50% of Say Yes Scholars Come From Families With a Combined Income Below $25,000; Buffalo Bisons Join Community Drive to Assist Students Facing Homelessness and Extreme Poverty
Western New Yorkers Are Encouraged to Bring School Supplies to Sunday’s Game at Coca-Cola Field; For Each Donation Made, Fans Will Receive Ticket and Merchandise Discounts
BUFFALO, NY – Senator Tim Kennedy (D-Buffalo) joined representatives from Say Yes Buffalo, the Buffalo Bisons, and local community leaders at Coca-Cola Field Friday to announce a new partnership designed to equip Buffalo’s neediest scholars with necessities to succeed as they pursue higher education. As part of the Bisons’ Sunday afternoon game against Louisville fans are encouraged to bring school supplies to donate to Say Yes’ Dorm Room Drive; for every donation made, attendees will receive $5 off each ticket purchased, along with a voucher for 20% off merchandise in either of the two Bisons gift shops.
Kennedy partnered with Say Yes to launch the drive in 2016 after learning that despite receiving free access to higher education, many Say Yes scholars can’t sustain enrollment due to a lack of tools needed to succeed, including school supplies, bedding, and other basic toiletries. According to Say Yes, approximately 50% of scholars have a combined family income below $25,000, and 70% are below $55,000, leaving many facing extreme poverty. Kennedy, Say Yes, and the Buffalo Bisons are hopeful Sunday’s gameday drive will help send scholars into their first semesters fully prepared.
“Say Yes has been a fantastic advocate for the students of Buffalo who do not have the means to attain a higher education. Last year, our Dorm Room Drive was met with an incredible response from the community, with hundreds of people stepping up to help our students who need it most. I’m thrilled that the Buffalo Bisons have joined our drive this year, demonstrating once again their commitment to Buffalo’s youth,” said Senator Kennedy. “The City of Good Neighbors has lived up to its name time and time again, and when it comes to supporting our students, I know this drive will be no different. Please come out and enjoy a great game of baseball with family and friends this weekend, and know that your donation will go a long way towards helping Buffalo’s next generation succeed.”
“The Bisons organization is proud to support the vital work that Say Yes Buffalo is doing to keep the future bright for so many young scholars in our area. Bisons fans have always stepped to the plate when it comes to giving back to the community and we’re looking forward to a fantastic afternoon at Coca-Cola Field on Sunday,” said Mike Buczkowski, Vice President/General Manager of the Buffalo Bisons.
"We are grateful for Senator Kennedy's leadership in mobilizing our community to respond to the needs of our scholars," said David Rust, Say Yes Buffalo Executive Director. "The needs of our students go beyond tuition and we are thankful to everyone who participates and donates to this drive."
“I applaud the efforts of Mayor Brown, Senator Kennedy, Say Yes to Education and the Buffalo Bisons. They recognized an existing gap with our scholars as it relates to room and board, toiletries, and other personal items and are working to eliminate it. While unable to physically be there today, I am very supportive of this drive and have a donation collection basket outside of my office. Thank you to our sponsors and congratulations to our students,” said Assemblywoman Crystal D. Peoples-Stokes.
The Bisons game against the Louisville Bats will begin at 1:05 p.m. on Sunday. Fans wishing to make a Say Yes donation can do so starting at 11:30 a.m. outside the ticket office.
The Dorm Room Drive is currently underway across WNY, and extends beyond school supplies. A full list of the type of essentials needed is included below:
Laundry Kit - Laundry soap, hangers, fabric softener, laundry bag, and laundry basket.
Personal Care Kit – Shampoo, conditioner, razors, shaving cream, soap, brush, towels, washcloths, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, shower shoes, and shower caddy.
Dorm Room Bedding Kit – Bed in a Bag set (for a male or female) that includes fitted sheet, flat sheet, comforter, and pillowcases plus a mattress cover and pillow. Please note: sheet size must be Twin XL to fit a standard dorm room mattress.
School Supplies Kit – Pens, pencils, notebooks, folders, binders, USB cord adapters, printer paper, index cards, post-it notes, dividers, and a heavy-duty backpack.
Donations can be dropped off at the following locations:
- Senator Tim Kennedy's Office – 2239 South Park Ave.
- Say Yes Buffalo's Office – 712 Main St.
- City Hall (Lobby & Basement) – 65 Niagara Square.
- Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes’ Office – Compass East Building Lobby 425 Michigan Ave.
- Senator Chris Jacobs’ Office - 65 Court Street, Rm 213
- Erie County Legislator Barbara Miller-Williams' Office – 427 William St.
- North Buffalo Community Center – 203 Sanders Rd.
- Rich Products Corporation – 1 Robert Rich Way
- Larkin Square, Main Lobby – 726 Exchange St.
- CAO: Masten Resource Center – 1423 Fillmore Ave.
- Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo – 726 Exchange St.
- Buffalo Urban League – 15 Genessee St.
- Mount Moriah Missionary Baptist Church – 400 Northampton St.
- St. Paul’s, Clarence – 4275 Harris Hill Rd., Williamsville
- Cazenovia Neighborhood Library – 155 Cazenovia St.
- Child & Family Services – 844 Delaware Ave.
- The Resource Council of WNY – 347 E. Ferry St.