For a second consecutive year, Buffalo Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick is helping two area families that are attempting to rebuild after losing everything in separate fires this year feel at home for the holidays. Thanks to a generous donation through the United Way of Buffalo and Erie County, Fitzpatrick and his family have provided toys for the children, computers for school, furniture and much more to help these families on the road to recovery. The Fitzpatrick family had the opportunity to meet the recipients of their generosity and personally deliver some of the gifts during a private meeting Friday evening at the Administrative Headquarters of the American Red Cross, Serving Erie & Niagara Counties. Due to concerns regarding client confidentiality, the recipients of these gifts will remain anonymous.
“These families have been through so much this year, losing everything in the blink of an eye,” Fitzpatrick said. “We hope these gifts help to lift their spirits, especially during this holiday season.”
The families have been receiving assistance from the American Red Cross since their respective disasters. “A fire or other life-changing disaster can happen to anyone at anytime,” Fitzpatrick said. “If everyone who watches me play on Sundays joined my family in helping our neighbors in need by giving a gift to the Red Cross this holiday, it would make a huge difference for our neighbors in need throughout Western New York.”
Last year, 1,046 people in Erie and Niagara Counties received food, clothing, shelter and support from the Red Cross following a fire or other disaster. All assistance is free, and the Red Cross relies on the generosity of the American public to provide these vital services in the community.
The American Red Cross joins the Fitzpatrick family in encouraging Western New Yorkers to “Give Something That Means Something” this holiday season. The 2012 Holiday Giving Catalog includes a variety of symbolic gifts that support Red Cross programs. Donors can help vaccinate an entire village in a third world country, provide food and shelter to a disaster victim, help purchase items like phone cards and supplies for members of the Armed Forces or help supply basic necessities to families in desperate need across the world. Catalog purchases also come with greeting cards than can be sent to your friends and family when you make a donation in lieu of a gift and to show others your Red Cross support during the holidays. The purchase of each gift item is a tax-deductible contribution and provides support to the mission of the Red Cross. Please visit http://www.redcross.org/gifts to order your gift today.
“We are so thankful that Ryan Fitzpatrick and his family have chosen to help these families that were touched by disaster this year,” said Nancy Blaschak, Executive Director of the American Red Cross, Serving Erie & Niagara Counties. “The Red Cross helps people in need everywhere and every day, and financial donations are critical to allowing us to serve the Western New York community throughout the year.”