Senator Kennedy Partners With Say Yes Buffalo to Launch New Dorm Drive for Buffalo Students Heading to College

Sen Kennedy, Mayor Byron Brown, Representatives from Say Yes Announce New Donation Drive

As Say Yes Scholars Prepare to Pursue Higher Education, Some Face Daunting Personal Obstacles, Including Homelessness and Extreme Poverty

Senator and Mayor Brown Join Say Yes Buffalo to Unveil New Community-Based Donation Drive, Designed to Collect Personal and Scholastic Essentials for Students With Needs

BUFFALO, NY – Senator Tim Kennedy (D-Buffalo) joined representatives from Say Yes Buffalo, Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown and local community & government leaders Tuesday to launch a new “Dorm Room Survival Kit” drive, aimed at helping to equip the city’s neediest Say Yes scholars with basic college essentials such as laundry, bedding and personal care items and school supplies. As some of these students prepare to pursue a higher education, Say Yes reports that many face extreme poverty and even homelessness. Kennedy and Say Yes, along with several community partners, hope this drive will help send scholars into their first semesters fully prepared, both inside and outside the classroom. The collection drive, which begins today, will run through September 30th, at which time all donations will be distributed to Say Yes graduates in need.

“Every student deserves the opportunity to receive a quality education, and while Say Yes goes above and beyond to arm many of our students with the financial resources in regards to tuition, many cannot afford the basic personal care and scholastic essentials that accompany the pursuit of a higher education,” said Senator Tim Kennedy. “Bed sheets, laundry detergent, shampoo and towels- these are the things many of us take for granted when we drop our kids off at college, but these very things could make a world of difference for a student who is homeless or comes from extreme poverty. The City of Buffalo is known as the City of Good Neighbors for a reason: we help our own when they truly have no other way out. I’m proud to partner with Say Yes and our many other local and elected partners to launch this drive to collect these essentials, and I encourage the Buffalo region to consider the large impact that any donation could have on a student’s college experience.”

“This effort to equip our city’s neediest Say Yes Scholars with basic college essentials is just another example of how our community stands united when it comes to supporting programs that enable our youth to succeed,” said Mayor Byron W. Brown, who is gearing up to provide another 500 tablets for recent Say Yes Scholar graduates, who are headed to college. “Education is important and we want all of our city youth, from pre-k to college, to get off to a strong start as a new academic year begins.  As we continue to grow Buffalo into a City of opportunity for all, I’m proud to partner with Senator Tim Kennedy, Say Yes, and several other community partners on this important drive that continues the work we’re doing – together - to provide all residents with the tools and resources they need to live productive and successful lives.”

“We’re grateful for partners like Senator Kennedy and Mayor Brown, that respond to the needs of our students,” said David Rust, Say Yes Buffalo Executive Director. “As our scholars get to college, they realize some of their most basic needs are left unmet.  This drive will help to narrow that gap allowing students to focus on excelling academically.”  

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. 

Participating locations include:

  • Senator Tim Kennedy's Office – 2239 South Park Ave.
  • Say Yes Buffalo's Office – 712 Main St.
  • City Hall 65 Niagara Square.
  • Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes’ Office – Compass East Building Lobby 425 Michigan Ave.
  • Assemblyman Sean Ryan’s Office – 936 Delaware Ave.
  • Erie County Legislator Barbara Miller-Williams' Office – 427 William St.
  • Erie County Legislator Patrick Burke’s Office – 469 Abbott Rd.
  • Old 1st Ward Community Center – 62 Republic St.
  • North Buffalo Community Center – 203 Sanders Rd.
  • FruitBelt Coalition – 150 Maple St.
  • Innovation Center – Buffalo Niagara Medical Camps – 640 Ellicott St.
  • Rich Products Corporation – 1 Robert Rich Way.
  • Larkin Square, Main Lobby – 726 Exchange St.
  • CAO: Masten Resource Center – 1423 Fillmore Ave.