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M&T Bank teamed up with Buffalo Bills star receiver Stefon Diggs to spread joy and deliver extra holiday help for about 100 families from the east side of Buffalo during a special celebration held at the William-Emslie Family YMCA in Buffalo. This holiday celebration was the culmination of a season-long partnership between Diggs and M&T Bank.
Inspired by his mother, Stephanie Diggs, who individually raised their family after Stefon’s father passed away when he was just 14 years old, Stefon partnered with M&T to make the holiday season a little easier for local families. They provided gift cards to parents, and their children received new toys donated by Fisher-Price.
“Growing up, I saw how hard my mom worked to make the holidays special and support our family by herself, making huge sacrifices to make us feel happy and loved,” Diggs said. “She’s an inspiration to me, and the memories she created for us were a big reason why I was so excited to team up with M&T Bank for this community holiday celebration. Every child deserves happiness during the holidays, so I was honored to help bring some smiles to their faces and be a part of a new holiday memory for the families who joined us.”
Kelly Dockery, manager of M&T Bank’s branch inside the William-Emslie Family YMCA, said, “Buffalo’s best moments have always come when we join together – when we celebrate together during the holidays, when football brings us together to support our Buffalo Bills, when we collaborate to make a difference in people’s lives. The holidays can be a time of need for many families, and we wanted to respond with generosity. Working together with Stefon Diggs, we organized this holiday celebration to lift sprits and contribute to a more joyful season for our community.”
In addition to the gifts for local families, the community celebration featured dinner from local caterer Manna Culinary Group, a cookie-decorating station, music from DJ Milk, family photo opportunities with Diggs and Billy Buffalo, and other fun activities.
A press release said, “Earlier this year, Diggs and M&T Bank launched a collaborative partnership focused on making a difference in people’s lives and creating authentic connections with fans. The community event Tuesday was a hallmark of their collaboration. Together, they’ve worked to uplift the community and amplify the ‘Football Brings Us Together’ campaign – a community-focused initiative launched by M&T to celebrate Buffalo’s diversity and the values and passions that bring Bills fans together.”
Diggs said, “Through our collaboration, we’ve focused on what we care about most: Helping people, supporting our community, and connecting with fans. For me and M&T, it’s a partnership that’s true to whom we are, using our platforms to make a difference for our community.”
Stefon Diggs partnered with M&T Bank to make the season more special for local youth. (Images courtesy of M&T Bank)
A Community Bank Embedded in a Community Center
M&T Bank selected the William-Emslie Family YMCA to host this holiday event because it’s “a vital community center that serves a variety of critical needs for residents of Buffalo’s east side.”
The press release added, “For example, M&T has embedded a bank branch inside the community center to help area residents achieve financial empowerment.
“The staff at M&T’s YMCA branch focuses on building customer relationships and providing personalized financial guidance to help individuals manage their money and empower underserved communities to build wealth. M&T also holds financial education seminars and works with community groups to reach more people, especially those who don’t currently have access to banking services. In addition to partnering with the YMCA to integrate financial empowerment into their programming, this community event represented another way M&T collaborates with the YMCA to meet community needs beyond banking and financial guidance.”
Making a Difference as the ‘Official Bank of the Buffalo Bills’
M&T’s partnership with Diggs builds on its longstanding relationship with the Buffalo Bills, which began in 1985. As the “Official Bank of the Buffalo Bills,” M&T has worked closely with the Bills organization on community-based initiatives that strengthen Western New York and bring fans closer to their team.
Among the ways M&T and the Bills are working together to make a difference:
√ M&T Bank’s “Touchdown for Teachers” program has recognized about 50 outstanding educators, and awarded more than $40,000 to schools across Western New York over the past 12 years.
√ The Bills support M&T’s annual “Gift of Warmth” drive, which is now underway at M&T branches across the region. The drive has collected about 40,000 winter clothing items for families served by the Salvation Army of Buffalo since it was launched.
√ The M&T Bank flag football program provides local students with the unique experience of connecting with players they admire and learning about the importance of teamwork, leadership and responsibility. Students from four schools – Westminster Community Charter School, Eden Elementary, Martin Road Elementary in Lackawanna and Union East Elementary in Cheektowaga – participated this year.
Fans can engage with M&T, the Bills and Diggs, and learn more about upcoming events and promotions at www.mtb.com/bills.
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.