Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, with philanthropic partners, creates a second fund, the Buffalo Together Community Response Fund, to address needs in community beyond those of survivors
On May 14, the Buffalo community suffered a devastating act of violence when a gunman opened fire at the Tops Friendly Market on Jefferson Avenue on the east side of the city, killing 10 people and wounding three.
Since then, many have asked how to help.
In partnership with Tops, the National Compassion Fund has established the Buffalo 5/14 Survivors Fund to provide direct financial assistance to the survivors of the deceased and those directly affected by this tragedy. Tops has seeded this survivors fund with $500,000 to get it started.
“What happened was ruthless and heartbreaking,” Tops Friendly Markets President John Persons said. “Those that lost their lives will forever be in our hearts and will never be forgotten. Tops is committed to supporting those families affected and to help the community grieve and heal from this tragic event. We have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support and we thank everyone for their incredible kindness.”
One hundred percent of the contributions donated to this survivors fund will go directly to families of those deceased as well as those injured, and those who were present in the store and experienced psychological trauma.
A press release said, “It is also our sincere hope to partner with many local and business leaders on this fundraising endeavor. Qualifying charitable donations to this fund are tax-deductible. To make an online contribution, visit Fundraiser by National Compassion Fund: Buffalo Survivors Fund (gofundme.com); or to write a check or for funds electronic transfer information, visit Buffalo 5/14 Survivors Fund – National Compassion Fund.
Tops is forming a local steering committee, comprising community and business leaders, to establish the eligibility and distribution policies for the fund. In the coming weeks, additional details will be provided. The fund will be managed and operated by the NCF.
“Our hearts go out to the entire Buffalo community,” said Jeffrey Dion, executive director of the National Compassion Fund. “We are honored to join forces with Tops Friendly Markets, the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, and VictimsFirst to increase charitable giving and help meet the overwhelming needs of the survivors of this atrocity. We stand in solidarity with all those impacted by gun violence.”
All who wish to sign-up for updates on the progress of the fund and plans for distribution are asked to complete the contact form on the Compassion Fund website at https://nationalcompassionfund.org/fund/buffalo-survivors-fund.
Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo President and CEO Clotilde Perez-Bode Dedecker said, “We want to commend Tops for its thoughtful leadership in partnering with the National Compassion Fund to provide direct financial assistance to the survivors of the deceased and those directly affected by this tragedy. The Community Foundation has received an outpouring of support from near and far asking how to help our community move forward. In response, dozens of local funders have come together to establish the Buffalo Together Community Response Fund coordinated by the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo and United Way of Buffalo & Erie County. Together, we must double down – all of us, from every corner of Buffalo and beyond – to end racism. This is the only way to create real change and emerge from the darkness of this heinous act.”
United Way of Buffalo and Erie County President and CEO Michael Weiner said, "United Way is dedicated to supporting and amplifying the efforts of our partner organizations who are working diligently to provide relief and restoration to the Jefferson Avenue community that has been so painfully disrupted. The Buffalo Together Community Response Fund will provide important resources for both immediate community needs and long-term recovery."
A press release said, “This collaborative effort is built upon a collective desire to take action and to work to address immediate 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 to and learn from communities of color to develop specific guiding principles and processes for directing the Buffalo Together Community Response Fund resources. Visit www.BuffaloTogetherFund.org to learn more.
The National Compassion Fund is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that collects and distributes charitable contributions in the aftermath of mass casualty crimes. It is a subsidiary of the National Center for Victims of Crime, the nation’s leading resource and advocacy organization for crime victims and those who serve them. Visit www.nationalcompassionfund.org.
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.
Based in Williamsville, Tops Markets currently operates 150 grocery stores in New York, Pennsylvania and Vermont, including five that are run by franchisees. It is the largest private, for-profit employer in Western New York, with over 14,000 associates. For more information, visit www.topsmarkets.com.