The basement of the the Response to Love Center on Buffalo's East side is barren for the time being. A few dozen chairs and tables, no decorations and no food... yet.
“I’m getting older every year but giving never gets old," Director, Sister Johnice, says. “This is positive, this is the positive church in action, this is what we are about.”
Thanksgiving at the Response to Love Center takes a week of preparation. Sister Johnice says she's anticipating 250 people from all walks of life to enjoy 35 prepared turkeys, stuffing and cranberry sauce.
“What we’re doing is not work and it’s not a job, it’s a mission," Sister Johnice says. “I’m privileged to serve the underprivileged.”
To Sister Johnice and her Assistant Director, Michael Gilhooly, the church isn't a building, because God isn't only in the church- he's in their mission. Gilhooly attests the 'paradigm shift' in his life to the presence of Sister Johnice around him.
“If you only help one, that’s help for that person that they wouldn’t have had if we weren’t here. That’s how important this is and it’s taken over my entire existence pretty much, and it’s a wonderful thing," Gilhooly says. “At the end of the day I can look at myself in the mirror and say, you know what I had a fantastic day, I did nothing but help people all day long.”
Thanksgiving dinner will take place from 10 am until noon on Thursday.