NewsLocal NewsBuffalo Strong


Buffalo Strong: Nonprofit which collects toys for children of homicide victims low on donations

Black Santa and elf hoping more donors donate to toy drive
Posted at 7:34 PM, Dec 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-23 20:02:38-05

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Two days shy of Christmas, and a local nonprofit is still low on Christmas gift donations.

GYC Ministries has continued to put a smile on the faces of kids during the holidays, especially to those in crime-ridden communities.

As time ticks away, 7ABC explained how the community can help in the effort, in order for the nonprofit to keep Buffalo, strong.

Black Santa is on a mission to ensure children of Buffalo have presents to unwrap on Christmas morning.

"What we do is we step in and we actually try to be a blessing to the families in the communities that are lacking on Christmas Day. We try to feed them or give them food because many times they have gifts but nothing to eat. Many times they food or no toys, no products that go along with the Christmas Holiday," Pastor Tim Newkirk with GYC Ministries explained. "Black Santa is going to be here to distribute the toys, as well as giveaway food and take pictures."

Black Santa explained, "I'm at Johnny B. Wiley. I'm looking for all the boys and girls and kids of all ages, to give them toys. I come to bring Christmas toys in a season of giving."

Children of homicide victims are given the gifts on Christmas Day, at the Johnnie B. Wiley Amateur Athletic Sports Pavilion, on Jefferson Avenue, in Buffalo.

"We're just in a holiday spirit of giving," Pastor Tim added.

However, the toy drive, organized by GYC Ministries at the pavilion, is lacking in toys this year, due to the pandemic.

"We've been using community centers to giveaway the toys, to bring those that were victims of homicides and families, have them in a safe zone and a safe atmosphere to come and collect toys because a lot of times when they're in a homicide or something happens, they don't feel like coming back outside, they don't feel protected. They don't feel safe," Pastor Tim said.

A few donations have been coming in from City Hall, the Buffalo Police Department and Destiny's Beauty Supply Store, however, Pastor Tim fears the nonprofit will not have enough items, in time for Christmas Day.

"We really rely on donations. We really rely on sponsorship and people in the community. Hopefully, we can get somebody from the Buffalo Bills reach out and contact us because this is an opportunity for them to see somebody of that magnitude in this community," Pastor Tim said.

Regardless, he and his buddy, Black Santa, are working to put on, not only a day of giving toy to the kids who will arrive, but also 100 dinners.

"With an atmosphere just like the community center, we offer security, we offer a sense of warmth, and they can open up their toys and they can see their toys and they can have an opportunity of doing a little bit of playing with them," Pastor Tim said.

"Please tell your parents to come out and take pictures with Black Santa, get your pictures and have him hold you and tell you, 'Ho! Ho! Ho! Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!"

Anyone able to donate toys, can drop them off at the on Jefferson Street from now until Christmas Eve evening.

"We're still doing the toy drive all the way up until Christmas. We have a GoFundMe under GYC Ministry the Annual Toy Drive. You can also Cash App: $TimNewkirkGYC. That's the Cash App and we do the buying," Pastor Tim added.