When the winter winds blow, Erie County residents know the painful cold of uncovered ears and hands - and the importance of a warm hat, scarf and gloves.
Knitters at Grand Island's Golden Age Center donated huge bags of their colorful handcrafted items to help those who are homeless or impoverished to stay warm during the freezing days ahead. Patricia Dowling, coordinator of senior volunteers for Erie County Senior Services, said that on any given night, between 1,200 and 1,500 homeless people in Erie County are living on streets and in abandoned homes.
Dowling reports the following organizations send warm thanks to the volunteer knitters from the Grand Island Golden Age Center for warming hands, heads, and hearts this winter:
•Buffalo City Mission and Cornerstone Manor
•Buffalo Dream Center/Boxes of Love (provides food and toys to families at the holidays)
•Family Promise (emergency shelters keep families together during the crisis of homelessness.)
•Gerard Place (shelter for single-parent families and community education center)
•Hearts for the Homeless (volunteer teams travel downtown five nights per week to feed and clothe the homeless)
•Journey's End (assists refugees resettle in Buffalo with employment, housing, etc.)
•Haven House (shelter for victims of domestic violence)
•Little Portion Friary (temporary shelter operated by volunteers, serving 28 homeless adults each night)
•Response to Love Center (dining room, thrift store, GED classes, etc.)
•Salvation Army Women's Shelter, and
•We Care Block Club (grassroots organization serving needy families and restoring Buffalo neighborhoods).