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Be a Blessing Buffalo Spreads Christmas Joy

On Christmas Day 2018, Kate Tolley-Gerlach’s father, John Tolley, awoke with an epiphany. “My father woke up on Christmas morning and said, ‘This is insane. We are losing the fact that this day is about Jesus,’” recalled Tolley-Gerlach. While the family chose to still give small gifts to one another, they decided that rather than focusing on their own gifting, they would adopt a local family in need.

That Christmas, the Tolley’s adopted a struggling family and never looked back. “The family we adopted moved out of a shelter into housing and are doing really well,” shared Tolley-Gerlach. “All these years later, we still see them and adopt them every Christmas.” Her dad was overjoyed. “He said, ‘Aren’t you just so much more fulfilled?’” Tolley-Gerlach said. Little did they realize Be a Blessing Buffalo, previously Christmas Blessing Buffalo, was born.

Sadly, John Tolley passed away in his sleep the following June. Tolley-Gerlach could not imagine giving back at Christmas without him. “I told my mom I couldn’t do it,” she said. “She said that since Christmas is all about giving back, how could we not do it?”