Red Cross recognizing Medina girl as WNY ‘Real Hero’

Photos courtesy of Evette Phillips: Caliyah Boston, 7, of Medina is shown in October with some of the donated food she brought to Buffalo on Sunday to give to We R Buffalo Strong, an organization led by Medina native Evette Phillips.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 15 May 2019 at 7:44 am

Caliyah Boston, 7, collected three carloads of food for homeless in Buffalo

MEDINA – A Medina second-grader who collected three carloads of food for homeless in Buffalo will be recognized on Thursday as a Western New York “Real Hero.”

The American Red Cross is presenting awards to 16 people. They will be recognized during a breakfast at The Park Country Club in Williamsville.

Caliyah Boston, 7, of Medina and Medina native Evette Phillips are both receiving “Good Neighbor” awards.

Caliyah Boston is pictured with Evette Phillips, leader of We R Buffalo Strong, in October. Caliyah helped to give away the food to homeless people in Buffalo.

Phillips founded “We R Buffalo Strong.” The organization strives to make a difference in the lives of the homeless, elderly and veterans within her community by providing them with food and other crucial resources.

Caliyah selflessly collected and donated three carloads of supplies, including food and clothes, for this organization.

Phillips has been taking food to homeless people in Buffalo for the past five years, often bringing grills and cooking meals with them.

Caliyah’s family heard about the organization through social media and wanted to collect food to be donated to We R Buffalo Strong. Caliyah’s second grade classmates and others at Oak Orchard Elementary School helped with the effort, which resulted in three carloads of food and clothing.

Phillips in 2017 was named the “Humble Humanitarian of the Year” by Compass House of WNY, which runs a shelter for homeless children ages 12 to 17. She typically meets the homeless on the street behind the Buffalo public library.

Phillips said she doesn’t just hand out food. Sometimes there are tail-gate parties, cookouts and TV’s hooked up to watch the Bills games together.

She was impressed by Caliyah’s good heart and motivation to help the homeless. Phillips didn’t realize the two had a Medina connection until Caliyah showed up wearing a Medina Mustang sweatshirt.

The Real Heroes Breakfast on Thursday celebrates the Red Cross mission of alleviating human suffering by recognizing people from throughout the region who have performed heroic acts during times of crisis. The heroes include first responders as well as ordinary citizens who performed life-saving acts.

Proceeds from the Real Heroes Breakfast benefit the Red Cross, which provides relief to victims of disasters and helps people prevent, prepare for, and respond to emergencies.

The Western New York Chapter serves communities in Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Niagara, Orleans, and Wyoming counties.

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