Ladies of Charity was first brought to Buffalo in 1941. We own our own store at 1122 Broadway in Buffalo and operate several charitable ventures out of the store. We are open for five days a week as a thrift store. We are also open one Saturday a month for customer convenience. We sell clothes for men, women, and children, books and toys, watches and costume jewelry, cards for all occasions, and other small items.
Upstairs we have the Fresh Start Program for people needing help in starting over after a calamity, fire, flood, or domestic violence. People receive a referral from Catholic charities and orders are filled for clothing, small appliances, pots and pans, dishes, bedding and towels, silverware, drapes and curtains, glasses and cups, and personal care products by Ladies of Charity volunteers. Another department, called Layettes, provides new mothers with blankets, bedding, outfits, and diapers for their babies. Many of these items are hand knit by Ladies of Charity or sewn by our volunteers on the sewing machine.
The store also has a Christmas Toy Program and a Back Pack Program for schoolchildren. Christmas toys are donated all year long and stored upstairs on the third floor and then given to children in need at Christmas time. School supplies are provided from donations from around Western New York and then placed in the donated back packs at the store. Then the filled back packs are distributed to the children before the school year starts.
The Ladies of Charity conduct various fund raisers year round including a Style Show in September, a wine and cheese basket raffle, and lucky number draws twice a year.
For fun the ladies go on a Ladies Day Out every July and we try to visit an outlying parish LOC group in the diocese every year during June at an event called Out of Town Day.
Every May we have a Mass of Remembrance and Enrollment where we remember our deceased members and enroll new ones who receive their crucifix at that time. We also have special service days throughout the year including World Day of the Poor in November.
About the Author: Holly serves on the Diocesan Board as the advocacy chair and as the Spiritual Moderator for the board and the diocese. Other board members represent various departments in the store and other activities such as the Reading Enrichment Program, Junior Ladies of Charity, Scholarships, and the Charity Link Newsletter. We meet once a month most months of the year.