Educational program will work with schools, church youth groups & other youth programs across WNY to ignite support in fight against hunger, homelessness
On Tuesday, the Buffalo City Mission kicked off the fourth year of its “Mission Possible” youth incentive program, a communitywide initiative that brings together area schools, church youth groups and other youth programs to engage students of all ages in an exciting, educational and action-orientated food drive challenge.
The launch was made official as part of an opening ceremony event held at the Buffalo City Mission’s women and children’s shelter – Cornerstone Manor – in front of a live audience including students, faculty and organization leaders from Western New York, along with City Mission staff.
“The ‘Mission Possible’ food drive challenge demonstrates the creative potential and impact of our community’s younger generation,” said Aubrey Calhoun, associate executive director of the Buffalo City Mission. “Each year, the inspiring participation of this region’s schools, church youth groups and other youth programs shows how problem-solving skills and real-world concepts can make a meaningful difference for the poor and homeless. We look forward to seeing what this year’s competition can accomplish.”
In the “Mission Possible” program, student teams come together to develop a vision and strategy of how to track, measure and accomplish goals, and earn character milestone “badges” that recognize the importance of being a visionary, having kindness, compassion, generosity, and also being a community changer. Last year’s program engaged 23 schools, youth organizations and colleges to raise more than 33,000 canned goods, providing more than 8,300 individual meals for the homeless.
“Last year’s winner of the 2018 ‘Mission Possible’ food drive challenge was Clarence Middle School, raising over 3,770 canned goods and exceeding their goal by 842%,” Calhoun said. “With each new year, the ‘Mission Possible’ competition gets better, engagement is higher, and the results get stronger. There is no limit to what we can achieve through collaboration, character and creativity. Through this competition, we continue to achieve special results that help our community neighbors in our fight to alleviate hunger.”
The competition will take place over one 10-week challenge period from Oct. 1 to Dec. 13. Features include, but are not limited to, a rolling e-scorecard to track team progress, creative activations with contributed canned goods, ongoing rallies, awards, and active involvement from the challenge mascot, “Can Man,” and program newcomer, “Dr. Hunger.” The goal is to generate 24,000 canned goods before the end of 2019.
This year’s “Mission Possible” challenge is sponsored by key community partners: Rich Products, Citi, GEICO, Wegmans Food Markets, Windsong Radiology Group, and Clover Management Group, with supporting sponsorship from National Grid. Together, these partners have provided more than $65,000, which helps support the City Mission’s afterschool and summer camp programming for children who reside at the mission, and the surrounding community.
“For the fourth straight year, Citi is proud to sponsor the ‘Mission Possible’ food drive challenge of the Buffalo City Mission, said Robin L. Wolfgang, communications officer, Citi. “Our partnership with the City Mission connects closely with Citi’s own corporate mission to help address complex social and economic challenges around the world. Working with strong community organizations like the City Mission, we continue to drive new ideas and progress that strengthen communities and solve for unmet needs like hunger and homelessness.”
“Wegmans is proud to be involved in a competition that delivers so much for so many of those in need in our community,” said Michele Mehaffy, consumer affairs manager at Wegmans Food Markets. “Our company believes strongly that good people, working toward a common goal, can accomplish anything they set out to. We are excited to work with the City Mission, students and educators across our region to provide nutritious food to underserved communities across Western New York.”
“GEICO applauds the Buffalo City Mission in their work with our region’s younger generations, and is proud to once again sponsor this competition,” said Mehreen Khan, customer service supervisor at GEICO. “Working together, we will make a positive impact on the lives of the hungry and homeless in our community.”
To learn more about Mission Possible and how to register a team, visit bcmpossible.org/register or call 716-854-8181, ext. 407.
About Buffalo City Mission
The Buffalo City Mission, founded in 1917, is a nonprofit organization providing preventative, emergency, and transitional housing programs to thousands of people who are homeless and impoverished every year. The agency includes a women and children’s shelter (Cornerstone Manor), the men’s community center, and the Dick Road thrift store to serve the Western New York community. For more information, visit buffalocitymission.org or call (716) 854-8181. Follow on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/BuffaloCityMission or on Twitter at https://twitter.com/CityMission.