Friday, July 7, 2017

Jewish Community Center Makes Great Partners

At about 4am the morning of Monday, June 26, the Buffalo Fire Department was called to a fire at an apartment complex on Elmwood Avenue.  Red Cross volunteers responded right away, and provided immediate emergency assistance including shelter and food for the families in the three unites that were directly affected. Later, the Western New York Chapter received a call regarding a gas leak that was preventing the entire apartment from having any hot water. After speaking with the management of the Elmwood apartment complex, it was determined that all residents needed access to hot showers as soon as possible.

Our Disaster Department reached out to the Jewish Community Center. The JCC was there when we called for help, offering residents of the Elmwood apartment use of their shower facilities from 5:30 am-8 pm for nearly a week.
The Jewish Community Center of Greater Buffalo
on Delaware Avenue
“It has been a pleasure and a great experience working with Red Cross on this, and we were happy to help,” said Rick Zakalik, the Executive Director at the JCC of Greater Buffalo.   

Zakalik said that this isn’t the first time he and his team have teamed up with the Red Cross. Aside from generally being “friendly neighbors”, as he puts it (the Red Cross and JCC buildings are directly across from each other on Delaware Avenue), the JCC and Red Cross have teamed up before to help with emergencies in the Buffalo area.

“They (the JCC) have been great, accommodating and very welcoming” says Alexis Willard, Disaster Program Specialist for the Western New York Chapter. “There have been no issues from them”.

We are extremely grateful for the partnership we have developed with the JCC. A community disaster takes a community response, and there is no single agency that can meet all the needs of a community. Without partners like the JCC, the Red Cross would be unable to alone provide relief and comfort to our neighbors in need. Partners are a huge part of our back bone and play a huge role in how we are able to fulfill our mission. Thank you to the Jewish Community Center of Greater Buffalo for being the answer to our call and the solution we needed to help the people who needed us. If you'd like to learn more about how to support the Red Cross, as a partner, donor or volunteer, please visit

~Lily Kaufman
Communications Intern, WNY Chapter

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