April 2019 - Annual Recognition Dinner

Apr 3, 2019

Heart, Love & Soul - Annual Recognition Dinner Video 2019

If you spend enough time around Heart, Love and Soul, you’ll likely hear the phrase, “You gave me hope.” Hope, in its truest sense, is the earnest anticipation that comes with believing that something good is on the horizon – a new dawn, so to speak. Many of our guests come to us in a state of despair. You can see the anguish in their faces and sense the hopelessness in their words.

To get our sisters and brothers back to a place of hope, it takes the work of a village … the continuum of care offered by our staff and partners … the leadership of our Board of Trustees and elected officials … and the extraordinary generosity of our benefactors. Tonight, we are excited to show you hope personified … by sharing the stories of guests who have seen the sun rise again in their lives – thanks largely to your support.

In the Book of Romans, it is written that “Hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have?” At Heart, Love and Soul, our hope is that our guests strive to better themselves … to find their own paths to stability and empowerment. Please consider opening your hearts and your pocketbooks to support more success stories like Rashaan and Kelly. Thank you in advance for being their hope, their Daybreak.


Rahsaan Clayton Sr.

“I have actually, I have six children, four girls two boys. I have a grandson and I have a granddaughter that's coming next month.

I work at capital cleaners, which you see on my shirt and I've been there… June 1st will be four years, but beforehand, before I wasn't really doing anything you know… I was on social services, I was staying with my baby mom at the time … I just wasn't really doing nothing. I’ve been coming to Heart & Soul off and on since like they've been open… 2008/2009. I come here to eat lunch you know… My challenges of life were you know boom…  just like do something stupid, put myself in jail, or hurt somebody else … or they might hurt me.

As I got older I said I’m mature … but this is a waste. Like what I’m going through now, I went to a bad situation but I'm handling it well… I’m not going out there and doing something crazy, doing something stupid. I go to work every day and that keeps my mind good.

Last year I only missed one day and now I’m looking forward to trying to miss no days this year… and It just keeps me motivated you know … I'm trying to achieve not missing no days but by the grace of God keep my health… and that’s how I am to this day.”

Kelly Wilson

“Well I'm from Buffalo originally. I came here in 2002 to get away from a difficult situation and we've basically been out here since… me and my youngest daughter. I work currently at Head Start through CAO and I'm a nutrition associate … and I love it.

I started coming here for lunches, then I found out about the monthly pantry, then I found out  about the holiday baskets that they give for Thanksgiving and Christmas and I’ve been associated with them since 2003.

The challenges I faced were … day care, especially when my daughter was a lot younger, because being on social services they pay for a certain allotment and then after they think that you're on your feet then it stops … so then the difficulties come in.

Oh my word, I just got a wealth of information through the people here at Heart and Soul, which if I hadn't have met I would have been struggling a lot you know. That helped to make it a whole lot better of a situation for me to get to and from.

Literally this is like a second home. Once I started coming here and I was welcomed so ... in a loving way… I just felt totally comfortable here. You come to Heart and Soul and you will get the help. Now you might have to do some work to achieve your goal or whatever … but that that's life. They will help you out and steer you in the right direction. If they can help you they will … oh yes 100%!”