The West Herr group has donated $300,000 for grief counseling and related expenses to the families affected by this tragedy. Matt Lasher, director of marketing at West Herr joined u on AM Buffalo to tell us more.
Matt Lasher says “our company is led by Scott Bieler, president and CEO and one of his core values is urgency and Saturday afternoon as the news was unfolding, he came up this plan, to really want to commit some funds to directly impact and help victim’s families by this tragic awful event.”
When asked how he felt about this happening in his community, he says, “It is a complicated issue; I think it unfortunately brings to the surface a lot of uncomfortable truths that our community has to face, in terms of deeply segregated black and white communities. He goes on to say West Herr is comprised of 2,600 people of all makes, colors, shapes, sizes and we have friends and family in the East Side, we know victims who happen to be customers of ours, we are all impacted, we are in this together, unfortunately and there is no easy answer to some of these issues that have been formed over generations.”
He says, “It is great to see all the businesses coming together and these wonderful donations and we all recognize that money is not really going to solve all the issues that exist here but hopefully it help the families and the community that has been severely impacted and that’s what we are here for. He says we should acknowledge the community leaders, the church leaders, the Peacemakers, all the people on the streets helping the community directly, Rooted in Love, Buffalo Food Kitchen, all these folks who are trying to mobilize and crate distribution of food and access, you know diapers, and formula are desperately needed for these kids in the city and the East Side. There is a lot of need and a lot of challenges, but the community is coming together and it’s inspiring to see.”
Matt tells Melanie Camp, “One more idea to challenge the business community in Western New York, I think especially white owned businesses should really being critical about providing access and seats at the table for people of color and make sure we are providing equitable opportunities for all and then there is an opportunity to invest in black owned businesses specifically and helping he community create a solid foundation that can bring us up out of this.”