In recognition of the National Day of Service on Monday, Jan. 20, which also happens to be Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Explore & More – The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Children’s Museum and BankOnBuffalo have partnered to collect winter clothing items (new hats, mittens and socks) for the children residing at Gerard Place.
While BankOnBuffalo associates are already collecting these items internally, the official drive will kick off at Explore & More on Jan. 20 in which any patron bringing in a donation will receive $3 off their admission for that day.
BankOnBuffalo is also the presenting sponsor for Martin Luther King Jr. Day activities, including stories and crafts at Explore & More.
Since 2000, Gerard Place has been providing housing for homeless single parents and their families and empowering those parents through education, employment, vocational training, life skills classes and counseling.
“Gerard Place is very grateful to BankOnBuffalo and Explore & More for their very generous drive to help the children and families in our very poor surrounding community. Organizations working together to provide essential clothing at this time of year for those most vulnerable in our community is what is best about Buffalo,” said David Zapfel, CEO/president of Gerard Place.
“In the spirit of Martin Luther King Jr. and his vision of building a better community, BankOnBuffalo employees are not taking this holiday off, but we are taking it on – by volunteering to collect needed hats, mittens and gloves to support Gerard Place and reduced admissions at the Explore & More Children’s Museum,” said Martin T. Griffith, BankOnBuffalo president. “As part of our commitment, we are also happy to donate 100 tickets for city children to have free admission on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.”
In addition to the donation drive, Explore & More has planned a day of storytelling, crafts and activities all focused on celebrating King's life and teachings of diversity, equality, freedom and resistance. Among the activities, Phyllis Thompson of Young Audiences of WNY will make a story quilt with the children, teaching them about the tradition of quilt-making, including the meanings and symbolism of the designs. The Colored Musicians Club of WNY will also be on hand to perform for the children and families.
Additionally, through the generosity of BankOnBuffalo, 100 children from family members at the Northland Workforce Training Center and from Buffalo Public School No. 89 will get free admission to spend their day and play and learn at Explore & More on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
For more information on the museum, the clothing drive or the festivities for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, contact Kristin Scholz at [email protected] or 716-380-8565.