Janet Smith has lived and worked in this home on Stockbridge Avenue for the past 20 years. “We had a storm, the pipes had burst in my home and also my roof. The roof was having problems too as well,” she said.
The damage forced her to put her plans of reopening a daycare inside, on hold. “I’ll never forget that day it was on a Friday, I turned on the TV and it said 8 Days of Hope,” she said. “It said if you need any repairs come and apply and I did that. I’m like, ‘God, Is this what you were telling me to wait for?”
She’s one of hundreds in Buffalo’s University District being helped out through the program. More than 1500 volunteers from all over the country are donating their time and skills.
“They’ve been sleeping on air mattresses in local churches , waking up at 6 in the morning and they are loving and serving families in need right here in Buffalo,” said Eight Days of Hope President, Stephen Tybor. “It’s been an amazing start.”
A group of them are dedicated to fixing up Janet’s pipes. “We break bread together, we pray together. We’re brainstorming coming together to see what needs to be done,” she said. “But I thank God for this. Who would’ve ever though this would happen in Buffalo?”
Eight Days of Hope travels across the country, helping those recovering from national disasters. The president of the organization, Stephen Tybor is a Buffalo native .. and wanted to give back here at home. “We have goosebumps right? This means something to us,” he said. “I grew up here, I went to high school here and now we’re back home.”
And those who also call Buffalo home like Janet, say the experience has been life changing. “I’m just blessed and I’m thankful and it’s a joy to be able to say, wow I can’t believe it,” she said. “God’s work.”
There are still four days to go in the Eight Days of Hope effort. The group surpassed its goal of 100 homes and is currently working on 178 throughout the University District in Buffalo.