Cents For St. Susan’s

The Jamestown Board of Public Utilities has kicked off its 13th annual “Cents for St. Susan’s” campaign with major sponsors getting together to distribute coin canisters throughout the greater Jamestown area.

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 our area who need nutritious meals in spring and summer. The St. Susan Center is able to convert each dollar contributed into $7 worth of food purchased through the Western New York Food Bank.

The BPU has raised $124,580 in the 12 years of operating the fund drive. Campaigns in the last two years have each brought in just more than $13,000 each to help the soup kitchen. The St. Susan Center provided 98,094 meals in 2012, an increase of 2.29 percent from 2011 when 95,852 meals were served. 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 end of June. From April through June, people can also donate redeemable cans and bottles at the BPU’s Customer Service Office, 92 Steele St., in the City.

Local sponsors have contributed $500 each to the cause to bring the pledge total to $8,000 to date in the campaign. These generous donors include: KeyBank ($1,000), Alfie’s Restaurant, Allied Alarm Services, Asplundh, Century 21/Turner Brokers, DFT Communications, Falconer Printing & Design, Inc., Freed Maxick CPAs, Lake County Dodge Chrysler Jeep, The Legend Group with Lou Deppas, Jamestown Savings Bank, National Fuel, Valu Hearing Services, Weinberg Financial Group and Whit Russell. 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.

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, BPU 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.

Doughnut lovers should be sure to stop at Farm Fresh Foods on Third Street on Tuesday to help raise the “Cents for St. Susan’s” contributions total. Farm Fresh Foods has pledged to contribute $2 to the drive for each dozen of doughnuts the bakery sells on that Tuesday.

“The BPU is proud and happy to organize our 13th fund drive to benefit St. Susan Center and the people it serves,” 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. We are happy to contribute our time to assist the effort.”

Sue Colwell, St. Susan Center executive director, thanked the BPU for raising donations for the soup kitchen.

“The BPU campaign provides significant income for our budget, and we are grateful,” said Colwell. “We are very fortunate to have consistent help from people in our community – such as the BPU – who raise and donate money throughout the year to make St. Susan Center viable. Our volunteers, including BPU volunteers, provide assistance that makes it possible for St. Susan Center to do what we do. Thank you.”

For more information about the Cents for St. Susan’s campaign, call Robbins at 661-1680 or email brobbins@jamestownbpu.com.