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December 2020 Newsletter

On Our Hearts

The Face of the Savior

“You yourselves are our letter written on our hearts, known and read by everyone. You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.”

2 Corinthians 3:2-3

Have you seen it? Look closely at yourself; if you are one of the lucky ones, the face of the Savior will be depicted in your life.

“A famous artist said to a visitor to his studio referencing the Lord, ‘If I loved Him more, I should paint him better.’ No person could rightly picture Christ’s face. For Christ cannot be depicted perfectly through an artist’s hand on canvas ‘but upon the hearts and in the lives of His people,’ the Spirit of God is presenting something of the grace and beauty of the Lord Jesus. And, may we not each say that ‘If I loved Him more, I should express Him better?’ Would it not be so that if we were more constantly in His presence, more devoted in heart to Him, more faithful to His interests here, we should paint His features more truly in our lives?” (text taken from “The Lord is Near” devotional, 1997, author and Bible teacher, John Nelson Darby)

This is the season we celebrate the birth of our Savior with song, gift giving, and festive events. As an artist paints it on canvas, while we celebrate, one way we can paint His features more truly in our lives is by serving and caring for the very people He came to serve on this earth.

At Hearts for the Homeless, we strive to represent Christ by serving the poor and homeless. Over the years, we have brought physical and spiritual comfort to tens of thousands through our feeding programs that encompass more than “just handing out food.” It includes giving or sharing a little bit of our hearts.

This December 24th, Hearts will celebrate 30 years of reaching out to the hungry, the hurting, and the life-challenged.

It’s not always easy in the natural for many of us, but when we focus on the prize of seeing someone recognizing our motivation for helping them is Jesus, we have then depicted Jesus through our hearts and in our lives.

This Christmas we encourage you to spend more time in His presence, devote your time and heart to Him and be more faithful to align your interests with His. Then look around and see who might have a need and serve others better with great empathy and pure motivation, which is the heart of our Savior.

May the greatest gift of all, Jesus, be under your tree this Christmas so that you may receive and share Him. We wish you and your loved ones a very Merry Christmas!

alden school kids
It’s amazing to see several schools this season doing all types of drives, from cash to clothes to food, including Alden school students, in this pic, dropped off numerous bags of clothing, a check from Lancaster students (thanks to the drop off from teacher, Mark Skowron, his wife, Shannon, for the handmade hats, and son Cole, one of the students at Lancaster).

Thrift Shop News

Hearts Thrift Shop continues to reach those in need; here’s a bit of what’s been happening:

 A man came in to receive clothing at no charge and brought with him a powerful testimony. Maria in the thrift store was able to pray with him; in return he prayed for all of us at Hearts and in the thrift store. 

Here is his testimony: “I had been a Christian for a while and had fallen away and started drinking again. On October 12th, I was drinking and I took something to sleep after battling pneumonia; I woke up from a coma on October 19th which was my dad’s birthday who had passed away years ago. I felt like one of the thieves on the cross as I asked God why am I still here. As I have repented since this, I have no desire to drink again.”

 People/families received clothing at no cost to them.

 When customers come in to shop for thrift shop items to give as Christmas gifts, many parents will be thrilled to be asked to pick out brand new toys and gifts at no charge to give to their families. These gifts were donated by the Heim Middle School Boy Scout Troop #258.

“Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.”

~ Psalm 51:1-2

Remember, when you shop you are supporting our outreach to the homeless, poor and local community.

Lives Touched Last Month

volunteer handing out bag with food

November 2020

Total Clients Served: 1,091
Homeless: 391
Male: 581
Female: 111
Seniors: 25
Children: 9
Meal Bags for Buffalo Dream Center Outreach: 400
Total Volunteer Hours: 176

Talk from the Street and Heart

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”  (Isaiah 9:6) On coming to the house, they saw the Child with His mother Mary, and they fell down and worshiped Him. Then they opened their treasures and presented Him with gifts of gold and frankincense and myrrh…  (Matthew 2:11) Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!

(2  Corinthians 9:15)

Although it is obvious by our mission that Hearts loves to give gifts. Our donors have the same passion too.

Ava food drive
This pleasant young girl, Ava, has been enjoying giving to the poor and homeless each year since the young age of 5-years old, from the efforts she put into organizing food drives in her neighborhood. 
ava family pick up food
Ava’s family pick up loaded and ready to drop off food and warm clothing for the homeless and poor.
Ava in pick up
What a great family activity - Ava’s whole family gets involved in her food drives including her grandfather, parents and brothers! 
Two men receiving blankets
Huge thanks to Blankets for Buffalo 716 a newly formed group dedicated to collecting, cleaning and distributing blankets to WNY’s disadvantaged. We helped to distribute some downtown and these 2 men received warm blankets – the smiles on their faces need no explanation.
ub cel bag handout
The UB CEL Alumni Association donated, delivered, and came to handout 95 personal care bags jam packed with supplies for the homeless and poor in our feeding lines. After distribution at the library, we took some bags over to the Holy Cross Code Blue facility for their overnight guests. Amazing outreach! 
Colvin cleaners coats
Every year Colvin Cleaners collects coats and distributes them to the community and agencies like Hearts. We were able to hand out many of these coats just in one night!
Jeff unloading coats
We are so grateful to Colvin Cleaners for the hard work they do every year to make sure those in need get a warm coat, this year they collected 20,000 coats! 

Welcome Lamont Maclin, God’s Newest gift to Hearts

Lamont Maclin

Lamont joined Hearts last month as Outreach Assistant and Cook. He gained chef experience at The Buffalo Club and most recently at the Big Ditch Brewery. His non-profit experience came from working as a peer mediator and community outreach activist at the Massachusetts Avenue Project – Growing Green community garden, where he enjoyed tutoring youth that were involved in the project. We are so happy to have him on board; he has already been a huge blessing. Lamont said, “he is looking forward to staying on at Hearts for a long time to come and growing in his position. He finds everyone here so nice to work with.” We wish you well in your new position, Lamont!

Lamont and Ron in kitchen 2
Hearts new cook, Lamont, and also newest volunteer, Ron, preparing food for the homeless and poor.

Hearts Harvest Food Pantry

Our pantry staff and volunteers welcome those in the community who need the help from a food pantry to feed their families, Monday 12 to 4; and Fridays 10 to 2 at Hearts at 890 Tonawanda St. Riverside.

Serving the local community at Hearts Harvest Food Pantry
Serving the local community at Hearts Harvest Food Pantry
In November, Hearts Harvest Food Pantry Served 20,614 Meals.
Joanne pantry holiday boxes
Pantry patrons received Holiday Boxes including a turkey and all the ingredients to make side dishes. 

In keeping our pantry stocked with canned goods for the hot meals we serve on the street, we can use your help to continue our outreach to the COVID homeless shelters and to those who come to the Downtown Library. If you would like to organize a food drive or donate needed food items, listed below is what our immediate needs are.

For a complete list of needed food items, please call or email our office at 716-877-3536;, or go to our website at


Clothing Donations

Hearts for the Homeless donation bin

We are so grateful for all of your donations. We also have a bin onsite at our outreach center at 890 Tonawanda Street; you can find the bins located in your area by going to our website at, click on Bin Finder, put in your zip code and those in your area will appear. 

Hearts follows strict COVID regulations; please note that some of the photos in this newsletter were taken pre-COVID.

If you would like to download a printable pdf, please click here:
Nourishing the Community through Dignified Service, Hearts for the Homeless of WNY, Inc. December 2020