Under resourced neighborhoods within the immediate vicinity of Rich Products’ world headquarters in Buffalo, NY have made strides in recent years. Still, almost half of all residents live in or near poverty* and populations like refugees and immigrants, young adults, seniors, and families with children are at high risk for experiencing poverty.
*Source: Mobile Safety Net, Number in Need
In 2015, Rich’s joined a coalition of non-profits, government agencies, private businesses and individuals committed to making a difference on Buffalo’s West Side. As part of this “West Side Promise Neighborhood” (WSPN), Rich’s is committed to building strong partnerships and bringing in talent that benefits the residents. Since 2015, Rich’s has granted nearly $10M to organizations that are located within or directly serving WSPN populations within five zip codes. One part of that promise is providing a holistic learning experience for underserved populations. The other is building leadership skills and enhancing the professional backgrounds of the community members and partners with which the organization works.
Overall, on the West Side of Buffalo, poverty rates are down, crime is down, and high school graduation rates are up from 2011*. One critical component of WSPN is focusing resources on community schools, and Rich’s financial and knowledge-sharing partnership with Say Yes Buffalo has helped to support that program’s success.
“We are honored to have such a wonderful partner in the Rich’s and Rich Family Foundation,” said David Rust, Say Yes Buffalo’s CEO. “They wholeheartedly support the mission of our organization and have done so for many years. Not only do they support with their financial contributions, they double down by investing an even more valuable resource of time in committing to the nurturing and development of our students through our mentoring and internship programs. Rich’s Executive Vice Chair Bill Gisel has made a multi-year commitment to serve on our Board of Directors and is an integral part of our organizational strategy and direction.”
Since Say Yes Buffalo’s launch in 2012, the non-profit has supported more than 8,000 Buffalo Public Schools students, including more than 2,000 collegebound Say Yes scholars. From 2012-2017, the high school graduation rate has increased 27 percentage points, to 76% and 23% more students have gone on to college.
We can’t consider ourselves successful in business if those around us are suffering.