by Stephanie TABER
Darren Strickland has devoted almost half of his young 33-year life to
serving others. While growing up in Mt. Ararat Baptist Church under the teaching of the
late Reverend W.L. Jones, Strickland served on the Youth Usher Board and was an
accomplished Boy Scout. It was during this period when Strickland realized his strong
desire to help others.
As the Executive Director of Friends of Night People, Inc., Strickland and
his staff help homeless and destitute women, children and elderly of the city, by
providing food, health care, clothing and other essential services.
Strickland also serves as president of the Trinidad Neighborhood
Association. This neighborhood-based organization addresses issues and concerns in the
community and city. Mayor Anthony Masiello appointed Strickland to the Citys
Department of Community Development, a Citizens Advisory Committee, which addresses
public policy practices.
Through his deep spiritual beliefs and his strongest supporters - wife
Teresa, daughter Danielle and sons Ray and Demairo - Strickland will continue to dedicate
his time and skills to various causes, like volunteering at the United Way of Buffalo and
Erie County. A panel at the Buffalo and Erie County United Way selected Strickland in 1996
to carry the 1996 Olympic Torch. That same year he received the NAACPs Daniel
Acker Outstanding Community Service award.
Strickland believes that being committed to our communities means putting
forth efforts to make positive changes and carrying out innovative plans of action for
social, political and civil justice.
Stephanie Taber is a freelance writer.
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