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WNY Community Impact Week image courtesy of M&T Bank.
WNY Community Impact Week image courtesy of M&T Bank.

M&T Bank launches first WNY Community Impact Week, announces return of 'Gift of Warmth'


Fri, Nov 18th 2022 10:25 am

About 1,000 M&T employees expected to volunteer in charitable events

√ M&T’s annual ‘Gift of Warmth’ drive returns for 37th year, collecting winter weather gear for local families in need

M&T Bank announced the launch of its first-ever WNY Community Impact Week and the start of the 37th annual “Gift of Warmth” drive, as it “marks this season of gratitude by making a difference in people’s lives.”

A press release said, “Both initiatives are large-scale efforts that empower M&T’s workforce and branch network to uplift the community through volunteerism and charitable activities.”

As part of the bank’s inaugural WNY Community Impact Week, which is now underway, about 1,000 employees are volunteering to support about 20 different community organizations. Additionally, when the annual “Gift of Warmth” drive returns next week, M&T employees will lead a regionwide campaign at 60 area branches to collect winter clothing items for local families in need.

Again, the release said, “The community-focused bank fosters a commitment to volunteering among its employees by offering 40 hours of paid volunteer time each year, and it invests significantly in nonprofit organizations that meet important community needs, contributing over $8.4 million to more than 270 nonprofits in Western New York last year alone.”

M&T Bank Regional President for Western New York Eric Feldstein said, “As a bank for communities, generosity and service are at the heart of who we are as a company and as individuals. We’re a group of people who care about each other and our neighbors and, working together, we fulfill our purpose and make a collective impact that’s immense – bigger than anything we could achieve on our own. WNY Community Impact Week and the ‘Gift of Warmth’ drive represent a massive mobilization of our workforce and resources to make a difference in people’s lives. About 1,000 of our colleagues and dozens of branches across Western New York will be involved in these two unique initiatives. We’re grateful for everyone who gets involved, whether they donate the gift of a new coat or the gift of their time.”

WNY Community Impact Week

M&T’s first-ever WNY Community Impact Week “builds on its longstanding commitment to supporting causes and organizations that strengthen the Buffalo Region. With the theme of ‘Giving With Gratitude,’ employees are participating in a number of events throughout this week.”

Since Monday, hundreds of employees have joined volunteer activities coordinated at One M&T Plaza, M&T Center, Seneca One and several local branches, such as creating no-sew blankets and holiday cards and collecting food donations.

Later in the week, the focus shifted to the on-site needs of community organizations across the region. M&T employees are volunteering to assist with a range of projects for 18 different community partners, including Beds for Buffalo, Boys & Girls Clubs of the Northtowns, Boys & Girls Clubs of Buffalo – Masten Clubhouse, Buffalo City Mission, Delevan Grider Community Center, Every Bottom Covered, FeedMore WNY, Goodwill, Habitat for Humanity Buffalo, Ken-Ton Closet, Kevin Guest House, Old First Ward Community Association, The Salvation Army, St. Luke’s Mission of Mercy, Stitch Buffalo, The Teachers Desk, The Tool Library and Westminster Community Charter School.

M&T is also hosting a nonperishable food drive throughout the week, with all donated items to be distributed by FeedMore WNY.

‘Gift of Warmth’ Winter Clothing Drive

The 37th annual “Gift of Warmth” drive, M&T Bank’s longstanding initiative in partnership with The Salvation Army, is back to help local families in need stay warm this winter. Beginning Monday, Nov. 21, M&T branches across Western New York will be accepting donations of new coats, hats, scarves, gloves and mittens. The drive runs through Friday, Jan. 6, 2023.

The “Gift of Warmth” began in 1985 when a small group of M&T employees encouraged their coworkers to donate to The Salvation Army. Growing into a communitywide effort, the “Gift of Warmth” has now collected more than 40,000 winter clothing items, all distributed by The Salvation Army to local children, families and individuals.

“We look forward to the ‘Gift of Warmth’ drive every year because our region’s generosity always shines through. For decades, M&T Bank’s commitment to this campaign has helped us rally our neighbors to meet the need in our community. We’re grateful for all they’ve done to lead this tremendous effort,” said Maj. Annette Lock, The Salvation Army director of operations of Erie County. “This could be a tough winter for many Western New Yorkers, so every donation – even just a pair of mittens or a winter cap – will make a big difference for local families who need our help staying warm.”

The Buffalo Bills will also help promote the campaign by encouraging fans to get involved with in-game announcements and social media messages.

Donations to the “Gift of Warmth” program can be dropped off at 60 M&T branches throughout Western New York, including branches in Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Niagara, Orleans and Wyoming counties. Most branch lobbies are open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays. To find the nearest location and hours of operation, visit https://locations.mtb.com.

In addition to the “Gift of Warmth” drive, many M&T Bank employees and their families are participating in a virtual toy drive for local children this holiday season.

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 Salvation Army will pick up the toys and distribute them to local families.

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.

About M&T Bank

M&T Bank Corp. is a financial holding company headquartered in Buffalo. M&T's principal banking subsidiary, M&T Bank, provides banking products and services in 12 states across the eastern U.S. from Maine to Virginia and Washington, D.C. Trust-related services are provided in select markets in the U.S. and abroad by M&T's Wilmington Trust-affiliated companies and by M&T Bank. For more information about M&T Bank, visit www.mtb.com.

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