In 2007, when Buffalo ReUse first moved to the East Side and set up its storefront at 298 Northampton Street, we made a commitment to the Cold Spring/Masten Park neighborhood. We committed to provide services to assist residents at the epicenter of the vacancy crisis in Buffalo. We offered workshops, mentored and trained young adults, hosted volunteers from all over the region, and of course offered affordable building materials to assist homeowners in making needed repairs to their homes.
In 2010, though many of the founders were fired from the staff, our commitment to the neighborhood endured. Many of us have started businesses here and purchased homes. Caesandra Seawell developed and managed perhaps the most holistic, inclusive and creative community garden in the city at Pelion Garden across the street from City Honors High School. Megan McNally, Sarah Fonzi, Russ Reinagel and Kevin Hayes created space, business supports, and educational programming for emerging entrepreneurs at The Foundry. And I started ReUse Action, to continue our work in the ReUse Industry and train young adults through collaborations with the Outsource Center.
Today, Buffalo ReUse’s role is changing and shifting. The Founders are now its newest Board of Directors, and we are determined to pick up where we left off in 2010, with improving the quality of life for the residents of Masten Park/Cold Spring.
Though our resources are limited, we’re eager to help right now, today, as residents work to overcome the burden of the blizzard. Today, we’ll be coordinating with Betty Jean Grant and other local community leaders to identify residents in need of emergency plumbing repairs or essential workers who are buried and need assistance to fulfill their roles as public servants.
If you know of residents in distress, please leave a message at 716-218-9401 and we’ll do our best to create a triage list prioritizing the most pressing and urgent needs. This effort will continue throughout the week. As more power is restored, broken pipes and other challenges will likely become evident and we’d like to help if we can.
Please share specifically with your East Side networks. Though we are committed to the entire Buffalo community in our day to day work, our neighborhood must take priority at this time.
If you have plumbing skills or a strong back and would like to volunteer with this effort, please message me as well. It takes a village!
Onward and thanks!
Michael Gainer, Board Chair, Buffalo ReUse