Employees at Buffalo business raise money to give fifteen WNY charities $5,000 each

Local News

Fifteen charities in WNY were given $5,000 each, from employees of BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York.

“We’re very proud to be chosen for this honor and we have great plans for this new money,” Sally Vincent said, the executive director of the Ronald McDonald House Charities of WNY.

The Ronald McDonald House in Buffalo was one charity chosen. The house helps more than 600 families a year, housing families with sick and injured children close to local, specialized pediatric care. The Ronald McDonald House also has a lounge inside Oishei Children’s Hospital for even more families to take advantage of, and a Happy Wheels Cart. The cart travels from room-to-room at the hospital, offering snacks and drinks to kids and families. 

For 35 years though, the Ronald McDonald House has had the same phone system. So, the $5,000 donation from employees of BlueCross BlueShield will go toward getting a new phone system to connect their 15 bedrooms, and better serve families staying there. 

“We’re very excited,” Vincent said. 

Over the past year, employees at BlueCross BlueShield came together to raise $7,500. Fifteen organizations, all-together, were chosen to receive the $5,000 each.

“It feels very special,” Jenna Goszewski said, an organizational development specialist at BlueCross BlueShield of WNY. 

A cycle-a-thon, which was held in February, was just one of the many fundraising events BlueCross BlueShield employees were apart of. 

In the Spring, employees chose which organizations they want the money to go toward. 

“We ask our employees to nominate the charities they’d like these funds to go to,” Goszewski said. “Once we receive all the nominations, we ask them to vote for their top three.”

Make-A-Wish WNY was another non-profit that received the $5,000. They grant wishes to kids who are fighting through the unimaginable. 

“This year, thanks in part to this support, we’ll support over 100 wishes in the WNY community,” Ben Marchione said, the Make-A-Wish WNY regional director. “We help them in their fight, and it’s a really powerful mission to serve every day.”

Employees at BlueCross BlueShield have contributed more than $500,000 to non-profit organizations since 2005. 

Full list of charities that received $5,000:

· Autism Services, Inc.

· Black Dog Second Chance

· Breast Cancer Network of Western New York

· City of Buffalo Animal Shelter

· Buffalo City Mission

· Camp Good Day and Special Times, Inc.

· Friends of Night People

· Hospice Buffalo

· Make -A-Wish Western New York

· Mercy Flight Western New York

· Ronald McDonald House Charities of WNY

· SPCA Serving Erie County

· The Buffalo Zoo

· Kevin Guest House

· Wings Flights of Hope

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