Ways to support local in our city (and yours) while social distancing.

A message from CW Gives Back, our company philanthropic committee: We hope you and yours are safe, healthy, and doing well. If you are able and looking to support the Buffalo community, here are a few ways to help local businesses and charities.


Monetary Donations.

Nonprofits: Many nonprofits serving the most vulnerable members of the community are asking for monetary donations because volunteer opportunities are limited due to the urge to practice social distancing. If you have an organization you regularly support, consider providing an online donation today, or consider WNY COVID-19 Community Response Fund, Direct Relief, the United Nations, Feeding America, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Homeless shelters: People experiencing homelessness are already at the greatest risk during an outbreak. Call around to local shelters and ask how you can donate money, food, or supplies. A couple that are close to our hearts are Friends of Night People and Family Promise of WNY.

Local restaurants and small businesses: Many local restaurants are still open for takeout or delivery, and they may have gift cards available for purchase as well. If you are passionate about supporting small businesses through this crisis, use social media to directly contact them – some will personally shop for you and mail your items or arrange a pickup. Step Out Buffalo has curated a fantastic list of which businesses are still open locally. And here are a couple of businesses with ways to give back built into ordering:

  • Hartman’s Distilling. With every purchase of bottled hand sanitizer, made by the new distillery in Buffalo, Hartman’s is donating an ounce of hand sanitizer to local charities in need.
  • Stock the Freezer by Osteria 166. Donate a meal for $8 – the donation can be done outright or as an add-on to your order of delicious Osteria food!


Volunteer Opportunities.

Give blood: Many blood collection events have been canceled, leading to massive blood shortages. Schedule an appointment to donate in WNY.

 Deliver meals: There is currently an urgent need for volunteers with Meals on Wheels, especially in Niagara County. Not only do homebound seniors rely on these meals, but the daily food delivery also doubles as a welfare check-in.

Adopt a grandparent: This global program matches you “pen-pal style” with someone who is elderly and therefore especially vulnerable and isolated right now.

Help your neighbors: Sign up for the Nextdoor app, where you can likely find more hyper-localized opportunities to help your neighbors.


Because things are moving fast, please keep attuned to the latest guidance for your region (both state and local) on staying safe and healthy as you consider any of these opportunities.