“What I saw touched something in my heart,” recalls Gail after touring Cornerstone Manor.
Buffalo City Mission and our women and children’s shelter, Cornerstone Manor, could not exist without dedicated volunteers. We rely heavily on our volunteers, be they people who serve meals in our kitchen, assist our receiving department with donations or host collection drives for much needed items. One such volunteer seems to do it all—but she doesn’t do it for the recognition.
After she retired, Gail wanted to do something that helped women and children. She did some research and discovered Cornerstone Manor, Buffalo City Mission’s Women and Children’s Shelter. She set up a tour and right away knew she was in the right place. “What I saw touched something in my heart,” recalls Gail. She started arranging collection drives at her home for new items to donate to the women and children. She held her first fundraiser in October 2018 and the turnout was tremendous. After such success she decided to hold a second fundraiser in December that year for Christmas presents for the residents at Cornerstone Manor.
Gail soon set out to find more ways to help Cornerstone. The emergency shelter room which is the first place the women encounter needed some sprucing up. She got donations from different sources and got it painted, acquired new décor for the wall and is in the process of looking for new furniture to furnish it with. Gail was determined to get new tablecloths for the dining room too; she successfully acquired some and color coordinated it all. “I know…when you’re feeling down, scared or don’t know what to do can make a world of difference in your mood,” says Gail. “So by cheering everything up, that’s kind of what I’ve been doing here.”
Gail is the go-to when supplies are low. She got a call from the Mission back in September alerting her underwear was running low. She contacted some people, got several donations and completely stocked the shelves. “I like to be the person they feel they can rely on,” says Gail. Her one son works for the Bose Corporation, a company which predominantly sells audio equipment and he donated a Bose system to the shelter; her other son is the person who donated the money used to acquire the tablecloths. “I always come in when my car is full of donations,” says Gail.
She noticed during her many volunteer hours at Cornerstone that there were several books available for the children to read but few for the women. So she started acquiring various books, expanding on what was available and eventually hopes the collection will grow to a complete library for the women to take advantage of.
Gail knows how precious Cornerstone Manor is for the women and children and this community. When she was going through her own hard times, nothing like Cornerstone Manor existed. “I didn’t have anybody to guide me or help me with education or daycare or a safe place to stay.” Now a place like that does exist and with volunteers like Gail, Cornerstone Manor can continue to help those women in need. Gail has become an indispensable volunteer who keeps Buffalo City Mission functioning and we are so grateful for her dedicated service!