Why Hope?

​The Hope Project of WNY, Inc. was created as a resource for struggling families.  Often identified as 'the working poor', many families find it difficult to make ends meet regardless of employment. In addition we assist individuals who have lost their job to no fault of their own, disabled individuals, households with special needs members, victims of domestic violence in transition and of course, without reservation, our military families and veterans.  Individuals and families may request assistance due to a sudden or unexpected tragedy, such as a house fire or serious medical diagnosis.


Who We Are

Meet the Board Members of The Hope Project of WNY, Inc.

Deirdre (Dee) Miller

Executive Director & Founder​ 

Dee is the founder of The Hope Project of WNY formerly known as Lancaster Community Closet. Dee is a mother of two kids Jacob and Ava and has a very kind heart. She is the heart and soul of the organization and has been for years. Her son Jacob has autism and with  The whole idea started because of a neighbor who was in need, which prompted Dee to go right to work and gathered food and clothing. After an overwhelming response she knew she had to do something. She slowly built the non-profit that we know today. She said it would not have been possible without the volunteers by her side. You can contact her by emailing [email protected].

Trevor Dehn

Executive Assistant

Trevor is a graduate from Williamsville South High School and is planning on going to school for ministry. He learned about The Hope Project while earning community service hours in order to graduate from high school. After graduating he was chosen to tour Europe in a choir with American Music Abroad. Upon his return he eagerly stepped into his role at The Hope Project. Trevor really enjoys helping people and enjoys seeing others happy. In working closely with Dee as the Executive Assistant he assists her with planning, clerical work, and also helps others in the shop where and when it is needed. You can contact him at (716) 544-4709 or email at [email protected]

Noelle Forzani

Advisory Board - Marketing Director

Noelle went to Hilbert college and earned her Bachelor degree in Human Services. She met Dee when she was a girl scout leader and her daughter was working to earn her Bronze Award. Her troop organized a supply drive at her school that brought in over 1500 personal hygiene products for the hope project, in addition to funds that were raised during a bake sale. After getting to know Dee and learning what her mission was all about, Noelle was very inspired and wanted to help in any way she could. Her creative force in planning fundraisers and events makes her a great asset to our team. You can contact her by emailing [email protected]

Tabitha Maloney


Tabitha has been a regular volunteer with The Hope Project since its small beginning in a Lancaster driveway. She says "it has been an honor to be a part of giving people a hand up with dignity when they are struggling to make ends meet. I love being able to make a difference in people's lives. The best part is the confidence the clients get from the love they are shown at Hope Project. From the driveway, to a storage unit, to a tiny space in Depew, and finally at The Eastern Hills Mall, its been a roller coaster, but I'm glad I'm along for the ride".

Marlene Stoerr

Advisory Board - Organization Specialist

Marlene has been with The Hope Project of WNY, Inc. since it's humble beginning in 2015. She started at The Hope Project after learning about Dee's mission. Marlene's long standing commitment to The Hope Project has been invaluable as she continues to run day - to - day operations which provides a welcoming and caring environment for our clients.  Marlene is retired and says this is a great way for her to fill her time. You can contact her by emailing [email protected]

Peggy Lawrie

Advisory Board - Organization Specialist 

Peggy has been with The Hope Project of WNY, Inc. for many years. She always puts her best foot forward by making sure our shop is always stocked with many essentials that are requested or needed by our clients. She is very dedicated in making sure that a certain portion of our donations are given to the Hearts for Homeless, so that everything we are given is being utilized. Peggy works alongside with Marlene to make sure our shop looks clean and organized.