From providing food and other necessities to those in need to adding new programs and events, 2020 promises to be a busy year at the Bread of Life Outreach (BOLO) Center in Colden. And thanks to two grants totaling $105,000, those improvements and additions will be very noticeable.
In 2019, BOLO provided food for 29,695 meals; served 3,153 individuals; provided 76 filled backpacks for school-age children; 50-plus coats, boots, hats and mittens for children; 98 Thanksgiving meals; 110 Christmas meals; 400-plus Christmas gifts; $15,567 for client clothing allowances; and facilitated winter readiness with National Fuel for 160 people,” said BOLO Executive Director Pat Thoman, who expects those numbers to continue to grow in 2020.
The New Year has also brought good news to Bread of Life Outreach as the organization was named the recent recipient of a $5,000 grant from the Josephine Goodyear Foundation to help provide education and healthy food options to food pantry members. The organization is excited to develop this program in cooperation with FeedMore WNY and a local chef.
And the good news just kept coming. Through a lot of hard work and in cooperation with Town of Colden officials, BOLO has been awarded a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) for $100,000! “The public will soon be seeing a lot of changes on our campus, making this coming summer very busy and exciting,” said Thoman.
For those with a few hours to spare or students seeking community service hours, BOLO will host a Day of Service on MLK Day, Jan. 20, from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. Volunteers are needed to help with general cleaning and other small projects. Please call 941-3550 to volunteer or for more information.
The Cherry Picker, the future home of BOLO’s nonprofit retail store, is moving right along under a great team of volunteers led by Paul Werner. The group has made amazing progress restoring a very old structure to a safe, more energy-efficient usable space.
“There are a lot of major projects that need completion before a proposed opening date can be set at The Cherry Picker,” said Thoman. “We are continuing to wait for a New York State-funded grant to be approved to complete this project. Meanwhile, stop by the Cherry Picker at 8795 State Road any Tuesday evening from 5 to 8 p.m. or Friday morning from 9 a.m. to noon to see the progress and join the great team of volunteers!”
Also on the good news front, the Boston Colden Chamber of Commerce has chosen the Bread of Life Outreach Center as its Nonprofit Organization of the Year! The award will be presented at the chamber’s awards dinner at 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 23 at The Tipsy Goat, 9504 Heath Road, Colden. For ticket information, please call or text Thoman at 863-9892.
Located at 8745 Supervisor Ave. in Colden, Bread of Life Outreach serves the towns of Aurora, Boston, Colden, Concord and Holland, and is a Christian ecumenical ministry of love and compassion which recognizes the dignity of all. For more information, please visit www.breadoflifecolden.com or follow the organization on Facebook or Instagram for frequent updates.