Mary Friona Celani
As temps dip, it is important to think about the people in our community who can’t afford warm winter clothes. It’s important for all of us to get together and help make a difference.
Our friends at M & T Bank are doing just that with their campaign to collect warm clothes for those in need. The Gift of Warmth Campaign kicks off this weekend and runs through December 29th. Western New Yorkers can drop off donations of new mittens, gloves, scarves, hats and coats at their nearest M & T Bank branch.
But wait, there’s more!
The Buffalo Bills will help M&T kick-off this year’s 32nd annual campaign with a special on-field presentation during their November 12th game against New Orleans. All of the warm clothing collected benefits children and families served by The Salvation Army of Buffalo.
“The shorter days and crisp fall weather remind us that the harsh Buffalo winter is on its way. Through our longstanding relationship with The Salvation Army, we have been able to help more of our neighbors across Western New York stay warm and healthy,” said Jim Jarosz, M&T Bank Group Vice President for Retail Banking in Western New York. “Each year, M&T Bank collects about 3,500 items at local branches during our Gift of Warmth campaign, and this year, with the community’s help, we’re hoping to reach record levels.”
Donations can be dropped off at any of the 77 M&T branches throughout Western New York. Branches in Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Niagara, Orleans and Wyoming Counties participate. Most branches are open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. To find the nearest M&T Bank branch and its hours of operation, visit https://locations.mtb.com.
“So many children in our community walk to school or wait for their bus without appropriate winter-weather clothing. When times are tough for families, they’re forced to make difficult economic decisions to keep their children fed and a roof over their heads. Donating to M&T Bank’s Gift of Warmth campaign will provide a relief, small but important, to our neighbors in need,” said Major Thomas Applin, Executive Director of The Salvation Army of Buffalo. “We are always so grateful to everyone who supports this drive because it allows us to do even more to protect the less fortunate from our region’s harsh winters.”
In 1985, one M&T employee developed an idea to help local families by teaming up with the Salvation Army of Buffalo. That idea has grown into a community-wide effort that remains strong more than 30 years later. Since 2012, the Gift of Warmth campaign has collected nearly 25,000 items of winter-weather accessories for children and families.
In addition to M&T branches, collection bins will also be located at several senior and health care facilities throughout the month of December.