‘Buffalo Strong’ Seeks to Unite City in the Wake of Deadly Attack
BUFFALO – The deadly shooting at a Buffalo clinic Tuesday has led to a new initiative meant to help community members support one another.
Buffalo Strong is a web-based community hub for residents seeking ways to donate, volunteer, or find solidarity in the wake of the attack, which claimed the life of one person and injured four others.
The website includes links to donation funds for victims and their families, lists of mental health resources, and information on upcoming community events, along with t-shirts, masks and yard signs bearing the “Buffalo Strong” message.
Buffalo Police Chief Pat Budke says the idea for Buffalo Strong was presented by Mayor Teri Lachermeier during a Wednesday morning meeting involving representatives from numerous area agencies and organizations.
“(Lachermeier) was getting calls and texts from people asking ‘what can we do?” Budke said. “And she was trying to figure out a way to allow people to give and help the community start to heal and recover and pull together. There was a lot of social media buzz with people asking, ‘how can we help make things better?”
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Budke says the Buffalo Police Department has witnessed an outpouring of support in recent days – and the Buffalo Strong initiative will help guide community members eager to be of service.
“There was all this food coming through the door,” Budke explained. “People want to give. It’s so healthy for us to give, but at a certain point, we can’t use any more doughnuts at the Police Department. So, (Buffalo Strong) is something that will give them some direction and ideas.”
Buffalo’s population is currently well over 16,000 and continues to grow every year – but Budke says the community hasn’t lost its small town feeling.
“Relationships here are very strong,” Budke said. “There’s a lot of importance attached to being good neighbors. Despite its size, Buffalo is a small town in terms of how people look out for each other.”
Budke expects Buffalo Strong to be a permanent effort.
“It’s important to take care of your neighbor, and (Buffalo Strong) focuses on how best to do that,” Budke said. “That’s why I think it’s here to stay.”
A woman, 37-year-old medical assistant Lindsay Overbay, was killed and four others were injured in the attack. The shooter, 67-year-old Gregory Ulrich of Buffalo, is currently being held in the Wright County Jail.