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A Moment of Grace in the Garden

Updated: Aug 4


Danny Brink-Washington, Cassandra Calhoun and Aimee Bloom take a break to pose for a photo in front of the Buffalo City Mission’s Cornerstone Manor.

Rooted in the community, Buffalo Commons is cultivating a learning environment that supports each student’s unique place in the world by providing students with authentic learning experiences beyond reading, writing, and arithmetic. We recognize that, for students to understand who they are as an individual fully, they need to have collective experiences that will set them up for future success. Understanding that we all bring unique talents to the table, Buffalo Commons is invested in ensuring that we live by example as leaders and educators. As such, we will be devoting our time by giving back to the community and fostering positive relationships with various organizations.


Last week we kicked off our “100 Days, 100 Hours” volunteer campaign by helping beautify the gardens of our neighbor: Buffalo City Mission’s Cornerstone Manor. The “Cornerstone Manor is not simply a place which offers food and shelter to those in need, it is a place that helps restore hope and changing lives by providing our clients with the education and skill training needed to lift them out of poverty and eliminate their need for government support.” Making the connection to Cornerstone Manor was important to us, as we felt the urgency to support an organization that offers a variety of supports, services, and programming to assist the homeless population in Buffalo, NY.


The Buffalo Commons crew was greeted with warm smiles and kind words of appreciation from the moment we arrived at Cornerstone. The Mission staff instantly made us feel welcome and a part of the City Mission family. While landscaping may at first glance seem like something tiny and unimportant when trying to support solutions for something as big and daunting as homelessness, our partners at Cornerstone made clear a very simple and enduring truth: no volunteering effort is too small, and even a small amount of time devoted to beautifying the garden can end up restoring someone’s sense of hope in that moment when they see themselves in a beautiful, caring place. These little actions can communicate tremendous value.


The Buffalo Commons family is excited to continue our relationship with The Buffalo City Mission and plan on investing more time over the next couple of months in things like leading a craft night with the families who seek refuge at Cornerstone Manor. Additionally, with an eye toward the future, Buffalo Commons will begin integrating and adapting portions of City Mission’s service-learning curriculum into our social studies classes, so that our students can learn about and join the work toward the common good that is going on in our community!


If you are interested in joining us in our volunteering efforts at City Mission or elsewhere, please contact us at hello@buffalocommonscharter.org.


Supporting City Mission On Your Own

Volunteering at The Buffalo City Mission was extremely rewarding. From the application process to the first day that we volunteered, the experience was well organized and straightforward.


So, how does one volunteer their time to support and care for those who are struggling with homelessness?


The best way to start is to visit their website at buffalocitymission.org and complete the volunteer application under the volunteer tab on our homepage. The Buffalo City Mission has a plethora of opportunities for you to sign up for! From gardening to game night to assisting in the kitchen, The Buffalo City Mission has many options to fit your unique skill set or interest. The application process only takes a few moments to complete. After your application has been submitted, you then schedule a quick orientation to become familiar with the Buffalo City Mission’s volunteer program.


Of course, there are other ways in which you can support The Buffalo City Mission. By visiting The Mission’s website, you can also provide monetary donations, community drives and goods donations, as well as supporting The Buffalo City Mission through their Amazon Wishlist.