Article Contributed by
Jamestown Board of Public Utilities
The Jamestown Board of Public Utilities (BPU) kicked off its 19th annual “Cents for St. Susan’” campaign on Tuesday, May 1, with major sponsors getting together to distribute coin canisters throughout the Greater Jamestown area.
The bright green canisters are located on counters in area 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 our area who need nutritious meals in spring and summer. St. Susan Center is able to convert each dollar contributed into $6 worth of food purchased through the Western New York Food Bank.
The BPU has raised $195,481.25 in the previous 18 years of operating the fund drive. In 2017, St. Susan Center recognized the BPU as its Community Supporter of the Year for the BPU’s history of donor campaigns to benefit the Center.
In 2017, the number of meals served at St. Susan Center reached 121,547. So far in 2018, from January – March, St. Susan’s has provided 26,960 meals. St. Susan Center, located at 31 Water Street in Jamestown, serves each guest only one meal a day and is open seven days a week.
Brightly-labeled Cents for St. Susan’s coin canisters are located in the community through the beginning of July. From April through June, people may also donate redeemable cans and bottles at the BPU’s Customer Service Office, 92 Steele Street.
Local sponsors have contributed to the cause so far this year to bring the pledge total to $11,250 in the campaign. These generous donors include: KeyBank at the $2,000 level; at the $500 level: Alfie’s Restaurant; Asplundh; B.J. Muirhead Co. Inc.; Boyles Motor Sales; Century 21/Turner Brokers; Chautauqua Chemicals, Inc.; Falconer Printing & Design, Inc.; Freed Maxick CPA; The Legend Group with Lou Deppas; National Fuel; Northwest Bank; Dale C. Robbins, Attorney; Shults Auto Group; Slone-Melhuish Insurance, Weinberg Financial Group and Wright, Wright and Hampton, Attorneys.
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 Street. 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 Customer Service Office, 92 Steele Street, also will accept empty redeemable bottles and cans to benefit the campaign. The lobby office is open from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Monday-Wednesday and 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Thursday–Friday.
Redeemable cans and bottles also may be donated to the campaign at Don’s Car Wash and the Southside Redemption Center if donors tell the recyclers that they are for “Cents for St. Susan’s.” Cans and bottles donated through June 30 will count toward this campaign.
Area residents looking for their first grilled hot dog of the summer should be sure to stop outside the BPU Customer Service office at the BPU between 11 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Thursday, June 7, to help raise the “Cents for St. Susan’s” contributions total. BPU employees will volunteer their lunch hour times to cook and sell hot dogs to benefit the soup kitchen drive.
Tag days for Cents for St. Susan’s are scheduled to take place on May 19 and June 16 at Brigiotta’s Farmland Store on Fairmount Avenue; and on June 9 at Walmart, also on Fairmount Avenue.
The BPU also has opened a Go Fund Me page for the Cents for St. Susan’s campaign.
“The BPU is proud and happy to organize our 19th fund drive to benefit St. Susan Center and the people it serves,” said BPU General Manager David L. Leathers. “St. Susan Center and its volunteers provide a vital service in an atmosphere of acceptance.”
“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,” added BPU Communications Coordinator Becky Robbins. “Many people are struggling to make ends meet. We have many ways in which the community can donate to help. We hope people can step up to assist us, each in their own way.”
St. Susan Center Executive Director Jeff Smith thanked the BPU for raising donations for the soup kitchen.
“The BPU ‘Cents for St. Susan’s’ drive is a very important part of keeping the operations of our soup kitchen running,” continued Smith. “We appreciate the hard work of the BPU and the generosity of those who give during the campaign.”
People who have questions or who have ideas of other ways to help the BPU “Cents for St. Susan’s” campaign may contact Mrs. Robbins at 661-1680 or by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.