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Nonprofit helping victims of violence celebrate Christmas low on donations

Posted at 6:22 PM, Dec 21, 2022

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — GYC Ministries is asking the community to help victims of violence celebrate Christmas. The group is short on donations again.

"A lot of the times, in this area code, in the 14208, the 14211, 14212, we're sort of like overlooked when it comes to giving back to the community," Pastor Tim Newkirk of GYC Ministries, said.

Each year, GYC Ministries hosts a Christmas celebration for the families of homicide victims. This year the invitation has been extended to those affected by the Tops mass shooting.

"They eat here. We have music. We have Black Santa," Pastor Newkirk said, "We don't know how much that means to a family when they lose someone, and then around the holiday time they begin to fill that void and that space missing. A lot of times they think that's what Santa, that's what they feel Christmas can bring."

Pastor Newkirk said the children who attend don't ask for presents under the tree.

"They're asking to feel safe. They want to be normal. In a lot of cases, they want their loved ones replaced. They want their loved ones there because that's what they're missing, a physical body," Pastor Newkirk said.

Those interested in donating can drop off toys at Johnnie B. Wiley Stadium between 10:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. any day leading up to Christmas. You can donate to their GoFundMe.

"This year is a little bit low, but I believe in the City of Good Neighbors and in Buffalo and all of our corporations and all of our partners will see this. It's never too late to be a buzzer-beater in Buffalo. That's what we do. We get together and we rally around the wagon," Pastor Newkirk said.