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Thursday, July 31, 2014

St. Luke's Mission of Mercy is the designated charity of the Buffalo Niagara Association of REALTORS® for 2014.

St. Luke's has provided care and hope to the less fortunate of the East side of Buffalo since 1928. It is a glorious church with a stunning architectural dome, spectacular glass windows and hand carved ceilings reminiscent of the churches in Rome, Italy. 

St. Luke's was abandoned and closed by the Diocese in 1991. People of tremendous faith stepped up to purchase the church from the Diocese. I call the co-founders, Amy Betros, Norm Paolini and Michael Taheri the "Good and Faithful" in our community.
Through the generous donations of caring people, St. Luke's was restored to its original beauty and once again open for public worship.
The landscape around the mission has changed over the years. Abandoned homes were purchased by St. Luke's and renovated through the help of local contractors. Today these homes provide shelter to homeless families.  It is the philosophy of St. Luke's to keep families together through a difficult time in their lives.
The children of theses families attend Our Lady of Hope school for free.  The school has been in existence for 8 years and provides education to Pre-K through 8th grade. Although faced with many socioeconomic challenges, this school and other educational programs on St. Luke's campus continue to thrive and its students enjoy great success.
The graduates of Our Lady of Hope school succeed at many different academic levels including making merit and honor roles at their respective high schools and going on to earn college scholarships at Trocaire and Canisius College.
In 2009 the school expanded its educational support by offering tutoring and mentors for high school students who attended school in the City of Buffalo. This is known as the East Side Prep Program.


Volunteers from all walks of life offer academic support and mentoring services to students enrolled in the East Side Prep Program. Education is a big component at St. Luke's. 


Providing food, shelter and clothing is an additional component. Everyday St. Luke's provides lunch for more than 100 people in need. This past winter St. Luke's opened its doors 49 Code Blue nights to homeless people offering them food, warmth, a bed, and most of all, a safe place.


St. Luke's has a mini-mall providing free clothing and recently opened a baby store that provides young mothers with new born necessities.


I have personally met with the staff and co-founders, along with dozens of the volunteers who come in great numbers to assist St. Luke's. Over 6,000 families were given food and toys to help during last years holiday season.


What is amazing is the tremendous gratitude by staff and volunteers to everyone that offers helps to St. Luke's.  The size of the donation doesn't matter. 


The Buffalo Niagara Association of REALTORS® is using all its resources to assist St. Luke's. The BNAR is currently collecting school supplies and backpacks for St. Luke's through the end of August. Please be generous and deliver your donations to the BNAR or call Debbie Norman at 716-636-9000 for pick-up at your location. Used furniture is also needed and can be donated by calling St. Luke's directly at 716-892-4728. Pick-up of furniture can be provided.


Something to remember, St. Luke's never turns anyone away who come to their door in need. 
Thank you for your support!


Christie Rothschild, 2014 BNAR PRESIDENT
Buffalo Niagara Association of REALTORS®,  Real Estate Associte Broker
501 John James Audubon Pkwy, Amherst, New York 14228  •  ph 716.689.7800 • crothschild@mjpeterson.com