Rural Outreach Center serves multiple families during holiday season

The Rural Outreach Center (ROC), an East Aurora-based nonprofit organization dedicated to ending rural poverty in southern Erie County and surrounding areas and assisting, empowering and elevating individuals to self-sufficiency, assisted numerous local families throughout the holiday season.

“The Rural Outreach Center invited 51 families and over 90 children to receive donated gifts for Christmas,” said ROC Executive Director Frank Cerny. “Families were selected primarily on their work in setting and working toward personal goals toward self-sufficiency as this is part of the ROC’s model of assisting, empowering and elevating participants.”

More than 70 individuals and organizations helped make this happen by purchasing thousands of dollars in gifts, gift cards and non-food items for distribution. “The community response was overwhelming,” Cerny added.

In addition, Christmas gift recipients are being encouraged to give back to the ROC when they are able and to begin to set aside savings so that they can take on more responsibility next Christmas.

With support from the East Hill Foundation and the Arcade Five Star Bank, the ROC also hosted a winter readiness program for almost 100 area elementary school children.

“The ROC collected and distributed new and gently used coats, boots, scarves, gloves and mittens, and new socks and hats, during the holiday season, and recipient’s families participated in a pay-it-forward model by making a small contribution to help others in need,” said Cerny.

The Rural Outreach Center is located at 730 Olean Road. For more information on the ROC, please call 240-2220 or follow the Rural Outreach Center on Facebook at for frequent updates.

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