BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Eight Days of Hope is getting ready to take on another project in the Queen City. Leaders with the all-volunteer organization announced Thursday morning they’re heading to Buffalo’s Lovejoy District to provide free home repairs for families in need.
Eight Days of Hope is a national organization with local ties that responds to disasters across the country and helps communities recover. They’re now inviting you to help them “build a better Buffalo.”
“During these tough economic times, as we come through and out of COVID, so many families are suffering. They’re hurting because they need home repairs and they can’t afford it,” said Steve Tybor, founder of Eight Days of Hope. “It’s humbling to see the City of Good Neighbors come together to serve one another… The impact that is made through the love of volunteers lasts beyond what we can imagine.”
This is the group’s fourth eight-day outreach initiative in Buffalo. Since 2019, they’ve helped hundreds of families in the University, Fillmore and Masten Districts.
“We travel the country but many of our leaders live here in Buffalo, including myself,” Tybor said. “When you drive down the street and you know that you painted that house for that widow or you allowed a family, an elderly couple, a brand new roof, that you worked with some local contractors… I always tell people you’ll never forget those moments because those moments are priceless.”
From Saturday, July 15 to Saturday, July 22, thousands of volunteers from all over will serve 100 households in the Lovejoy District. Tasks include painting, porch replacement window installation, roofing, landscaping and concrete work. Leaders anticipate over a million dollars of work to be done on the homes.
“When volunteers get a chance to meet some of these families, friends are made forever and they become forever friends,” Tybor said. “People we helped three, four years ago have friends around the country because people are coming from around America to come to Buffalo in July. We can’t wait.”
If you’re in need of home repairs, you can apply for assistance until May 8. The 100 homes to be repaired will then be chosen by lottery. To qualify, you must own and reside in your home and the home must be in the Lovejoy District. The application can be found here.
“It’s gonna make a lasting impact for years to come,” Lovejoy District Council Member Bryan Bollman said. “We have a lot of longtime, generational houses that have been passed on through families so we’re really excited to see them get fixed up and to receive this opportunity.”
Eight Days of Hope is also looking for volunteers, regardless of age or skill level. If you’d like to join them this summer in the Lovejoy District, you can fill out and submit this online registration form. Anyone who volunteers for three full days will receive a one-day pass to attend Kingdom Bound at Six Flags Darien Lake.
Here are some of the frequently asked questions from Eight Days of Hope’s website:
- Does a volunteer have to attend all eight days?
No, we do ask that you volunteer for at least two full days at the event.
- Can we bring our children? What about youth groups, can they attend?
Yes, Eight Days of Hope is family-friendly! Every youth volunteer (under the age of 18) that comes with an adult who is not their parent or legal guardian must bring a notarized Parental Consent form signed by one of his/her parents or legal guardian. These forms can be found on our website on the Buffalo event page. We are asking for one adult chaperone per four youths. Please remember that there will be unique sleeping arrangements separated by gender if you need lodging.
- What is the cost to attend?
It is free! We provide food and lodging. We rely on churches, businesses, and individuals for donations. If you are interested in helping to sponsor this event, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- What are the sleeping arrangements?
If you are from outside the WNY region and need lodging, we will provide sleeping accommodations. We will assign lodging when you arrive. Lodging is separated by gender. Volunteers bring air mattresses, cots, and/or sleeping bags. We will provide a safe place for you to sleep with shower trailers on site. Lodging will be provided at local churches.
- Do I have to bring my own food?
No. Local volunteers who are not utilizing our lodging will be provided lunch and are welcome to stay for dinner. We provide all meals for volunteers who are lodging with us.
- Should we bring tools?
We will provide all tools to complete each project we will be working on. If you feel more comfortable using your own, you are welcome to bring them.
- What will be a typical day serving with Eight Days of Hope?
Breakfast will start at 6 a.m. for our out-of-town guests. At 7 a.m., all the volunteers are asked to be at the headquarters for a short time of announcements, worship and devotion. At 7:30 a.m., everyone will leave to serve the families. Lunch will be delivered or taken to the sites by the volunteers. Dinner will begin at 5:30 p.m. In the evenings, we ask that you invite the family you are serving back for dinner. At 7 p.m., we offer an optional time of worship and devotion. The day ends at 7:30 p.m. The only exception will be Sunday, July 16. We encourage the volunteers to visit a local church. We will start the day of volunteering at 11 a.m.
More information can be found here.
Jordan Norkus is an award-winning anchor who has been part of the News 4 team since 2021. See more of her work here or follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.