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The 2019 Warm Up WNY Drive

One would think that a children’s hospital would have all of the access that it needs when it comes to providing warm blankets for its patients. But incredibly, that’s not the case. When Senator Tim Kennedy learned that Oishei Children’s Hospital (OCH) did not have enough new warm blankets for all of their young patients, he organized a grassroots procurement effort called Warm Up WNY.

Essentially, the effort is a blanket drive powered by Arc Building Partners, along with a number of construction industry partners, to accomplish the goal of providing 10,000 blankets to the hospital. The construction coalition is one effort within a wider community effort. The team behind the construction coalition initiative is made up of Arc Building Partners, Allied Mechanical, D.V. Brown & Associates, Ferguson Electric, and Mader Construction. This is the second year that the group has rallied together to provide warm blankets to children who are in need.

All of the blanket supplies at OCH are donated by the community, local businesses and nonprofit organizations.

“Blankets comfort children facing frightening situations in more ways than one,” said Frank L. Ciminelli II, president of Arc Building Partners. “When one of our children was rushed to the hospital several years ago, our family saw firsthand how blankets not only provide warmth and comfort but also relieve children’s anxiety and ease the stress of a hospital stay.”

In 2018, the team effort led to the procurement of over 8000 blankets. This year, the goal has been set at 10000.

Arc Building Partners and the coalition of construction companies are encouraging more Western New York contractors to get involved.

“Once again, local construction leaders have gone above and beyond to help us take care of our region’s most vulnerable kids. When my office first launched the #WarmUpWNY Blanket Drive to benefit Oishei Children’s Hospital, we knew the response would be generous, but we were truly blown away by the kindness and compassion of the people and businesses who call the City of Good Neighbors home,” said Senator Tim Kennedy. “One blanket may seem like a small lift, but it has an incredible impact on the life of a child who is anxious about the unexpected that awaits. Thanks to Arc Building Partners, Allied Mechanical, D.V. Brown & Associates, Ferguson Electric and Mader Construction, we’re one step closer to our goal of collecting 10,000 blankets this year for pediatric patients at OCH.”

The biggest problem with keeping blankets in stock at a children’s hospital is that each and every blanket must be new. They can not reuse the blankets due to patients with weakened immune systems, who would be at risk if a reused blanket carried potentially harmful germs.

“A blanket can make all of the difference in the world, and we again need more to make sure every child who visits Oishei Children’s Hospital receives a blanket to help them through their stay,” said Ciminelli. “I’m grateful for everyone coming together to make that happen.”

“So many of us know the difficult experience of seeing one our children, or the child of a friend or family member, in the hospital. Just imagine how frightening it must be for children,” said Michael Modrzynski, president of Allied Mechanical, Inc. “Donating a blanket — or many blankets — will provide some comfort and relief to children and families at a time of great need.”

“All of our companies are known for building things, and now we’re trying to build up our community with the Warm Up WNY drive,” said Donald V. Brown Jr., president of D.V. Brown and Associates. “This year’s goal of 10,000 blankets will take a community effort, and by working together, I’m confident Buffalo and Western New York can get the job done.”

DV Brown at Conventus

“We’re proud to join our colleagues in the construction community to help local children in need, and we encourage more members of our region’s business community to join us in participating in the Warm Up WNY drive,” said Angelo A. Veanes, president of Ferguson Electric Construction.

“To get a big construction project done on time, it takes collaboration among many contractors. The same is true for a big project like Warm Up WNY. We’re excited to work alongside this coalition of contractors to deliver for children and families served by Oishei Children’s Hospital,” said Kevin G. Biddle, president of Mader Construction Company.

The Warm Up WNY drive, which encourages the use of the hashtag #WarmUpWNY on social media, has helped spark increased awareness of the need for new blankets for children at OCH. Last year, the drive surpassed its goal of 8,000 blankets. While this coalition of construction industry leaders is specifically focused on encouraging local contractors and businesses to get involved, the entire community can still drop off blankets at OCH or Senator Kennedy’s office until Friday, March 29, 2019.

Written by queenseyes


Newell Nussbaumer is 'queenseyes' - Eyes of the Queen City and Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world's largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside, Buffalo Porchfest, and Paint vs. Paint. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market on Elmwood. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at Statler City, the Hertel Alley Street Art Festival, and The Flutterby Festival.

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