M&T Bank has announced the return of "Gift of Warmth," the area's longest-running warm clothing collection program for local families in need. Nov. 26 through Jan. 4, all 65 M&T branches throughout Western New York will collect donations of new mittens, gloves, scarves, hats and coats on behalf of The Salvation Army of Buffalo.
M&T Bank started "Gift of Warmth" in 1985, when employees were encouraged to make donations of warm clothing to benefit the Salvation Army of Buffalo. That was the start of a communitywide effort that has grown to distribute more than 28,000 winter clothing items to children and families across the region.
"Our goal is to collect and provide as many garments as possible to needy individuals and families in our community," said Jim Jarosz, M&T Bank group vice president for retail banking in Western New York. "With the generous support of our branch associates and customers, we're excited to aim for 3,500 items this year."
"It's such a privilege to be working with M&T Bank for the 33rd year in a row," said Maj. Steven A. Lopes, executive director of The Salvation Army of Buffalo. "Having a warm coat, hat and gloves in the winter is something many of us take for granted. M&T and its customers understand the power they have to make a difference and we couldn't be happier to be a partner in this work."
Donations can be dropped off at any of the 65 M&T branches throughout Western New York. Branches in Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Niagara, Orleans and Wyoming counties participate. Most branches are open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays. To find the nearest branch and its hours of operation, individuals should visit https://locations.mtb.com
The Buffalo Bills will help kick-off this year's campaign with a special on-field presentation during the Nov. 25 game against Jacksonville. In addition to M&T branches, collection bins will also be located at several senior and health care facilities throughout the month of December.
About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army has been supporting those in need without discrimination since 1865. Nearly 33 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children. About 83 cents of every dollar raised is used to support those services in nearly 9,000 communities nationwide.