On Our Hearts
“But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman…” (Galatians 4:4) “And the angel said unto them, fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.”
May the season celebrating the gift of Jesus Christ bring you all that you have hoped for.
As November brings praise and thanksgiving to God for His bounty, we also want to remember you at this time for all that we were able to accomplish through your support.
Were you ever hoping for that certain gift, that special something that maybe would only be given to you at a special time of year like a birthday or at Christmastime? Have you ever been hoping to wake up and find that gift under the tree or in your holiday stocking, only to find it wasn’t there? Perhaps the hope in your heart turned to a churning feeling or it felt like your heart stopped beating, maybe you even shed a tear, or pouted for a while.
Each person that lines up for a meal at the downtown library, patron at Hearts food pantry, customer in the thrift shop, or the wanderer ringing our side doorbell has a need! Each person has his own individual want or desire. It’s not always food, sometimes it’s clothing or household items, outdoor attire to sleep out in the cold, or sometimes just desperate for a prayer to be answered.
We are reminded of the words of Mother Teresa who said, “It is Christmas every time you let God love others through you…yes, it is Christmas every time you smile at your brother and offer him your hand.”
Hearts has the opportunity to fulfill the hope in the hearts of those in need every day of the year!
We turn your donations into gifts and even the smallest gift lights up the life of the person on the receiving end. Food, a pair of socks, a mat to sleep on, a warm coat or blanket, a word of encouragement saying, “Yes, we care!”
In early December, a homeless man came into the thrift shop to get warm. He suffers from mental illness and randomly shouts out. At times, it made a few customers nervous. Hearts staffer, Lisa went over to him and smiled and asked him how his day was and if he needed anything. He asked for water, so Stacey, Hearts’ cook, brought him a bottle of water and asked if he was hungry. He said yes, so Stacey made him a sandwich and gave him a few other food items. He stayed awhile and Lisa talked with him on and off; he put his hand out to Lisa and said thank you. Lisa said she could really feel how much that meant to him, just for someone to be nice.
How have you provided gifts? Just to mention a few ways – A girl scout troop made fleece blankets for the homeless, a young man of 14 years handed out grocery bags to his neighbors asking for them to be filled, so many people regularly check our current needs listed here, the red clothing bins are continually overflowing, the many food, toiletry, and clothing drives you organize, financial donations, and so many other creative ideas you come up with on your own. These all turn into gifts.
As we close up 2021, Hearts will partner again with the Buffalo Dream Center to celebrate the season with the homeless by busing them to the Buffalo Dream Center for a Christmas Eve Luncheon and celebration.
Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas
and Happy and Blessed New Year!
Hearts Thrift Shop News
♥ The thrift shop has been busy; the atmosphere is definitely more festive and people seem happier this year. People are buying decorations, gifts, and clothing to wear for the holidays
♥ A lifelong friend of Hearts’ staffer, Janis, named Helen, was looking for a Golden Book Encyclopedia so she could have a piece of nostalgia from her childhood. She gave up looking after she searched through area flea markets, garage sales, and antique shops. But, one day a donation came into Hearts of the entire set of 16 volumes of Golden Books in mint condition from 1960! Janis let her sister know they were out for sale in the store. Her sister was able to come in and purchase these books to give as a gift to Helen. Helen was so pleased. And the profit from the sale went into the fund for Hearts’ outreach programs.
♥ One of our regular customers, who comes in at least 3 times a week, told us she has been burdened with her husband’s cancer diagnosis. But finally, he’s been accepted at Roswell for treatment and surgery to remove it. Hearts staffers, Maria and Kathy, offered to pray for her right there in the store and she accepted their invitation.
“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: 429
Meals Served at Holy Cross Shelter: 560
Meal Bags for Buffalo Dream Center Outreach: 400
Talk from the Street and Heart
December is a great time to reflect back on those who make feeding the homeless possible by donating their time – Hearts Volunteers! From kitchen prep to food distribution, they make outreach achievable.
CURRENT NEEDS FOR HOMELESS MEALS
Canned Tuna & Baked Beans
Cream of Chicken Soup
Warm Socks & Gloves
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
The new building for our food pantry has been open since October 7th. It offers a fresh new space to welcome the community to utilize our services. We are also back to serving the Client Choice shopping experience enabling shoppers to choose what items they want and best suits their family needs.
Our pantry staff and volunteers welcome those in the community who need the help from a food pantry to feed their families, Monday 12pm to 4pm, and Fridays 10am to 2pm, at Hearts at 870 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