Wise Giving Wednesday: Helping Victims of Mass Shootings at Buffalo Supermarket and at Uvalde, Texas Elementary School

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calendar icon May 25, 2022


Last week, BBB Wise Giving Alliance shared giving tips for those seeking to help the families of those killed or injured in the May 14th Buffalo supermarket shooting. As we were preparing this copy, another mass shooting tragedy took place on May 24th at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas. The advice we offer for helping Uvalde victims is the same as for Buffalo. Don’t assume everyone raising funds using the names and photos of victims has received permission from their families to do so. Check out recent announcements to avoid duplication of effort. Also, interested donors will quickly see more organized efforts created to address immediate and other needs – so the first solicitation you see may not be the best opportunity to help. See this link for more guidance about avoiding questionable appeals.

For Buffalo, the immediate philanthropy spotlight was understandably on the victims shot at the Tops market. The Buffalo area where this occurred, however, also was significantly impacted. We thought it would be helpful to identify how the Buffalo community responded to show its support for the East Side area where the supermarket is located. We reached out to the Better Business Bureau of Upstate New York and are grateful for their assistance in helping to compile the following information.

World Central Kitchen
As reported on NPR, the Tops supermarket opened in July 2003 and was the first major supermarket to open in that East Side community which is predominantly African American. It has since been closed after the shooting pending the completion of the police investigation and addressing needed repairs. In the meantime, this has left a significant gap in meeting the needs of area residents. Several days after the Buffalo shooting, the World Central Kitchen (which is currently active in helping in Ukraine) set up a nearby area to provide hot meals, snacks, drinks, fresh produce and personal hygiene products. Local businesses and restaurants quickly offered donations to help support this distribution effort.

Bills, Sabres and Bandits
Local sports teams also got involved when members of the Buffalo Bills football team, the Sabres hockey team and the Bandits lacrosse team came by to help give out flowers, meals and show their support. Also, the Buffalo Bills along with the NFL announced it will make a $400,000 donation to Buffalo charities.

Food Banks
Buffalo area food banks set up drives near the Tops location on Jefferson Avenue to collect donations of food, diapers, and other essentials. One group, Buffalo Community Fridges, was passing out bread, milk and eggs and other items out of refrigerated trucks.

Community Foundation
The Community Foundation of Greater Buffalo also announced it will be engaged in a collaborative effort with various charities to form the “Buffalo Together Community Response Fund” to address short and long-term needs emerging as a result of this shooting tragedy.

For Buffalo, the community came together to show support, demonstrate caring and send an inspiring message of recovery. We hope the same for Uvalde, Texas and will continue to monitor these situations as giving circumstances evolve. 

Video of the Week

As part of our Building Trust Video Series, we are pleased to revisit a video featuring an interview with Mabel Valdivia, Executive Director of Fonkoze USA, a BBB Accredited Charity that provides funds for microfinance loans to its partners in Haiti.  The majority of loan recipients are women who use the funds to start or expand a small business that enables them to earn an income and feed their families.

Heart of Giving Podcast

In this week's Heart of Giving Podcast, BBB Wise Giving Alliance interviews Frank Crump, the Founder, President, and CEO of UPI Loan Fund which provides loans and behavioral financial wellness services to underserved communities.

Recent Reports

We are always working with charities to publish or update reports for donors. Visit Give.org or local BBBs to check out any charity before giving. Our recently evaluated charities include:

Finally, remember to let us know by going to give.org/charity-inquiry if you are interested in seeing a report on a charity not on the list and we will do our best to produce one.

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