BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — This Easter Sunday, many people will be enjoying some form of a socially distanced dinner with family at home.
But what about those who have no home to go to? One buffalo woman is making sure no one is forgotten.
In 2013, Evette Phillips-Garcia was a nurse with a big heart. But when she got hurt, she found herself on disability and welfare.
This put her in a tough spot, having four small kids at home, but to show her children that even during hard times, gratitude is the best attitude, she came up with an idea to help her family see perspective.
“I would drive them to downtown Buffalo under the Michigan Street bridge so they could see the homeless. Not to mock them but so they can see reality like we may not have food or clothing but we have a roof over our head. And I always wanted to do something for them or think I could make a difference and I was like I can’t make a difference but one day god was like, yes you can!,” said Phillips-Garcia.
Taking her last 30 food stamps, she bought sandwiches, apples and water to distribute to others who’d fallen on hard times.
And suddenly, “We R Buffalo Strong” was born. Eight years later, what started as a one-woman mission now meets two times a month to provide food, clothing and snacks to the Queen City’s homeless men, women and vets.
On Easter Sunday, they’re hosting their big event near the buffalo public library. And the mission is simple: to bring supplies and restore dignity to people who’ve experienced tough times without judgment.
“I love what I do. I love what I do. And I’m so grateful that everyone that volunteers and donates food believes in the mission. We don’t have to agree on politics, religion, race, none of that but we agree that buffalo needs help serving our homeless and getting them off the streets.”
Evette makes it clear that this is for anyone who needs a hot meal or clean clothes. Having been on the receiving end of Buffalo’s kindness before, she knows firsthand why needing help is not a crime.
It’s the very reason she says she’ll never give up on the city of good neighbors because Buffalo never gave up on her.
“I just want, when I’m gone, someone to say, “Everything bad that happened to Evette, she was still able to get out there and make a difference.” that’s the legacy I want to leave.”
If you know someone who could benefit from We R Buffalo Strong’s donations, invite them to come to the public library on Sunday, April 4 at 12 p.m. or visit their Facebook page for more information.