BUFFALO, NY- At this time of Thanksgiving, folks at the Response to Love Center couldn't be more grateful for the generosity they have witnessed as donations to replace the broken boiler come flooding in.
"How could it be timed any other way? I couldn't do it. So it's orchestrated from above," said Center Director, Sister Mary Johnice.
They've received more than $33,000 so far with a goal of $50,000. That amount includes checks from several local parishes that took collections during weekend masses, $2,500 from the Felician Sisters, and just in the short time our camera was there Monday, they received another $1,000 donation from a man who didn't want his identity revealed. They've seen a lot of that.
"We had a gentleman come to the door the other day, didn't look like he had a lot, worldly possession wise, dropped off $100 wanted to be anonymous. It's amazing," said Response to Love Center business manager Bob Sprague.
Asbestos contractor Paul Keller from the Arric Corp. gave the center both good news and bad Monday. It appears the pipes may not all be ridden with asbestos, but the center will need to spend time and money on a survey to find out. Once the abatement is complete, MJ Mechanical will be donating the labor to replace the boiler and hopefully the heat will be turned on in within two weeks.
For now they're finding ways to fight the chill. The ovens, for example, aren't just being used to fill empty bellies; they're also filling the air with warmth. Folks are dressing in layers and some volunteers are even wearing gloves. The GED students in the classrooms are staying warm by space heaters donated by Ed Youngs Hardware.
"Anything we can do to help in the surrounding communities we're always happy to be of good support," said Dan Reilly of CityView Construction Mgmt. and Larkin Development.
"It's a faith journey. Anyone who doesn't believe can become a believer just through what's happening in this experience," said Sr. Johnice.
Once the new boiler is installed, Sr. Johnice plans to have a boiler party, so everyone who made a donation big or small to come here to feel the warmth of the center. She also plans to have the Bishop come to bless the new boiler.
If you'd like to make a donation, you can contact the Response to Love Center at: 716-894-7030, or by mail: 130 Kosciuszko Street, Buffalo, NY 14212.