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Buffalo Peacemakers and Western New York businesses partner to help the community

Posted at 10:28 PM, Mar 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-09 22:41:49-05

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Businesses and community leaders are working together to make Buffalo's streets safer.

"I think it's everybody's responsibility in the community to make things better," Mary Szabat, Vice President and Financial Planner at Keybank, said.

"Because violence effects everyone. The quality about how we're caring about violence also effects everyone," Pastor James Giles, the coordinator of Buffalo Peacemakers, said.

Dozens of Western New York businesses have come forward to support the Peacemakers as violence among Buffalo's youth increases.

"A lot of it is by way of food for the summer program they run. We were able to support some of the nutritional work they were doing, teaching kids about healthy eating," Michele Mehaffy, the spokesperson for Wegmans, said.

"Financial support is critical. These folks are out there every single day trying to help our young people, really combating violent situations, standing on street corners to protect our children so they can get on school buses and feel comfortable, so funding is huge," Szabat said.

Businesses have donated $130,000 to the organization over the past year. They have also given food, backpacks, blankets and more.

"All of that is needed to effectively do what we do," Pastor Giles said.

"I think that that's so important to be able to have an organization that's able to do that and make the connections. I think we're really lucky in Western New York to have the Peacemakers," Mehaffy said.