ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB)- It was a day of lots of love and hope Saturday when dozens of cars showed up in Orchard Park for a special edition of Hunter’s Day of Hope and Prayer for Children.
The annual event hosted by Jim and Jill Kelly usually takes place in the fieldhouse at Bills Stadium, but due to COVID restrictions, they had families drive up and grab a gift bag and a special stuffed panda bear to take home.
“We know that the kids who are getting these are so blessed today and it’s an opportunity once again to reach out to Western New York and say we love you and we’re here. And we do it on Valentine’s Day weekend because it’s Jim’s birthday and Hunter’s birthday,” Jill said.
The couple created Hunter’s Hope in 1997 after their son Hunter, born on February 14 of that year, was diagnosed with Krabbe Leukodystrophy, an inherited fatal nervous system disease.
” With Hunter, you wonder why sometimes, but if we’re making a difference for kids right here in Western New York and now across the country I know why I was the chosen father, ” Jim said.
Both Jim and Jill Kelly shared a virtual prayer after the event that you can find on the Hunter’s Hope website.
HUNTER’S HOPE: I’m back on my #Bills beat with the legendary @JimKelly1212 and @jillmkelly12 at their special giveaway for @HuntersHopeFDN ! How they’re continuing to help children in WNY on @news4buffalo pic.twitter.com/fja126EvXh— Kelly Khatib (@KellyKhatibtv) February 13, 2021
The organization recently announced a partnership with the following organizations that help children in Western New York:
- Center for Handicapped Children
- Holy Childhood
- Mary Cariola Center
- The Arc (Genesee/Orleans)
- Golisano Children’s Hospital
- Oishei Children’s Hospital of Buffalo
- Family Help Center
- Genesee County Department of Social Services
For more information on Hunter’s Hope and how you can help, click here.
Kelly Khatib is a digital reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.