In order to keep warm blankets in constant supply for patients at Oishei Children’s Hospital, a Warm Up WNY blanket drive is held, which sees the community coming together to help out those in need. It’s incredible to think that without the blanket drive, launched by Senator Tim Kennedy, there might not be a warm blanket to hand out to a sick child. That’s why this initiative has continues to be so successful. But there is never a guarantee that people/businesses will step up to support the donation drive, which is a scary thought.
In 2018, a coalition of local contractors led by Arc Building Partners has teamed together to assist in the Warm Up WNY campaign. The group is also asking that others from the local construction industry do the same thing. So far, Arc Building Partners has joined up with Allied Mechanical, D.V. Brown and Associates, Ferguson Electric Construction, Frey Electric Construction, J.W. Danforth, and Mader Construction, to help out with the effort. Ultimately, the goal is to gather together 8000 new blankets to provide sick children with the warmth that they need as they recuperate during unexpected hospital stays.
All of the blanket supplies at OCH are donated by the community as well as local businesses and nonprofit organizations.
“Being rushed to the hospital to fight an illness is a scary experience, especially for children. Simple things that help recreate the comforts of home, like a warm blanket, can make a world of difference,” said Frank L. Ciminelli II, president of Arc Building Partners. “Through our personal experience, my family and I learned that blankets not only provide warmth and comfort, but also –and most importantly – alleviate children’s anxiety and eases the stress of a hospital stay.”
“Since the beginning, #WarmUpWNY has been a community project,” said Senator Tim Kennedy. “We’ve received thousands of donated blankets from individuals, community groups, and the business community. I want to thank Arc Building Partners and their colleagues in the construction industry for stepping up to help us once again reach our goal of providing a blanket for every child who goes through the doors of Oishei Children’s Hospital.”
In order to create additional awareness around the effort, supporters are using the hashtag #WarmUpWNY.
“Every child deserves a blanket, but they are only handed out when there are supplies. That means, each year, it’s up to all of us to help ensure there are enough blankets at OCH to support the need. I’m grateful for everyone coming together to support this cause,” Ciminelli added.
“As contractors, we get the opportunity to work on some important projects for our community, but there may be no project more important than making sure every child has a warm blanket when they’re in the hospital,” said Kent Frey, CEO of Frey Electric Construction. “We appreciate Frank and the team at Arc Building Partners rallying everyone together to help.”
Blankets must be new, due to the threat of infectious disease. Many of the children at OCH are dealing with weakened immune systems, so used blankets cannot be accepted since they could be carrying potentially harmful germs.
“So many of us have had to endure the difficult experience of seeing one our children, or the child of a friend or family member, in the hospital,” said Michael Modrzynski, president of Allied Mechanical, Inc. “We can prove that we’re the City of Good Neighbors by being there for each other and donating a blanket — or many blankets — to provide comfort to children experiencing an unexpected hospital stay.”
“Local children need our community’s help, and we’re proud to be among those encouraging our colleagues in the construction and business communities to join us in participating in the Warm Up WNY drive,” said Angelo A. Veanes, president of Ferguson Electric Construction.
“Few people know what it takes to stay warm during the winter like people who work in the construction industry. When you’re on a jobsite in January or February, the cold and snow can be brutal,” said Robert Beck, president of J.W. Danforth. “That’s why we were eager to support this effort to Warm Up Western New York. A blanket can make a big difference in providing warmth to those in need.”
“Contractors are known for building things, and now we’re trying to build support for the Warm Up WNY drive,” said Donald V. Brown Jr., president of D.V. Brown and Associates. “We’re striving to achieve the drive’s goal of 8,000 blankets, and by working together, I’m confident our community can get the job done.”
“We’re excited to see so many local contractors stepping up to support the Warm Up WNY drive,” said Kevin G. Biddle, president of Mader Construction Company. “It takes a lot of cooperation and collaboration to complete big projects alongside other contractors — and while we might not be on a jobsite this time, we’re seeing it here with this coalition working to help children in our community.”
While this coalition of construction industry leaders is specifically focused on encouraging local contractors and businesses to get involved, the community can still drop off blankets at OCH or Senator Kennedy’s office until March 8, 2018.
Lead image: Arc Erik Dusel, Jen Joslyn, Paul Hogg | Arc Building Partners