The Buffalo Bills are stepping up as leaders in the local community following the violent mass shooting that rocked the city on Saturday. The spree by a self-professed white supremacist specifically targeted a largely Black neighborhood grocery store, leaving ten dead and three more shot and injured. In the wake of the deadly attack, the Bills have collected multiple resources to help folks directly impacted by the shooting as well as the community at large.
First and foremost, the Bills are throwing their collective weight behind the newly established “Buffalo Together Fund.” There are two separate funds inside—the Buffalo 5/14 Survivors Fund and the Community Response Fund.
The Buffalo 5/14 Survivors Fund will directly assist those who were at the supermarket and were impacted by the attack. Tops Friendly Markets donated the first $500,000 to the Buffalo 5/14 Survivors Fund.
In partnership with Tops, the National Compassion Fund has established the Buffalo 5/14 Survivors Fund to provide direct financial assistance to the survivors of the deceased and those directly affected by this tragedy.
One hundred percent (100%) of the contributions donated to this fund will go directly to victims and survivors of this atrocity. Qualifying charitable donations to this fund are tax deductible.
The Community Response Fund’s aim is much larger in scope. With immediate needs for a community without its supermarket, to big picture projects designed to combat longstanding problems, this fund will cast a much wider net.
Comprised of local philanthropic organizations, this collaborative effort is built upon our collective desire to take action and to work to address immediate needs in our community, long-term community rebuilding, and systemic issues that have marginalized communities of color. While still in the early stages of development, the group will listen and learn from communities of color to develop specific guiding principles and processes for directing the fund’s resources.
Also at the Buffalo Bills’ community page, you can find links for help with food if you live on the East Side of Buffalo and are impacted by the closure of the grocery store, access mental health services as you manage the trauma, plus access information on how to help overcome racism in the local community and spread peace. If you’d like to donate money directly to aid organizations, links are available on the site, as well.
The Bills have also used their social media presence not just to express shock or caring for the victims, but also to call for change in everyone’s hearts and minds.
“STOP HATE. END RACISM. CHOOSE LOVE.” says the simple but powerful message from the Bills.
We’re sure this is just the beginning of what the Bills organization and their personnel are going to do in response to the horrific attack on the City of Buffalo. We’ll keep you updated.
Former Bills running back Thurman Thomas is also leading a fundraising campaign through his foundation. If you want more information or to donate, head over here. Jim Kelly, Bruce Smith, and Andre Reed will join Thomas later this week to support the victims and their families.