East Side mission has ‘prayers answered’ with $50K in donations

Local News

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – The community came through in a big way for St. Luke’s Mission of Mercy in Buffalo.

“I could cry,” said an emotional Amy Betros, co-founder of the mission on Walden Avenue.

“It’s just the awesomeness of all the people of Western New York and a beautiful bank like M&T,” she said.

Betros is talking about donations that came pouring in within the last 24-hours.

The biggest single donation, $25,000, came from M&T Bank.

News 4 reported earlier this week that the mission was unable to pay the full cost of a badly needed new roof on one of the main buildings.

The contractor had already started work, and the mission was about $30,000 short.

“Once M&T Bank learned about the need, they committed a donation of $25,000 to support this project. And that is a leadership gift, and frankly without we don’t know if we would have been able to complete the roof,” said Michael Taheri, a mission volunteer.

For more than two decades, St. Luke’s mission has been helping to feed, shelter and clothe the needy.

80-percent of everything the mission does happens inside the building with the bad roof.

“If the roof went we’d lose everything. So the contractor agreed to start with half. And I’ve always believed that, act like you already have it and god will take care of the rest,” Betros said.

“It meant more to us than we can ever even express,” she added.

In addition to M&T Bank’s donation, another $25,000 came in from other donors in the community, according to Taheri.

That’s more than enough to pay for the roof’s completion.

“With the additional funds, we can buy additional food for code blue, bedding, and laundry soap and really cover a lot of those expenses. That’s what’s so remarkable. This is a beautiful testament to the city of neighbors,” said Taheri.

“This is not a month long telethon. This is within 24-hours we identified the need and this community reached it,” Taheri added.

Taheri says it was important to move ahead with a new roof before the demand for more services increases during the colder months.

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