Senator Kennedy Partners With Kaleida Health, Community and Elected Leaders to Launch Annual Blanket Drive to #WarmUpWNY's Youngest Patients

Timothy M. Kennedy

October 03, 2017

Senator Joins Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo President and Local Volunteers to Kick Off Drive with Blanket Making Party at Resurgence Brewing Company

Western New York Stepped Up in a Big Way Last Year, Collecting Nearly 4,000 Blankets to Help Ease Anxiety of Hospital Stays and Provide Comfort to Patients During Winter Months

BUFFALO, NY – Senator Tim Kennedy (D-Buffalo) joined Women & Children's Hospital of Buffalo (WCHOB) President Allegra Jaros, along with local community and government leaders Tuesday night to launch #WarmUpWNY, a blanket drive designed to bring the comforts of home to our region's youngest patients during hospital stays. Now in its second year, the initiative began after the Senator learned that simple items like warm blankets and socks can bring much-needed comfort to pediatric patients, but are not a reimbursable expense for the hospital. Due to the high volume of young patients these facilities see every day, keeping the supply of donated blankets stocked is often difficult, which is why Kennedy, and the community, decided to step in. To kickoff this year’s drive, Kennedy hosted a ‘Blankets and Brews’ party, encouraging volunteers to come out and make or donate blankets at Resurgence Brewery.

“Wrapping a scared child with a warm and fuzzy blanket can often immediately put them at ease, helping them to find some peace and comfort during what may be the scariest time of their lives. Last year, the City of Good Neighbors lived up to its name tenfold, donating nearly 4,000 blankets to our drive in order to bring warmth and comfort to patients at Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo and HighPointe on Michigan,” said Senator Tim Kennedy. “This year, as we partner with Kaleida Health and our many other local and elected partners to launch our drive once again, we’re hoping to break that record. I encourage the Buffalo region to join us as we Warm Up Western New York’s littlest patients by donating unused blankets for the children in our community who are spending time at the hospital this winter season.”

“We are grateful to Senator Tim Kennedy, Mayor Byron Brown, our elected officials and the entire Western New York community for their unwavering support of our efforts to provide the highest quality care for our patients and their families,” said Allegra Jaros, President, Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo. “The WarmUpWNY initiative relies on the generosity and kindness of those in our community. With their help, we can provide children and families with the comforts of home throughout the year.”

According to doctors, nurses and parents, it’s common for young patients to become anxious over the unknown and unfamiliarity that a trip to the hospital can bring. They say that even the smallest and simplest item can remind kids of home and help to calm their nerves. The drive will coincide with the transition to the new John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital, as well as the Healing Arts Initiative, which aims to provide pediatric patients and families with a physical, mental and emotional healing experience through integrated cultural collaboration and programming.

New or homemade blankets can be dropped off at the following collection sites through February 1st:


Office of Senator Tim Kennedy - 2239 South Park Ave., Buffalo

Office of Mayor Byron Brown - Buffalo City Hall, 65 Niagara Square, Buffalo

Office of Senator Patrick Gallivan - 2721 Transit Rd. Suite 116, Elma

Office of Senator Chris Jacobs - 65 Court St. Room 213, Buffalo

Office of Senator Michael Ranzenhofer - 8203 Main St. Suite 4, Williamsville

Office of Assemblyman Michael Kearns - 1074 Union Rd., West Seneca

Office of Assemblyman Sean Ryan - 65 Grant St., Buffalo

Office of Assemblywoman Monica Wallace - 2562 Walden Ave., Cheektowaga  

Office of Assemblyman Ray Walter - 5555 Main St., Clarence

Office of Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz - 95 Franklin St., Buffalo

Office of Lackawanna Mayor Geoff Szymanski- 714 Ridge Rd., Lackawanna

Cheektowaga Supervisor Diane Benczkowski- 3301 Broadway, Cheektowaga

Office of Legislator Pat Burke- 469 Abbott Rd., Buffalo

Office of Legislator Lynne Dixon at Hamburg Community Center – 4540 Southwestern Blvd., Hamburg

Office of Legislator Joe Lorigo - 101 Slade Ave. Buffalo

Office of Legislator Ed Rath - 92 Franklin St., Buffalo

Office of Councilman David Rivera at Richmond Summer Senior Center – 337 Summer St., Buffalo

Office of Councilman Joel Feroleto at North Buffalo Community Center - 203 Sanders Rd., Buffalo

Office of Councilman Rich Fontana at the Mead Library - 126 Ludington St., Buffalo

Office of Councilman Joe Golombek at the Northwest Buffalo Community Center - 155 Lawn Ave., Buffalo

Broadway Market - 999 Broadway, Buffalo

Cazenovia Library - 155 Cazenovia St., Buffalo

Daily Planet Coffee House - 1862 Hertel Ave., Buffalo

Undergrounds Coffee House – 580 South Park Ave., Buffalo

Fruitbelt Coalition - 150 Maple St. Buffalo

Juran Agency - 1550 Abbott Rd., Lackawanna

Lackawanna Chamber of Commerce - 683 Ridge Rd., Lackawanna

Lackawanna Parent Teacher Network - 245 S. Shore Blvd., Lackawanna

Lackawanna Public Library- 560 Ridge Rd., Lackawanna

Steel City Church - 1449 Abbott Rd, Lackawanna

The River of WNY - 39 Pulaski St., Lackawanna

United Way of Buffalo and Erie County & WNY Women’s Foundation – 742 Delaware Ave., Buffalo

Yar Mo’s Muse, 700 Main St., Buffalo

All Erie County Department of Motor Vehicle Locations:

  • Downtown Buffalo- 170 Pearl St.
  • Eastern Hills Mall- 4545 Transit Rd.
  • Urbandale Plaza- 2122 George Urban Blvd., Depew
  • Sheridan Plaza- 2309 Eggert Rd. (corner of Sheridan), Town of Tonawanda
  • ECC South- 4041 Southwestern Blvd., Building 7, Orchard Park