For the last 29 years, Hearts for the Homeless® has been working in the community to feed the poor and homeless on the street. From the first motor home and rented offices in 1990 to the purchase and construction of a second building on Tonawanda Street, Hearts has been dedicated to our mission in Western New York, characterized by a profound spiritual motivation.
- Visited soup kitchens and bus stations announcing to homeless Hearts was beginning a nightly feeding program and outreaches.
- Hearts for the Homeless began at the office of New Covenant Tabernacle Church, a division of P & R Schenck Associates.
- Acquired first motor home for the beginning of our Mobile Soup Kitchen.
- First Read-a-Rama Children’s Program.
- Started participating at Kingdom Bound Christian Music Festival.
- 1st Annual Christmas Eve Dinner.
- First coin boxes were placed at local businesses to raise funds.
- Ron Calandra became a license minister.
- Incorporated and became an official non-profit organization.
- Acquired and moved to rented offices in Kenmore, NY.
- Hearts designed and sent out their first newsletter.
- Hearts began feeding the poor and homeless at Buffalo & Erie County Library, downtown Buffalo.
- In an entrepreneurial effort to raise our own funds, Hearts acquired and produced its own private label candy bar and sold them at 300 retail locations.
- Outgrew space in Kenmore after 3 expansions.
- Opened 1st thrift store on Genesee Street.
- Started a building fund to purchase building of our own.
- Opened 2nd Thrift Shop on Main Street.
- Purchased building in Black Rock/Riverside which housed offices, commercial kitchen, children’s center and 3rd thrift store.
- Opened 3rd thrift store at the new Black Rock/ Riverside building.
- Expanded Thrift Store in Riverside.
- Started 1st Fundraiser to pay off mortgage.
- Merged all thrift stores into 1 thrift store.
- Retired 1st motor home, newly remodeled motor home was donated.
- Started Family Day Festivals in Riverside.
- Started After School Program, Open Hearts Kids Café.
- Started Fourth of July celebrations.
- Read-a-Rama celebrated 10 years in the summer.
- The mortgage on Outreach Center building is fully paid off in January.
- Hit our fundraising goal of $50,000 for a new motor home. (Miracle: Donor challenged us to raise $25,000, and they would match it)!
- Retired 2nd motor home and needed to purchase our 3rd motor home.
- First clothing collection bin placed.
- An additional 7 clothing collection bins are placed.
- An additional 8 clothing collection bins are placed.
- 12 additional clothing collection bins are placed.
- Recycling Clothes, Restoring Lives® Program Started.
- An additional 36 clothing collection bins are placed.
- Installed Solar Panel on 890 Tonawanda Street.
- 44 additional clothing collection bins placed.
- 99 additional clothing collection bins placed.
- Expanded offices at 890 Tonawanda St. for ministry support staff.
- Purchased first Box Truck for our full-time route driver to collect donations from clothing bins.
- More than 200 clothing collection bins placed.
- 275 more clothing collection bins placed.
- Ordered, built, stickered, and delivered an additional 200 clothing collection bins.
- Hearts was the recipient of Ingram Micro Charity Golf Tournament donation.
- Representatives traveled to Egypt for clothing recycling ministry.
- Annual Christmas Eve Dinner for the Homeless moved to the Buffalo Dream Center.
- More than 350 clothing collection bins placed.
- Representatives traveled to Guatemala for clothing recycling ministry.
- Mobile Soup Kitchen Shuttle Bus replaced Motor Home.
- Began Major Structural renovations in August to 890 Tonawanda Street, which were finished in October.
- Renovated Hearts Thrift Shop at 890 Tonawanda Street.
- Purchase of additional property at 870 Tonawanda Street for Hearts Harvest Pantry & Café.
- Partnered with the Buffalo Dream Center to provide them with Summer Outreach Meals.
- Over 400 more clothing collection bins placed.
- Signed a Memorandum of Understanding to sponsor Black Rock Riverside Emergency Food Pantry.
- Expanded offices at 890 Tonawanda Street for ministry support staff.
- Entered into warehouse lease with Eight Days of Hope to expand clothing ministry at 852 Kensington Ave.
- Construction of interior of Hearts Harvest Pantry & Café began.
- Hearts celebrates 29 years of serving the poor and homeless community in Buffalo on Christmas Eve.