The Matt Urban Center is kicking off the holiday season by announcing a fundraising campaign, Home for the Holidays, for its critical human services programs that will run through December 31.

As the holiday season approaches, our thoughts go to the warmth and comfort of being home with our loved ones at this special time of year.  For many, home means a warm, secure place with a strong roof and sealed windows and doors. It is a place where there is nutritious food for the whole family, where children are learning and thriving, and where elders have what they need to feel safe and comfortable as they age. Home is where we have dignity. Creating this sense of dignity is key to the mission of the Matt Urban Center.

Located in the Broadway Fillmore neighborhood on Buffalo’s East Side, the Matt Urban Center has been providing human services programs to the community for over 45 years, including housing repair and weatherization programs, youth afterschool programs, services for senior citizens, a homeless outreach team, and permanent supportive housing. Through each of these programs, the Matt Urban Center strives to create a sense of home for individuals, families, and the larger Broadway Fillmore community.

“The Matt Urban Center does the hardest work where it’s needed most. Here on Buffalo’s East Side, this means providing people in need with shelter, support, case management, food, clothing, personal care items, and a sense of community,” said Ryan Undercoffer, the agency’s executive director. “Over the next eight weeks, we will be sharing many stories about this work as we ask our friends across Western New York for support.”

Undercoffer emphasized the urgent need for financial support of the agency.

“While we have depended on grant funding from numerous local, state, and federal agencies, as well as nonprofit foundations for many years, the needs of our community far exceed what we receive from these sources,” Undercoffer said. But with your donations, we can focus more of our resources on the work that matters most – serving those who call Buffalo’s East side ‘home.'”

The Home for the Holidays campaign will highlight the Matt Urban Center’s programs’ impact on social media, sharing their accomplishments, plans for the coming year and how to support the work of each program and the clients served. There will also be in-kind donation drives to support the Matt Urban Hope Center’s annual Thanksgiving and Christmas meals, and to collect warm clothing, non-perishable items, and personal essentials to help clients get through the winter months.

In mid-December, the campaign will also feature a weekend of two signature fundraising events. “Cookies for a Cause” will take place on Saturday, December 9 from 2 to 5 p.m. at Flying Bison Brewery. Buffalo’s home bakers will team up to bake off thousands of cookies for this annual cookie exchange that has been organized for the past 9 years by Rebecca Decker. Supporters can pre-order online until Monday, December 4 or stop by the event to pick up a mixed pack of assorted dozen cookies for their family or for gift giving. A home delivery option will be available for an additional donation within a 5-mile radius of downtown Buffalo. There is also opportunity to volunteer for the event. If you are interested in getting involved, please contact Rebecca via email.

The second event, “Santas of Swig” homebrewing competition will take place on Sunday, December 10 from 1 to 4 p.m. at Buffalo Iron Works. Ticketed guests will have the chance to sample over 20 different beers and cast their vote for the winner. The event also features basket raffles and a toy collection drive for youth in the Matt Urban Center’s programs. A donation of a new unwrapped toy will get the donor $10 in raffle tickets. More information about the event can be found on Facebook and tickets for the event are sold at the door. All proceeds from both events support the Matt Urban Center’s programs.

Those interested in donating to the Home for the Holidays campaign to support the Matt Urban Center’s programs can visit This page also has links to ticketing for the Santas of Swig event and the cookie order form for Cookies for a Cause. For more information on the Matt Urban Center and this campaign, please contact Ryan Undercoffer, Executive Director, at or (716) 893-7222 x325.

About the Lt. Col. Matt Urban Human Services Center of WNY

The Matt Urban Center is a human services organization that has been serving the East Side of Buffalo for 45 years with the mission of providing programs that revitalize neighborhoods, serve families, and change lives. Our agency serves thousands of residents annually, from youth to seniors and homeless individuals to homeowners. For more information on programs and services visit the Matt Urban Center website.