In partnership with Tops, the National Compassion Fund has established the Buffalo, New York 5/14 Survivors Fund to provide direct financial assistance to the survivors of the deceased. Tops has seeded it with $500,000.
On May 14, 2022, the Buffalo community suffered when a gunman opened fire at the Tops Friendly Market on Jefferson Avenue, killing 10 people and wounding three.
“What happened was ruthless and heartbreaking” said John Persons, president of Tops Friendly Markets. “Those that lost their lives will forever be in our hearts and will never be forgotten. Tops is committed to supporting those families affected and to help the community grieve and heal from this tragic event. We have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support and we thank everyone for their incredible kindness.”
One hundred percent of the contributions donated to the survivors fund will go directly to families of those deceased, as well as those injured and those who were present in the store and experienced psychological trauma. The company also hopes to partner with local and business leaders towards the fundraising.
Tops is also forming a local steering committee, comprising community and business leaders, to establish the eligibility and distribution policies for the fund. In the coming weeks, additional details will be provided. The fund will be managed and operated by the NCF.
“Our hearts go out to the entire Buffalo community,” said Jeffrey Dion, executive director of the National Compassion Fund. “We are honored to join forces with Tops Friendly Markets, the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, and VictimsFirst to increase charitable giving and help meet the overwhelming needs of the survivors of this atrocity. We stand in solidarity with all those impacted by gun violence.”
All who wish to sign up for updates on the progress of the fund and plans for distribution are asked to complete the contact form on the Compassion Fund website at nationalcompassionfund.org/ fund/buffalo-survivors-fund.
“We want to commend Tops for its thoughtful leadership in partnering with the National Compassion Fund to provide direct financial assistance to the survivors of the deceased and those directly affected by this tragedy,” said Clotilde Perez-Bode Dedecker, president and CEO of the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo.
“The Community Foundation has received an outpouring of support from near and far asking how to help our community move forward. In response, dozens of local funders have come together to establish the Buffalo Together Community Response Fund coordinated by the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo and United Way of Buffalo & Erie County. Together, we must double down – all of us, from every corner of Buffalo and beyond – to end racism. This is the only way to create real change and emerge from the darkness of this heinous act.”
For more information, visit BuffaloTogetherFund.org.