November 17 – Mayor Byron W. Brown today joined with the Puerto Rico Hurricane Maria Relief Fund to announce a new donation effort. The just-launched ‘Local Efforts Supply Drive’ will assist families who have come to Buffalo and Western New York after losing their homes in Puerto Rico.
“To date, more than 400 people have come from Puerto Rico, after losing their homes and belongings in Hurricane Maria. We expect that number to increase greatly in the weeks ahead, creating a critical need for winter clothing, household goods, and furniture, so they can begin new lives here,” Mayor Brown said. “We are calling on the good neighbors of our community to help by donating the basic items our new neighbors need to settle in.”
Nadia Pizarro, Co-Chair, of the Local Efforts Supply Drive, said the need is immediate.
“They are arriving here with little more than the clothes on their backs and are desperately in need of warm clothing and household basics. Many are families with young children and elderly persons, and we expect the number of arrivals to rise, from a few hundred now, to a few thousand,” Pizarro said.
The ‘Local Efforts Supply Drive’ is also seeking cash donations to assist the newcomers with security deposits and rent payments, as many are currently staying with relatives or good Samaritans.
“In most cases, they have a temporary roof over their heads, but many are in severely, over-crowded quarters, and need to get into apartments of their own as soon as possible,” Pizarro said.
The Local Efforts Supply Drive is partnering with Catholic Charities of Buffalo and St. Vincent de Paul to establish two drop-off locations in the City of Buffalo.
Donations of clothing, winter coats, boots, small household items, bed linens, cleaning supplies and personal care items can be dropped off at Catholic Charities’ Ladies of Charity facility, located at 1122 Broadway, in Buffalo.
Donations of furniture can be dropped off at St. Vincent de Paul, located at 1298 Main St., in Buffalo.
New and gently used items are welcome. All used clothing, footwear and bedding should be clean and in good condition. All used small appliances should be in safe, working order, and furniture should be in useable condition. Only Catholic Charities will accept TVs.
“In the spirit of the upcoming Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons, I ask community members to donate what they can on behalf of the new arrivals, and all those working tirelessly to assist them,” Mayor Brown said.
Ladies of Charity will accept donations on weekdays, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., as well as on Saturday, December 2, during those hours. For more information, call: 895-4001.
St. Vincent de Paul will accept donation of furniture on weekdays, between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. For more information on those donations, call: 882-3360.
Tax-deductible donation checks, wire transfers and deposits are being accepted through The Belle Center. Those donations should be made payable to: The Belle Center, in the memo line note “Local Efforts Supply Drive.”
Donations may also be made to the Puerto Rico Hurricane Maria Relief Fund via M&T Bank. For wire transfers, use Routing # 022000046. Account transfers and direct deposits should be posted to Account # 9873254693. Donations are also being accepted at https://www.gofundme.com/prreliefwny.