M&T Bank Support

Thank you to the M&T Bank Charitable Foundation for a donation of $5000 to the Response to Love Center.

April 14, 2015

Jennifer Huber Assistant Vice President Branch Manager Thruway Mall Branch presented Sr. Johnice with a check for $5000 for operational support to help continue the work of the mission.

M&T Bank Charitable Foundation
Sister Johnice Executive Director Response to Love Center ~ Jennifer Huber Assistant Vice President Branch Manager Thruway Mall Branch


This grant is

Girl Scouts Fight Hunger

The Girl Scouts helped today at the Response to Love Center, including a tour, packing eggs and sorting canned goods. With Sister Johnice, Sister Catherine and Sister Rose the girls role played in the intake office learning how our system works from start to finish. To see the Video CLICK HERE.

[Best_Wordpress_Gallery id=”3″ gal_title=”Girl Scouts”]


15th Annual Food Bank of WNY Motorcycle Run & Benefit Party

15th Annual Food Bank of WNY Motorcycle Run & Benefit Party

SAVE THE DATE…Saturday, September 19th, 2015

Each month nearly 100,000 less fortunate Western New Yorkers turn to soup kitchens, food pantries, and other emergency food providers for assistance. Since 1979, the Food Bank of Western New York has been helping individuals in need by acting as a bridge between available food sources and agencies servicing them. 39,000 of those served by the Food Bank of Western New York’s member agencies are children while 8% are seniors. In addition to distributing food, the Food Bank has programs to further assist its agencies and educate the community about hunger among the needy in our area.

2014 Food Bank Motorcycle Run
Sr. Johnice and Mike Gilhooly at the 2014 Food Bank Motorcycle Run

The Food Bank distributes food to approximately 340 member agencies that feed the less fortunate in Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, and Niagara Counties. These are child care centers, food pantries, group homes, senior programs, shelters, soup kitchens, and summer camps, including the Response to Love Center. The Food Bank of WNY provides more than 13 million pounds of food annually across the four counties it serves.

It’s time to polish those pipes, strap on those helmets and ride for the cause…Saturday, September 19th; it’s the Fifteenth Annual Food Bank of Western New York Motorcycle Run & Benefit Party. All the fun starts with a 9:30am registration for the scenic motorcycle dice run. The dice run will include stops at Squire Whites at The White Inn of Fredonia and Gowanda Harley Davidson. The starting point and more dice run stops will be announced. The run will end at the Sunset Bay Beach Club’s Benefit Party!!! Not riding? No worries, everyone is invited to the event party that kicks off at 2pm and will include basket raffles, FUNdraising, run prizes, vendors, contests, live entertainment, finger food, a cash bar and more…

Be sure to visit www.cyberspokes.com and join our Facebook page for more details as they become available. For volunteer, sponsorship and donation opportunities, please contact us. We thank you for your support.

Support the Food Bank of WNY


Net proceeds directly benefit The Food Bank of WNY


Visit the Facebook page  CLICK HERE

Kelly Borrello
Event Coordinator

Debbi Yoakum
Event Coordinator

Mike Billoni
Food Bank of WNY, PR

Food Bank Motorcycle Run 2015
Official Press Release March 22, 2015

Can you write?

Join our Volunteer Team!

With the launch of our redesigned and updated website we are looking for a volunteer that has the gift of writing ability. One of our goals is to keep the website fresh and updated on a regular basis. That’s where you can help. Our thought is someone to report news and happenings at the Center, interviewing volunteers, etc. If you or someone you know might be interested in doing this please contact me (Webmaster/ Mike Gilhooly) HERE.

Congratulations well deserved…


Sister Mary Johnice Rzadkiewicz CSSF nominated Canisius High School Campus Minister Father Fred Betti SJ for the “Touchdown for Teachers” award, sponsored by M&T Bank. Throughout the past 10 years Fr. Betti has been an inspiration and gift to the Response to Love Center.

Under his guidance and direction, the youth from Canisius High School, have served in the dining room, the pantry and thrift shops. Before, during and after the installation of the new elevator, hours were spent this year remodeling and moving the Center’s food pantry food pantry warehouse and dining room.

Father Betti was notified as one of the five finalists, and named as one of the four runners up, receiving $100 in grant funds for Canisius High School and two tickets to the Buffalo Bills draft party on May 8. As nominator Sister was invited as a guest to the Buffalo Bills draft party, held the UB Alumni Arena. The evening’s event was filled with thousands of Buffalo Bills fans who look forward to the new lineup for the upcoming year.

Volunteer Appreciation Mass and Luncheon

May 1, 2014 Mass was held at St. John Kanty Parish in Buffalo


Sister Johnice and Bishop Malone Distributing the Third Millennium Pins to volunteers

Thursday May 1, 2014 (Feast of St Joseph the Worker.)

A Mass of Thanksgiving took place at Saint John Kanty Church in Buffalo New York to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Response to Love Center and Volunteer Appreciation Day.

Rev. Richard J. Malone Bishop of Buffalo was the main celebrant for the special occasion with celebrants Rev. Msgr. Paul Litwin Chancellor, Rev. Steven Jekielek, Rev. James Fugle, Rev. Fredrick Betti S.J. and Deacons Marc Leadersforf and David Velasquez.

Sister Johnice welcomed all with recognition of the founding of the Response to Love Center some 30 years ago with the help and approval of the late Msgr. Joe Bialek Pastor of St. Adalbert’s at the time.

The music was prepared by Mr. Kevin Durkin and enhanced by the voices of 35 Canisius High School students.

After communion Bishop Malone blessed each volunteer and presented them with a “Third Millennium Pin.” The pin is significant as it is a challenge from Pope Francis to live a spirit of faith, hope and love in their ministry to the poor. After the Mass a buffet was hosted at the Millennium Hotel in Cheektowaga, NY for the Clergy, Sisters, Staff and volunteers. Kathleen Majchrzak, Volunteer Coordinator, prepared the afternoon with song and awards recognition for volunteers.

The awards presented for 2014 included:

“Volunteer of the Year”… respecting the dignity of all and supporting the journey of each person with compassionate presence…

“Saint Matthew Award”… recognizing volunteers who like Jesus invited a friend to “FOLLOW ME” in service to others

“Companions on the Journey”… recognizing those volunteers who count their service in terms of decades rather than days.

Center Happenings

Elevator Construction Begins!

After years of waiting the Response to Love Center is starting the installation of an elevator to allow for handicapped people to access all our services. We have been serving people in the parking lot in all kinds of weather because our building has at least 10 steps at each entrance. This will change hopefully as soon as November 1 2013 with the installation of an entrance ramp and a full sized elevator. The elevator construction has begun and we are now appealing for financial help to complete the project. To see photos of the progress made CLICK HERE

To help fund the elevator project please CLICK HERE

St. John's Tuna-Peanut Butter Drive 2013

Picture:  1st row:  Analee DeGlopper and Marissa Lakeman; 2nd row:  Dianne LoCurto Barrali (Class of 1963) and Erin Tracy; 3rd row:  Ben Leahy, Josh Warrington, and Adam Brown.

Protein Power Assists Local Agency

Event:  Protein Power Assists Local Agency   Date:  Saturday, March 16, 2013    Location:  St. John the Baptist Church & School, 1085 Englewood Avenue, Kenmore, NY  14223     Protein Power has been the focus of St. John the Baptist’s students these past weeks.  Students took up a collection of peanut butter and protein to stock the shelves of Buffalo’s Response to Love Center.  Dianne LoCurto Barrali, a volunteer at the Response to Love Center, specifically partnered with the St. John’s students.  Mrs. Barrali, a graduate of St. John’s Class of 1965, was aware that the school focuses on specific outreach projects, such as sending their middle school students regularly to the Loaves and Fishes Soup Kitchen and St. Luke’s Mission of Mercy.  Michelle Salemi, the school’s Director of Advancement, welcomed this opportunity to raise awareness among the entire school.  Ms. Salemi noted, Focusing on the proteins was really key to the success of this drive.  Protein is not only an important nutrient, but it’s often an expensive one for people to afford.  Having our students focus just two items—peanut butter and fish—allowed us to provide much needed protein to the agency’s food pantry and it felt especially good assisting one of our alums to help our own community.  It was a perfect opportunity to combine the Catholic call for Lenten almsgiving with a worthy service project.  Much power will come from this protein project! Picture:  1st row:  Analee DeGlopper and Marissa Lakeman; 2nd row:  Dianne LoCurto Barrali (Class of 1963) and Erin Tracy; 3rd row:  Ben Leahy, Josh Warrington, and Adam Brown.

As Posted on WGRZ.com  12-26-2012

BUFFALO, NY- It was a true Christmas celebration at the Response to Love Center Tuesday. Just weeks agowhen the community center’s boiler broke, they feared they wouldn’t be able to serve those in need this holiday season. But thanks to the generosity of Western New Yorkers, the center is filled with warmth, and so are the hearts of those who gathered there today.

“It’s a time of coming together as a family, as a community, as a neighborhood, and it’s really joyful,” said the Center’s director, Sister Mary Johnice.

Hundreds of Buffalo’s less fortunate filled the Response to Love Center Christmas day. Their Christmas meals with turkey, stuffing and all the fixings didn’t just fill their bellies, they filled their hearts as well.

“There’s really a sense and a spirit here that these are our people and we’re able to provide now for them with the warmth in the building, and just the warmth of the volunteers here who come from all over WNY,” said the Center’s maintenance supervisor, Michael Gilhooly.

Volunteers were glad to share their Christmas Day with strangers who could use a smile.

“We can be kind of stressed with all the work that has to go on. But when you see who it’s going to and what it’s worth, your time, your talent, everything that you do is meaningful,” Sr. Johnice said.

This holiday season the community recognized the invaluable work the center does each and every day, and donors from across the country gave more than $100,000 to replace the broken boiler. They’ve since given the new boiler a very fitting name.

“The plaque on the boiler says ‘Emmanuel- God With Us.’ Not only for the boiler but that He will be with us continuously,” said Sr. Johnice.

By receiving this very special gift, it means the Response to Love Center can go on and keep giving.

“It’s the year of giving. It’s the year of faith, and the whole community came together, and it really showed that we’re not alone,” she said.

The center plans on using the leftover donations to add an elevator to the front of the building, so it can be accessible to even more people in need.