On Our Hearts
God's Hand in Our Work
O sing to the Lord a new song, For He has done wonderful things, His right hand and His holy arm have gained the victory for Him. Psalm 98:1
More often than not, all of us at Hearts can identify the hand of the Lord guiding the work that we do. This can be seen through the people he sends our way with a need, a donation that comes through just at the right time, or presenting a task to complete to benefit another agency.
Hearts’ Administrative Assistant, Catherine, opens herself up to be used by God and He responds. She recently experienced one of those encounters:
“It’s just amazing how God inserts His hand at various times. The other day I ordered some pizza and had it delivered. The pizza place said they won’t do contact deliveries, so I put a note to leave the pizza on a chair at the side door. When the delivery person arrived, he called and asked me to come out to his car to grab the order, so I did. When I got to the car, he said, ‘I’m so sorry, I didn’t see your note to leave it at the side door, most people today have asked me to just stay in my car.’ So, I said, no problem, it gives me a quick break from work; which he then responded, ‘What do you do for work?’ I explained to him what I do for work and he said, ‘Really? I’m about to be homeless soon and need some help.’ So, I took his phone number and was able to forward some resources that will hopefully help prevent him from becoming homeless.”
“I thought that this encounter was so neat and unexpected. You never know what opportunities God is going to provide to serve others; we must strive to always be open and aware.”
Catherine’s story is a great reminder to all of us to be open to what God might be putting in our path. It is our hope at Hearts to be a place where more of our neighbors can turn when they are in need
Hearts Helps a Local Food Pantry,
Made Possible by a “Generous Donor”
Thanks to a generous donor, this month Hearts provided groceries for 50 families, including fresh produce, bread, and meat. The Pantry is a collaboration between the Iglesia El Calvario A/D Church, Friends of Night People, The West Side Promise Neighborhood and Hearts. The goal of this working group is to support the pantry while it applies to become a FeedMore Member Agency through the church.
Hearts Thrift Shop News
The thrift store is another lifeline to those in our community and continually gives us an opportunity to “love our neighbors” when they come in:
♥ One of our regular customers gave birth to a baby boy at 25 weeks, weighing only 2 pounds. He was very ill, including having a blood clot; he was put on total life support. It was a terrifying situation for this mom to be in and she turned to Hearts for emotional support. She met Maria in the thrift shop who offered to pray for her baby and overall tragedy, then showed her our prayer box. The customer said that she trusted that God was hearing Maria and her prayers. She came in again with an update and told us she had held onto the faith and support she received at Hearts that day and even had no shyness to pray in front of medical staff for her baby’s life. Five months later the baby was taken off ventilators, feeding tube, and is soon to be going home, weighing almost 11 pounds. This mom gave thanks to God for the miracle and to Hearts for taking the time to listen and pray.
♥ God is in the little things too. Another Hearts’ customer needed to take her cat to the vet and Hearts Thrift Shop just happened to have a pet carrier for sale! She said, “Perfect! I need it!”
♥ And, another Hearts’ Customer was so glad we had “almost brand new” Adidas sneakers and uniforms for her child who is going back to school in person. She even said “she wouldn’t be buying her kids clothes at Walmart anymore when Hearts has what they need.”
Remember, when you shop you are supporting our outreach to the homeless, poor and local community.
Lives Touched Last Month
Total Clients Served: 1,732
Meal Bags for Buffalo Dream Center Outreach: 400
Talk from the Street and Heart
Hearts is so blessed to have dedicated teams always willing to help. The Mobile Soup Kitchen vehicle broke down for over a week and our volunteer Mobile Crews had to use their own cars to carry down the meal distribution to serve the homeless and poor clients at the Downtown Library. These photos are of our Saturday Crew serving food out of the back of their SUV and even slipping in some warm socks for those in line to keep their feet warm. A big thank you to each of our crew members for making sure the homeless and poor get their evening meal.
It is always fun to have something to share for a holiday. A donor surprised us by baking Valentine’s cookies and brownies. The perfect sweet treat for Valentine’s Day.
Heart’s Wednesday Mobile Crew took the cookies downtown for handout during their meal distribution.
And Batman showed up to help the Wednesday team by handing out the Valentine’s Cookies and added warmth to this cold evening.
Then the team took the brownies to the Holy Cross Code Blue Homeless Shelter to be enjoyed with the hot meal they were taking to them
As the weather has been so cold, we’ve continually handed out the gloves, hats, scarves, socks and blankets that you all have been donating. Gail from our Wednesday team has such a heart for the homeless that when she heard a man say he was sleeping outside one night, she made certain he had extra blankets to help him stay warm.
Hearts Harvest Food Pantry
A neighborhood customer of Hearts Thrift Shop saw our website and told staff, Janis, that she was so pleased about the changes we’ve made at Hearts such as the food pantry; she kiddingly asked where are we putting it all – we are still running the pantry in the back of our building and although it is cramped it is serving the purpose, but we can’t wait for the new building to open to be able to serve the community even better.
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.
Hearts Mobile Food Pantry will start up again on February 5th, then going forward, it will be every 1st Friday of the month from 1:30pm to 3:30pm behind DePaul Apartments at 238 Ontario St., Riverside. The community can come as often as we have them as a supplement to our onsite food pantry. It’s a special time for them and the fresh produce, dairy, and other quality food is a blessing for them. Everyone leaves happy and appreciative.
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 www.heartsforthehomeless.org, 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.