Larry and Marilyn Law have been faithful volunteers at Urban Christian Ministries (UCM) since its inception in 1969. They began volunteering as tutors in the Ellicott Mall Housing Projects in 1970. At one point in the early 1980’s, things had taken a turn for the worse at the ministry and the Board of Directors was contemplating the closing of the ministry. Larry and Marilyn worked diligently with a few other volunteers to keep the doors open.
Because of their dedication and commitment, Larry and Marilyn have touched the lives of countless people through Urban Christian Ministries. Larry is a retired college professor and Marilyn is a retired registered nurse. Marilyn began to cut back on her working hours in order to volunteer longer hours at the ministry. She has since retired from her nursing job and continues to volunteer full time for the ministry as its Volunteer Coordinator. Both have served on the Board of Directors for many years.
The Laws are not just physical volunteers – they also put their money where their hearts are. In 1989, when Urban Christian Ministries needed to find a new home for the ministry, the Laws bought the new building. Their peers comment that the couple is so committed to God and to the people of Buffalo’s eastside. Both are now in there seventies and still active volunteers. The other members at Urban Christian Ministries are all impressed with this wonderful couple, which for thirty-five years has served the people of inner city Buffalo.
There is a young lady named Renee and she works for Urban Christian Ministries (UCM) part-time. Twenty-five years ago Marilyn and Larry met Renee when she was ten and participating in UCM’s Tutoring Program. Through good times and tough times, Larry and Marilyn were there, helping Renee and her family all the way. Larry and Marilyn have also taken young people into their home in Williamsville, New York as an alternative to living on the streets. Some of these guests were not just “over nighters,” in fact; one young man lived with them and their three kids for two years. Many of the people whose lives have been touched by the Laws have gone on to college or entered into ministry. Larry and Marilyn are completely committed to the challenge of changing the lives of young people in the city.
One night in the early 1970’s, as Marilyn worked at Millard Fillmore Hospital, she had the difficult job of working with a patient who had a terminal disease. The patient eventually died. Marilyn came home crushed, and Larry told Marilyn, “I would rather see your life end on the streets, helping people, than for you to go the way your patient did.” At that point their commitment to serve grew even greater. Through coordinating numerous programs for children; visiting mission teams staying in the UCM facility; recruiting countless volunteers to prepare the quarterly newsletter or assist with our summer basketball league; cooking and feeding thousands of people in Mexico; packing thousands of bags of groceries for distribution at Christmas; or interviewing and screening hundreds of volunteers to serve in this ministry – Marilyn and Larry have always been there. Ready to work, serve, clean, or do whatever needs to be done, even when no one else would.