The Jamestown Board of Public Utilities is accepting donations for its 15th annual "Cents for St. Susan's" campaign.
The campaign began Wednesday with major sponsors getting together to distribute coin canisters throughout the Jamestown area.
Once again this year, the bright yellow canisters will appear on counters at local stores, offices and restaurants to collect coins to benefit St. Susan Center. Money raised through the BPU campaign will be used to purchase food for people in the area who need nutritious meals in spring and summer. St. Susan Center is able to convert each dollar contributed into $7 worth of food purchased through the Western New York Food Bank.
Pictured are sponsors of the Cents for St. Susan’s drive Wednesday at the campaign kick-off.
The BPU has raised $139,632 in the 15 years of operating the fund drive.
In 2013, the number of meals served at St. Susan Center reached 108,242, a 9.38 percent increase from 2012. In January 2014, 14,760 meals were served, compared to 8,482 meals in January 2013. St. Susan Center, located at 31 Water St., Jamestown, serves each guest only one meal a day and is open seven days a week.
"Cents for St. Susan's" coin canisters will appear in the community through the first week of July. From April through June, people may also donate redeemable cans and bottles at the BPU's Customer Service Office, 92 Steele St., Jamestown.
Local sponsors have contributed $500 to 1,000 each to the cause to bring the campaign pledge total to $9,300 to date. Donors include: DFT Communications, Jamestown Savings Bank and KeyBank, all at the $1,000 level. Sponsors at the $500 mark include: Alfie's Restaurant, Allied Alarm Services, Asplundh, Boyles Motor Sales, Century 21/Turner Brokers, Falconer Printing & Design Inc., Freed Maxick CPAs, The Legend Group with Lou Deppas, National Fuel, Slone Melhuish Insurance, Valu Hearing Services and Weinberg Financial Group.
The Post-Journal and The Media One Group of radio stations serve as media sponsors, providing space and time on their media outlets to benefit the drive. Farm Fresh Foods is contributing a hot dog sale to be held at the BPU Customer Service Office area on June 4.
An important segment of the fund drive is the BPU customers themselves who contribute by mail or who bring funds to BPU Customer Service at 92 Steele St. Checks may be written to St. Susan Center and left at Customer Service or mailed to the BPU, c/o Becky Robbins, Communications Coordinator, P.O. Box 700, Jamestown, NY 14702-0700. Customers may add an extra gift amount to their bill payments and note it on the pay stub when mailing in the gift.
"The BPU is proud and pleased to organize our 15th fund drive to benefit St. Susan Center and its customers," Robbins said.
"The BPU cannot give away money to help local organizations, but we can give our time to raise money to help people in our community who are hungry. St. Susan Center and its volunteers provide a vital service in an atmosphere of acceptance and caring," Robbins continued.
Sue Colwell, St. Susan Center executive director, thanked the BPU for raising donations for the soup kitchen.
"There are many people struggling within our community to make ends meet. St. Susan Center soup kitchen provides meals seven days a week to those who cannot afford to feed themselves," Colwell said. "The BPU 'Cents for St. Susan's' drive is a very important part of keeping the operations of our soup kitchen running. We appreciate the hard work of the BPU and the generosity of those who give during the campaign."
For more information or to suggest ways to help the BPU "Cents for St. Susan's" campaign, call Robbins at 661-1680 or email: email@example.com.