The University Police Department at Alfred State College is making spirits bright this holiday season.
Recently, Lt. Kris Bianchi and Communications Specialist Jaime Howe led an effort that raised more than $300 for the ACCORD Community Action Angels program, which helps community members in need of housewares, school supplies, personal care items, and holiday assistance. The money raised by University Police will help ACCORD purchase gift cards for children ages 13-18, just in time for the holidays.
According to a description of Community Action Angels on the ACCORD website, the program is made possible by donations from the community and volunteers dedicated to assisting and bringing hope and comfort to those experiencing unfortunate circumstances, regardless of income.
Additionally, 12 members of the University Police Department, led by Lt. Scott Bingham took part in the No-Shave November initiative, raising a total of $1,067 for Allegany County Cancer Services. The goal of No-Shave November, according to no-shave.org, “is to grow awareness by embracing our hair, which many cancer patients lose, and letting it grow wild and free. Donate the money you typically spend on shaving and grooming to educate about cancer prevention, save lives, and aid those fighting the battle.”
The union that represents the 500-plus New York State University Police officers and supervisors across New York announced the organization raised more money for cancer prevention, education, and research than any other law enforcement agency in the nation. The agency placed third overall in the organization category. Sixteen University Police Departments participated in No-Shave November, and fundraised to meet the organization’s $15,000 goal by the end of November.
As of Friday, Nov. 30, University Police statewide had raised $16,262– exceeding their goal and surpassing hundreds of other organizations across the United States. Five departments, including Alfred State, who opted to use those funds for local charities in their respective communities, raised an additional $5,034. Collectively, NYSUP raised a total of $25,024.
“The New York State University Police would not have been able to exceed our fundraising goal or finish first in the country among law enforcement agencies, without the generosity of and contributions from our college campus communities,” said Director Ryan Law, New York State University Police Officers Association. “We are grateful for the opportunity to support this cause, and with help from all NYSUP Departments that participated in this effort at universities across the state, we are happy to see these donations put towards helping those with the disease, while taking us steps closer to eradicating it altogether.”
The total raised this year by the University Police in Alfred doubled what was collected last year.
Matthew Heller, chief of the University Police Department at Alfred State College, said, “Part of Alfred State’s strategic plan is to make a positive impact on the local and regional area. The money raised in the form of donations by the members of the department will certainly have a direct impact on some of our local families.”
This year, the University Police Department at Alfred State added an incentive into “No-Shave November” to be the department’s top earner. Craig Heller, one of the department’s communication specialists, raised over $400 and will be allowed to keep his beard for a few more weeks while everyone else’s beard has to go!