Allegra Jaros, president of Oishei Children's Hospital was joined by Senator Tim Kennedy along with Kaleida Health staff and local community and government leaders, to unveil the 10,000 blankets collected this year.

Allegra Jaros, president, Oishei Children’s Hospital was joined by Senator Tim Kennedy (D-Buffalo), along with Kaleida Health staff and local community and government leaders, to unveil the 10,000 blankets collected as part of the annual Warm Up WNY blanket drive. Designed to bring the comforts of home to our region's youngest patients during hospital stays, the drive ran from November 2018 through February 2019, in partnership with more than two dozen community and government leaders.

Kennedy launched the drive in 2016 after hearing from doctors, nurses and parents, who explained how common it was for young patients to become anxious over the atmosphere that a trip to the hospital can bring. They said that even the smallest and simplest item a like warm blanket could remind children of home and help to calm these growing fears. But since these items are not reimbursable by the hospital, they rely on the generosity of the community to provide this comfort to the children and families they care for. Due to the high volume of patients seen every day, keeping the supply of blankets stocked is often difficult, which is why Kennedy- and the community - decided to step in.

Since the inception of #WarmUpWNY, more than 25,000 blankets have been donated and distributed to children at the hospital.

"For the third year in a row, the City of Good Neighbors has lived up to its name, allowing us to once again hit our target for blanket collections for the patients of Oishei Children's Hospital," said Senator Tim Kennedy. "I want to thank my colleagues in government, our partners in the private and public sector who stepped up in a huge way, and, of course, the amazing leadership here at the hospital. A blanket brings a reminder of home to a child who can find a hospital to be a frightening place and I am so grateful that the people of Western New York helped us to collect over 10,000 blankets for our youngest patients."

“We are so grateful for Senator Kennedy and the Western New York community’s commitment to ensuring the comfort of our patients each winter. We cannot say thank you enough for delivering for our children and families each year,” said Allegra Jaros, MBA, president of Oishei Children’s Hospital.