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Winter warm-up for Community Missions

by jmaloni
Sat, Oct 25th 2014 07:00 am

Give to those in need

by Stacey Sheehan

Last week, while walking through the Village of Lewiston, I experienced my first seasonal reminder that it was time to "Think warm." Hands in pockets, I started formulating my cold weather to-do list. Winter tires, replace seal on drafty window, buy my son, Liam, a new winter jacket.

Later that morning, I started my search to buy my son the warmest jacket I could find by shopping online. There was much to choose from and I spent a good hour assessing the options. That's when it dawned on me. As I sat there, warm mug of tea in hand, turning my nose up at jackets that were the wrong color, I suddenly felt disgusted with myself. It was the first time in my life I had realized how much I take for granted the ability to provide my son the things he needs: food, shelter and clothing.

I have never known the awful feeling of not being able to meet his needs, and I hope with all my heart I never will. It became clear to me that what I take for granted is something many parents cry tears over and lie awake thinking about every single night: How do I get my child what he or she needs? How do I keep him or her safe, warm, fed?

I decided it was beyond time for me to extend my hand to other parents who want the same thing I do for my child, but maybe have challenges right now that are making it difficult to provide. I set to work on finding a way to help get those people what they need - and fast.

That's when I contacted my favorite bakery owner: Mike Fiore at The Village Bake Shoppe. Mike and Lindsay Fiore are no strangers to giving in our community, and are a couple I have come to respect, admire and turn to when in need of partners for a random act of kindness.

I reached out with a request some business owners may consider an imposition. I told him I wanted to collect warm winter items for those in need and, without even allowing me to complete my sales pitch, he generously offered his bakery as a collection location.

The holidays are soon upon us, and many people will be asking you to donate, to give, and to share. While we understand there are a lot of great causes worldwide in need of support, The Village Bake Shoppe and I ask you to start at home in your own neighborhood. Do you have warm winter items you no longer need? Have it in your heart to buy some gloves? Or a hat for someone else?

We have arranged to gather these items and take them to a place where they will be put to good use: Community Missions in Niagara Falls. The mission is the largest provider of food, shelter and clothing to Niagara County residents in need - from newborns to the elderly.

Right now, there are families among us in Niagara County who are in desperate need of warm clothing - parents with heavy hearts, adults and children who feel alone. You have the power to change their lives in an important way - at very little cost to yourself.

For the month of November, please search your closets for new or gently used boots, socks, hats, gloves and coats in any size and bring them to us at The Village Bake Shoppe. We will ensure they are distributed to those who need them most in our own community by way of Community Missions.

Thank you in advance to each of you who will take the time to share your abundance with those who need it most!

The Village Bake Shoppe is located at 417 Center St., in the Village of Lewiston.

For more information on Community Missions, call 716-285-3403 or visit www.communitymissions.org/ or www.facebook.com/cminiagara.

Mike Fiore stands in front of the Village Bake Shoppe with coats, hat and gloves in hand. His bakery is accepting new and gently used winter clothing items, which will be donated to Community Missions. 

Mike Fiore stands in front of the Village Bake Shoppe with coats, hat and gloves in hand. His bakery is accepting new and gently used winter clothing items, which will be donated to Community Missions.

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