Now in its 36th year, drive collects coats & winter weather items for those in need in Buffalo region
As winter weather returns and forecasters call for record accumulation, M&T Bank announced the return of its “Gift of Warmth” donation drive, the region’s longest-running warm clothing collection program. From Nov. 22 through Jan. 7, 2022, donations of new coats, hats, scarves, gloves and mittens can be made at all of M&T’s local branches to benefit local families in need.
“Our community continually bands together to help our neighbors and, considering many are still grappling with the hardships brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re hoping the City of Good Neighbors comes together once again and helps our neighbors through our cold and snowy winters,” said Mallory Boron, M&T Bank group vice president for retail banking in Western New York.
Now in its 36th year, “Gift of Warmth” has gathered close to 40,000 winter clothing items. The drive started in 1985, when M&T employees held the first campaign to encourage their coworkers to donate warm outerwear for families served by The Salvation Army. It has now grown into a communitywide initiative that collects thousands of winter clothing items every year.
As in previous years, M&T will work alongside The Salvation Army to drive the success of the campaign. The Salvation Army will facilitate the delivery of donated goods to local families in need across its network or volunteers.
“So many members of our community walk to work or school, or wait for their bus, without appropriate winter-weather clothing,” said Major Annette Lock, director of operations for The Salvation Army of Buffalo. “We are always so grateful to M&T and everyone who supports this drive, because it allows us to do even more to protect our community from our region’s harsh winters.”
Donations can be dropped off at any of the 66 M&T branches throughout Western New York. Branches in Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Niagara, Orleans and Wyoming counties are participating. Most branch lobbies are open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and customers have the option to make appointments if preferred. To find the nearest branch and its hours of operation, or to book an appointment, visit https://locations.mtb.com.
In addition to the “Gift of Warmth” campaign, many M&T Bank employees and their families are participating in a virtual toy drive to brighten the holiday season for local children. The initiative will also provide an extra boost to three local small businesses: Clayton’s Toys in Williamsville, Alice Ever After Books in Buffalo and Toy Loft in East Aurora. M&T employees will be asked to purchase gifts through one of those stores online, over the phone or in-person, and the store will deliver it directly to The Salvation Army to be given to local kids.
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.