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More About Our Organization

While the original vision for Hearts and Hands was to serve one rural community, demand for our services has driven a new vision of serving all of WNY. Our dedicated volunteers continue to amaze by driving over 100,000 miles a year and getting our care recipients where they need to go throughout the region. They also provide non-medical supports in the home of the care recipient delaying the need for institutional healthcare.

Volunteers are recruited from all over WNY and our care recipients are referred through our community partners including our interfaith coalition, local service organizations, fellow not for profits and governmental agencies. Additional resources allow us to expand our presence with a local branch office.

Legislator Rath announces additional funding for Hearts and Hands

(ERIE COUNTY, NY) – Erie County Legislator Edward A. Rath, III is pleased to announce that the Legislature has supported his request for $7,500 in funding for Hearts and Hands in the 2017 Erie County budget. The Legislature approved the funding at the Dec. 6, 2016 Budget Meeting to assist the organization in its efforts. “Hearts and Hands provides a critical service to many towns in our community and is a lifeline for many residents. During the past few years the organization has grown significantly and I know this funding comes at a critical time in its development,” said Legislator Rath. “Hearts and Hands receives many requests for transportation for aging adults and people with physical challenges.  All our services are free and provided by trained volunteers.  The funds we receive from the Legislature, championed for us by Legislator Rath, help us better respond to those requests.   For some care receivers, the rides for medical appointments, grocery trips and social visits, are the only times they leave their homes each week.  These funds truly help improve the health and well-being for hundreds of care receivers,” said Kathleen Oczek, Executive Director of Hearts and Hands. The additional funding was added into the 2017 budget without increasing overall spending in the next fiscal year. In fact, the property tax rate will decrease for the third consecutive year. For information or assistance, please contact Legislator Rath’s Legislative Office at (716) 858-8676 or email... read more

Tuesday, Nov. 29: Make #NYGivesDay and Hearts and Hands part of your Holiday

You’ve heard of Black Friday and Cyber Monday.  But here’s another twist on the holiday planning season—how about #NYGivesDay? #GivingTuesday takes place annually on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, and is now in its 5th year.  NY Gives Day is an extension of this blooming tradition, encouraging people to use social media not only to donate, but to reach out to their communities in new ways and become involved. “We have a day for giving thanks. We have two for getting deals. Now, we have #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back,” says the Giving Tuesday website. On Tuesday, November 29, 2016, charities, families, businesses, community centers, and students all over the state will come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give. Donations are not the only way to support us on #NYGivesDay. One way to help is by creating an “unselfie”—an example is shown above.  Write “Hearts and Hands” on a piece of paper, and something as simple as “I volunteer!” or “Neighbors Helping Neighbors!” Tell us your reason for volunteering in your community. Share your “unselfie” on Twitter, Facebook and through email.  Add #NYGivesDay and @hnhcares to your post.  Be creative–you’ll be helping to spread the word about your involvement with Hearts and Hands. Save the date and join us on our state-wide celebration of generosity and giving back! Save the Date! Visit Our... read more

New York Life Awards H&H $10,000

Hearts and Hands was recently awarded a $10,000 Community Impact Grant from New York Life.  The grant will support transportation and services for more than 750 care receivers being served through Hearts and Hands by nearly 300 volunteers “We are grateful for New York Life’s investment in Hearts and Hands, which will change many lives for the better,” said Kathleen Oczek, Executive Director.  “Without the support from New York Life, we wouldn’t be able to provide the assistance that enables our volunteers to serve our care receivers.” “I’m proud to work for a company that encourages its agents and employees to devote their time, energy and talents to support the needs and priorities of their local community,” said Kathleen M. Flynn, Agent with the company’s Lockport General Office, who also serves as the Chairperson of the Hearts and Hands Board of Directors. “We are pleased that our partnership will have a long-lasting impact on Hearts and Hands and the population they serve.” The Community Impact Grant program awards grants of up to $25,000 to local nonprofit organizations which are championed by New York Life agents and employees to serve the needs of their local communities. Since the program’s inception in 2008, 402 grants totaling more than $5 million have been awarded to nonprofits across the... read more