The Buffalo Together Community Response Fund, established in the wake of the horrific racially-motivated mass shooting at the Tops Market on Jefferson Avenue earlier this month, will begin to distribute initial support to 70 Black-led organizations that have a meaningful and long-term presence in the community, and that are working on the front lines to address urgent community need in the aftermath of the tragedy. Approximately $560,000 in grants ranging from $5,000 - $20,000 will begin to be distributed in the coming days.
To date, $3 million has been committed from nearly 50 local and national foundations and corporations, as well as more than 1,100 individuals from all over the country who have donated online or mailed in checks. To see the full list of corporations and foundations who have committed support to date, please visit www.BuffaloTogetherFund.org.
Three general areas of support have been identified for the Buffalo Together Fund including providing important support with a focus on Black-led organizations that are working directly in the community; ensuring availability of mental health services; and addressing longer-term, systemic issues of racial justice. The Fund is meant to complement other fundraising efforts that are focused specifically on funeral expenses and support for those directly impacted by the shooting.
The initial phase has begun with the identification of 70 organizations supporting efforts in the Jefferson community to address needs. Organizations were identified with the assistance of community representatives, elected officials, and the funders’ existing networks.
The grantees are:
African Heritage Food Co-op
African-American Cultural Center
Agape Fellowship Baptist Church
Back to Basics Outreach Ministries, Inc.
Black Boys Read Too
Black Love Resists in the Rust
Black Nurses Rock - Buffalo Chapter
Brothers Doing Better
Buffalo Breastfeeding Sisters Program - Calming Nature Doula
Buffalo Center for Health Equity
Buffalo Federation of Neighborhood Centers
Buffalo Freedom Gardens
Buffalo Go Green
Buffalo United Front, Inc.
Buffalo Urban League
Calvary Missionary Baptist Church
Candles in the S.U.N.
Coldspring Community Foundation
Colored Girls Bike Too
Community Health Center of Buffalo
Delavan-Grider Community Center
Durham’s Maternal Stress-Free Zone
Elim Christian Fellowship
Erie County Restorative Justice Coalition
Every Bottom Covered
First Shiloh Baptist Church
Food for the Spirit
G.I.R.L.S. Sports Foundation, Inc.
Greater Eastside Field of Dreams Block Club
Greater Works Christian Fellowship
Home Beneath Our Feet
Humboldt Parkway Baptist Church
Impacted Families Project
King Urban Life Center
Lincoln Memorial Methodist Church
MAD Dads of Buffalo
Masten Block Club Coalition
Most Valuable Parents (MVP) of Buffalo
National Federation for Just Communities
Northland Workforce Training Center
OES Naomi Chapter #10
Omega Mentoring Program
Our Mommie Village and Vegan Village
Project Lee Ministries
Project Mona’s House
Resource Council of WNY
Restore Our Community Coalition
Rooted In Love
Second Chance Ministries
St Luke African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church
Stop the Violence Foundation
Taste of Faith Food Pantry: True Bethel Baptist Church
The Black Chamber of Commerce of WNY
The Exchange at Beverly Gray
The Upper Room Church of God in Christ
Tru-Way Community Center
Upward Design for Life
Wakanda Alliance Program
We R Buffalo Strong
Willie Hutch Jones Educational and Supports Program
The Buffalo Together Fund is a collaboration of 15 local funders, including The John R. Oishei Foundation, coordinated by the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo and United Way of Buffalo & Erie County. It was built upon a collective desire to address urgent needs in our community, long-term community rebuilding, and systemic issues that have marginalized communities of color. While still in the early stages of development, the group will listen, learn and engage with the Black community to develop specific guiding principles and processes for directing the Fund's resources for additional phases of the Fund’s work.
“There was a collective desire by the funding community to come together to support our Jefferson community in the wake of this horrific racially-motivated hate crime, and we recognized that our first priority was to start with support for Black-led organizations that are on the frontlines serving critical needs, often with unequitable resources,” said Clotilde Perez-Bode Dedecker, President and CEO of the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo. “We are committed to engaging with the community going forward to address long-term rebuilding.”
“Convening partners and activating resources in the face of community crisis is what United Way was built to do," says Michael Weiner, President & CEO, United Way of Buffalo & Erie County. "These initial investments are the first step in a community-led process of listening, learning, and rebuilding, made possible by an outpouring of generous support from our community."
Understanding the need for collaboration in responding to a crisis, many of the partners in Buffalo Together Fund worked together on the WNY COVID-19 Community Response Fund which awarded more than $14.2 million to 400+ nonprofit organizations to address the pandemic. Many are also part of a funding collaborative supporting East Side Avenues with an $8 million fund for capacity building, training, and other supports. This unique partnership of private and philanthropic organizations was created to complement $65 million in New York State investment in revitalization work in four commercial corridors on Buffalo’s East Side.
The Buffalo Together Fund is accepting continued donations at www.BuffaloTogetherFund.org.
About Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo
For more than a century, the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo has enhanced and encouraged long-term philanthropy in the Western New York community. A 501 (c)(3) organization, the Community Foundation’s mission is: Connecting people, ideas and resources to improve lives in Western New York. Established in 1919, the Community Foundation has made the most of the generosity of individuals, families, foundations and organizations who entrust charitable assets to the Community Foundation’s care. Learn more at cfgb.org.
About United Way of Buffalo & Erie County
For over 105 years, United Way of Buffalo & Erie County has fought to improve the health, education, and financial stability of every person in our community. By forging unlikely partnerships, finding new solutions to old problems, and mobilizing the best resources, we inspire individuals to join the fight against their community’s most daunting social crises. We believe that to live better, we must LIVE UNITED. Learn more at uwbec.org.