BUFFALO, N.Y. — "I bet you this racist didn't count of this out pouring of love that's taking place right now, the strengthening of this community that's going on right now," former Buffalo Bills great Bruce Smith said Thursday.
"Choose Love" is a motto the Bills continue to spread after Saturday's tragedy at Tops on Jefferson Avenue that claimed 10 lives.
A few Bills legends, along with a rare sighting from owners Terry and Kim Pegula, volunteered handing out food at the resource council of Western New York on Thursday.
They listened to an engaged with the very people in the community impacted by the Tops shooting.
"Such a joy to see people smiling," Bills owner Terry Pegula said. "The future for me the message to the people is things will get better and I really believe that."
Added Kim Pegula: "We weren't here in Buffalo when the shooting happened. You're reading about it, you're seeing it on TV, but actually, we had to be here physically. Seeing it hit really hard."
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, who is from Jamestown, said it was important for to put feet on the ground because for the NFL. This is their community too.
"I have a personal connection to this community because it really is my home," Goodell said. "I think we wanted to make sure people here knew they weren't alone and we are all supportive of them. We all know we have a tragic circumstance here 10 victims but there's a lot more victims here still hurting."
As Buffalo's most influential continue to spread love and volunteer amongst the community, the question still looms: What happens when the cameras go away and those 10 precious lives lost and their community is no longer the top story?
"The goal in mind is sustainability," Kim Pegula said. "How do we improve on what were doing, been done, and how do we prevent things like that in a way that will last?
"I don't have the answers, but as an organization, we're going to listen, have a lot of discussions with out community leaders, residents, our internal staff, coaches, and players to truly understand put something that will last."