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Fueling the Frontlines with Coffee effort raises $5,000 in 1 day

The new initiative supports small businesses by buying coffee from local cafes and sending them to workers on the front lines of the pandemic.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — It started with a brainstorm. Now it is hundreds of coffees going to essential workers and thousands of dollars going into local coffee shops. 

Kaylyn Zurawski is a brand manager for the local marketing company, Of The Sea, LLC. A few weeks ago, her boss challenged their staff to come up with a few ideas to give back to the community. 

Zurawski had seen a poster, featuring different coffee cups all from a different city, and she thought that might be a way to support local coffee shops. Maybe create and sell a poster, and have the proceeds go back into local shops.

Well, that idea grew. 

The Of The Sea team partnered with ZoomBUFFALO.com to create a campaign to not only help local coffee shops, but also front-line workers. 

Working with local designer Sarah Hofheins, a "Coffee Cups of Buffalo, NY" poster was created, featuring some favorite shops of locals.

But rather than selling the poster, they decided you could receive one in exchange for a $25 donation. That donation would be used to buy coffee for essential workers in Buffalo. 

Credit: Sarah Hofheins

In the first day of the campaign on Friday, Of The Sea says it raised more than $5,000. All that money went into local coffee shops, and all of those coffees went to hospital workers, first responders, and others on the front lines of the pandemic. 

The cups on the poster include some of the 14 coffee shops participating in this campaign, aptly named "Fueling the Frontlines with Coffee." 

There are two ways to participate in the campaign:

  • Venmo your favorite local coffee shop $25 with the message "Fueling the Frontlines." You'll get to pick up your copy of the poster from them soon. Your $25 will let that shop donate 10 cups of coffee to the organization of their choice. 
  • Spend $250 to send 100 cups of coffee to your favorite police department, grocery store, hospital, or other essential business. You choose the coffee shop the coffees will come from as well. You'll also get a poster.

Venmo accounts for all participating shops and the form to send coffees to a business of your choice can be found here.

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