 

The donations are being accepted through May 22. Items collected will be donated to Buffalo Community Fridge and Rooted in Love, Inc.

Queen City Traveling Market will be collecting donations for the WNY Food Shuttle at its market on Saturday from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. at Larkin Square. Donations will be taken to the Buffalo Community Fridge and Rooted in Love Community Fridge. 

Buffalo Barkery is looking to help people who have pets to take care of and feed. The business will be collecting dog food, cat food, treats, kitty litter that will be donated to the Buffalo Food Pantry and other organizations who are in need.

Donations can be dropped off at their store or shipped to 47 Allen Street, Buffalo, NY 14202.

Monetary Donations

Sunday afternoon GoFundMe launched a centralized hub for verified fundraisers related to the Buffalo mass shooting.  

"To make it easier for people who want to support those affected, GoFundMe launched a centralized hub to identify all verified fundraisers related to the Buffalo mass shooting. The hub is regularly updated as new fundraisers are verified by the Trust & Safety team and house many fundraisers supporting impacted families and individuals," said officials from GoFundMe in a press release.

The fundraisers can be found here: https://www.gofundme.com/c/act/buffalo-mass-shooting-fundraisers 

New York State Attorney General Letitia James did issue an alert to New Yorkers to be aware of fraudulent charities that were created following the shooting. James offered tips on how to not get scammed while making a donation.

Mayor Byron Brown shared a tweet on Monday calling for donations. Brown urged people to email helpbuffalo@thepartnership.org or call (716) 541-1701. 

The Buffalo Niagara Partnership is working to coordinate the community effort and will release fund parameters after they are established over the next few days. The parameters will ensure that funds are going towards where they are needed the most. 

Businesses interested in providing in-kind service or have another way to help the community are encouraged to contact The Partnership at helpbuffalo@thepartnership.org. They ask that business provided contact information and specifics.

The Buffalo Federation of Neighborhood Centers (BFNC) developed a "You Matter" Fund to help with transportation needs in the Fruit Belt and other East Side communities. The fund will help people get to grocery stores and mental health services to address the trauma they experienced from the mass shooting.

Donations to the "You Matter" Fund can be made on the BFNC website or by calling 716-856-0363.

Black Love Resists in the Rust is also collecting donations to food and mental health support in a partnership with Colored Girls Bike Too and other community members. Donations can be made through an online survey here: https://donate-usa.keela.co/mental-health-and-food-support

Buffalo Mutual Aid has a GoFundMe fundraiser available to help fund their services.

The BFLO Store has also compiled a list of organizations that are providing direct support to the community as well as food pantries in the 14208 zip code.

Many people have inquired about help funeral costs for the victims.

Hochul also mentioned she contacted Rev. Al Sharpton with the National Action Network, which has a local branch, who said they would like to assist with funeral expenses.

Zephyr and Cross Country Mortgage has committed $50,000 for the funeral costs. Information about how to get those funds is available at the mayor's office by calling (716) 851-4841. 

There are also many organizations stepping up to help with rides to grocery stores and grocery delivery.

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