BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) – The Buffalo Day of Hope and Healing is making sure families have everything they need as the new school year approaches. A mother told 7 News she has 10 children at home and seven of them will return to the Buffalo Public School District.
“With inflation and prices, school supplies are in dire need,” said Nina Littlejohn.
Several local officials present at the event expressed the communities’ need not only for financial assistance, but also for mental and emotional help. Following several mass shootings, they say many families are still recovering. Littlejohn said she is not worried about the next school year and knows her family needs to keep pushing.
“Our community is a community that has been targeted by racial violence but understands that we are always safe,” Littlejohn said. “We still have to live. We have to move on but we have to be together as a family. That’s how we see it.”
Littlejohn told 7 News his family relies on daily affirmations, togetherness and prayer to help them through their recovery period. Governor Kathy Hochul was on hand to show she stood with the community. Governor Hochul distributed food and backpacks to community members while expressing her desire to be there for them.
“No one ever wants to be on that list of towns you’re talking about and now even Uvalde is happening after Buffalo,” Gov. Hochul said. “There’s a lot of pain there, so as governor, if I can just come here and hug some families and pick up some kids and tell them they’re okay and bring the resources that we’ve so generously “CCC in Brooklyn and all over the county. It’s my priority. My priority is to be where people need me and I just felt like my community needed me today.”
3,000 backpacks and 45,000 pounds of food were donated, according to Tiffany Brinkley, director of community impact at United MegaCare.
“Right now United MegaCare is sponsoring the food drive,” Brinkley said. “We’ll distribute it to all the families that come here who need it. We’re actually thrilled to be part of this partnership with Healing Day and to be able to bless these families with these resources.”
According to Brinkley, each backpack was filled with school supplies for students and resources for free virtual counseling.
“For any families that want to partner with our behavioral counseling center, we actually offer them,” Brinkley said. “They’re actually stuffed in these bags, brochures so they can befriend some of our advisers back home and get as much free advice as they need.”
More than $50 million in financial opportunities will be made available to community members, according to Governor Hochul.
“We need money to rebuild this community and we need it now,” Governor Hochul said. “So we put over $50 million on the table in June and said this is for landlords, this is for small businesses, this is for people behind on their rent and services. audiences. We’re here to help you rebuild and build you come back stronger.”
Information on how to apply for funds will begin August 9 and Merriweather Library from 4-7 p.m.
“We’re going to have people there to help you ask for money,” Governor Hochul said. “If you’re a landlord and you need repairs, you’re behind on your rent, you come that day and we’ll help you figure out how to access that money.”