Nearly two weeks after a racist gunman shot and killed 10 people in a Buffalo grocery store, two of Southern Chautauqua County’s largest funders have committed to supporting our Western New York neighbors in need.
The Chautauqua Region Community Foundation and United Way of Southern Chautauqua County recently granted dollars to The Buffalo Together Community Response Fund.
“Western New York is a community and we wanted to support our neighbors as they recover from this tragic and unnecessary loss of life,” said Tory Irgang, Chautauqua Region Community Foundation executive director. “These dollars will meet immediate needs and advance racial justice work that is longer term and regionally focused.”
The Buffalo Together Community Response Fund is a collaborative effort among dozens of local funders, including the Community Foundation of Greater Buffalo and United Way of Buffalo and Erie County, to address immediate needs in the community, long-term community rebuilding and systemic issues that have marginalized communities of color.
According to Amy Rohler, United Way of Southern Chautauqua County executive director, the fund supports organizations in the immediate neighborhood of the Jefferson Avenue Tops Market that are providing direct services to those impacted by the tragedy, including food and basic needs, mental health support, financial assistance and more.
“We felt it was important to show our neighbors in Buffalo that Chautauqua County residents were in solidarity with them, and this was a significant way that we could communicate our commitment to stopping hate, ending racism and choosing love,” said Rohler.
The Chautauqua Region Community Foundation also granted funds to Open Buffalo, a Black-led nonprofit organization that is advancing racial, economic, and ecological justice through skill building, network connecting, and activating leadership opportunities. Open Buffalo has a goal for all communities in Western New York to thrive free from discrimination and poverty, and some of their resources and trainings are already being used by nonprofits in Chautauqua County.
“Open Buffalo is a Black-led organization whose work is critically important in the wake of this unspeakable tragedy,” said Irgang.
For information and resources on how to support the Buffalo community, visit www.buffalotogetherfund.org.