Certain individuals just have a way of impacting you deeply. For the Hope Rises mission, one of those heartfelt individuals is Mary Alloy.
We are shocked that we even had the opportunity to take a photo with her – she likes to give, but never expects a thank you. “It’s my honor,” she often says.
However, ever once and awhile, even those who don’t expect recognition need to be recognized for all they do to better this world. And it’s OUR honor to feature her on Hope Rises.
Here is more about our friend, Mary, who owns Just Pizza and Wing Co. in Tonawanda, and works tirelessly to support her community through food donations.
How did you start your involvement in nonprofit work?
When I started Just Pizza 12-years-ago, nobody knew who I was. I was very under the radar. I think it was in 2013 that the SPCA sent me a letter and I was invited to be at their ‘Wine and Wags’ event. This was the first exciting thing that happened to me and I felt so special to get invited to be somewhere and donate to something beneficial to the community. The feeling was so good that it made me even more passionate to continue giving.
So animal rescue is something your heart is compelled to give to. What else?
I started helping a friend, who manages Frightworld, a local haunted attraction in the community. They hold an event every year for Oishei Children’s Hospital. Of course, everything I do is food, so I was honored to put together the luncheon for the Halloween party for the young patients. When I walked in there and saw all of them, tears came to my eyes. They in return gifted me with a plaque and a thank you letter that still hangs on my wall. I owe it all to my friend, Steve, for getting me involved in something so meaningful, like Stones Buddies.
There have been so many organizations in between: Mercy Flight, Make-A-Wish, Bella’s Bumbas, Portrait of Hope Buffalo, Diamonds in the Ruff, Ten Lives, etc.
What do you get out of helping others through the donation of food?
The thank you letters are the best part. I just cry reading them, and it’s nice to know that others really appreciate what you can offer – even if it’s just bringing food. If I had free time, I would be volunteering at every single event I possibly could. I feel that as long as I'm capable of helping with food, I will do it as long as I possibly can and that's not counting all the gift certificates I have given for every single individual who walks in my door and is in need.
Overall, how much have you given to your community?
As far as a dollar amount, for the past six to seven years it's probably around $60,000 dollars in food and gift certificates.
What brings you HOPE?
Seeing others around me feel the love and compassion from others.