On Our Hearts
It’s Been a Great Year of Serving
Twenty twenty-one was a good year. Hearts is so grateful for all the “new” opportunities that we engaged in and goals achieved including: refurbishing and opening up the buildings for the food pantry and bottle/can redemption center; relocating the mobile food pantry from being off-site to being operated at our outreach center address to better serve the community; joining in new partnerships with like-minded agencies and agencies in need of help. We look forward to what 2022 brings.
“…do not learn the ways of the nations or be terrified by signs in the heavens, though the nations are terrified by them. No one is like you, Lord; you are great, and your name is mighty in power.”
Starting the new year off on the right foot at Hearts is sometimes impacted by the goodness from the year before, as shown in our opening paragraph. But this is also the case for one of our Wednesday night Mobile Crew volunteers who helps us feed the homeless. There are times when our teams are in the midst of caring for the poor and homeless, when they realize one of their own also has a need, it is then they find time to minister to each other.
Pastor Mawia left his family in Myanmar a few years back to come to Buffalo. He has been working with a local church while he waits and prays for his family to join him. Pastor Mawia joined a Hearts Mobile Crew Team in 2019 and his team mates have taken him under their wings. They visit with each other when they aren’t volunteering, pray for each other, and provide encouragement and support.
Being away from his homeland, and concerned for his family in the midst of the conditions happening in Myanmar today, Pastor Mawia has found “family” at Hearts. You can feel his whole-hearted gratitude in the thank you note to his team after their outpouring of love and gifts for him of which is helping Pastor Mawia start 2022 on good footing.
“I cannot thank you enough for your loving care and your Christmas gifts. When I opened the package at home, it was not only something to eat; envelopes were enclosed with enormous amounts of money along with gift cards. Friends you have made me cry so often, for your love is so real, and your care is extraordinary. You are the real ministers of God. I feel God’s presence through your lives and have learned so many things. I thank God for sending me to work with you of whom I feel as if my real family. My entire family is overwhelmed and grateful. It has given us strength and courage during this difficult time.”
In Christ, Mawia
This is not the first time our volunteers gave gifts to Pastor Mawia; they have sent money to his family directly to Myanmar. The unrest in his home country is very close in vicinity to where his family lives and it worries him. As Pastor Mawia’s words are written in the note, the selfless help offered by Hearts volunteers to a team member in need, is changing the climate of a nation, one family at a time!
In 2022, we pledge to carry out our mission and continued desire to serve more people in need and look for opportunities to fight against hunger and poverty, keeping our communities cared for, fed, and in good health.
When we team up together, we can get even more done. Thank you for teaming up with Hearts.
We wish you peace, health, happiness, and all that you hope for in 2022.
Hearts Thrift Shop News
Whether we are cashing out a customer or restocking merchandise, we continue to be here for those in the community who need support.
♥ One of our regular customers came into the store and Hearts staffer, Maria, noticed she looked distraught and asked her if she was okay. She said she wasn’t okay and told Maria that she was just diagnosed with cancer and that she felt afraid. Maria offered to pray for her and the customer said she would love that, and that she was a believer in Christ. She told Maria she immediately felt God’s peace come over her; Maria promised to continue to pray for her and the doctors assigned to her.
♥ We received a thank you card from a family in the neighborhood that received help during the holidays. Hearts was able to pass on a $100 donation to a family struggling financially because the father had cancer treatment co-pays and other expenses. A Hearts’ customer had donated $100 cash and said to give it to a family in need. This was the perfect family to pass that financial blessing onto and they were extremely grateful. We packaged it up with a tray of Christmas cookies. The family said it brought smiles to their faces, even during this difficult time, that others cared that much to help them.
♥ Children’s boots, shoes, slippers, and women’s shoes are BOGO in the thrift shop.
Remember, when you shop you are supporting our outreach to the homeless, poor and local community.
“Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter”
LIVES TOUCHED LAST MONTH
Total Clients Served: 422
Meals Served at Holy Cross Shelter: 2,658
Meal Bags for Buffalo Dream Center Outreach: 400
100+Guests at our Annual Christmas Eve Dinner
Talk from the Street and Heart
Our Annual Christmas Eve Dinner partnership with the Buffalo Dream Center was back to its usual venue at the Buffalo Dream Center. The homeless guests were transported from the street to the event and received a lasagna dinner, enjoyed music, festive fellowship, and a message from Pastor Eric. Each person also played games, and received a gift and personal bag of Christmas cookies, homemade just for this occasion, by the hands of many of you.
Hearts was also able to make and send Christmas dinners to the Holy Cross and Genesee Street Code Blue homeless shelters consisting of ham and turkey/stuffing roll-ups, mashed sweet potatoes, au gratin potatoes, vegetables and a tray of homemade Christmas cookies.
CURRENT NEEDS FOR HOMELESS MEALS
Canned Beef Stew
Warm Gloves & Socks
Bring donations to Hearts at 890 Tonawanda St., Riverside Ave.
Side of building – Ring bell at kitchen door.
DO NOT LEAVE DONATIONS OUTSIDE
Hearts Mobile Food Pantry
Hearts just completed our second year of running a food pantry and celebrated the opening of its new building and permanent home which has resulted in expanding Hearts’ outreach center into a ministry campus. And it’s already providing ministry to those in need.
On New Year’s Eve, two men from different families were standing outside the food pantry thinking it was going to open soon, hoping to get some groceries. We told them the food pantry wasn’t opening that day. But, after listening to their heartfelt pleas, we agreed to put some bags of groceries together for them. One of the men was a single man and said he couldn’t get through the weekend without our help; the other man was frantic to feed his family, who had also invited a friend of his daughter over. He didn’t want to disappoint his daughter by saying he didn’t have anything to feed them. Both men were overwhelmed with joy for the food and expressed their gratitude. It is for critical times like this, Hearts is so happy to have resources (like food drives and food donations) that help us have these provisions on hand; we were even able to put in some cookies and other snacks for them to enjoy while ringing in the new year.
The food pantry serves the 14207 area. 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.
The next Mobile Food Pantry will be January 26th. Hearts Mobile Food Pantry is held every 4th Wednesday of the month (except in November & December) at Hearts Outreach Center at 890 Tonawanda St., Riverside, from 1pm to 3pm (sign-in at 12:30pm). Families in our community can come as often as we have them as a supplement to our onsite food pantry.
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.
**** Some of these photos are pre-Covid