Saturday, December 2, 2017

Boxes of Love aim to please thousands

For the past 19 years, Pastor Eric Johns of the Buffalo Dream Center, 286 Lafayette Ave., has been leading the charge in spreading holiday good will. Boxes of Love, a box of donations filled with food and gifts for local families, started when Pastor Johns and his wife, Michelle, realized that many of the families at the center couldn't afford gifts for Christmas. At its beginning, Boxes of Love raised enough money to help out 200 kids, but since then, it has grown into something that Johns said he could have never envisioned. Last year, the Johns helped nearly 3,000 families with food and gave Christmas gifts to 5,000 children.To be able to help out that many people takes a lot of time, volunteers and donations. Pastor Johns said that, last year alone, 80 businesses and organizations and about 1,000  volunteers donated their time to help the center make Boxes of Love possible. “We work really hard for a month wrapping the gifts, packing the food and sometimes it’s a lot of work and you get weary, but it’s all worth it when you’re at that distribution center and that little kid gets exactly what they wanted,” Johns said. “Moms come to me crying saying if it wasn't for you I wouldn't be able to do this and that brings us a lot of joy.” By Kelly Khatib and Michael Read