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Tops Friendly Markets announces success of Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign & 'Gift of Warmth Drive'

Tue, Apr 16th 2024 11:10 am

Tops Friendly Markets Press Release

This winter, Tops Friendly Markets was pleased to collaborate on a longstanding tradition with partners M&T Bank and The Salvation Army for their “Gift of Warmth Drive.” Now in its 38th year, Tops welcomed collection bins into stores both in the Buffalo and Rochester regions to collect new hats, gloves, mittens and scarves, which The Salvation Army quickly distributes to families in need and to those without shelter.

This campaign, which has become the region’s longest-running winter clothing collection drive, collected over 4,600 items during the 2023-24 winter season as a result of bins being available for donations at 49 Tops locations and 92 M&T branches throughout the greater Buffalo-Rochester area.

Not only did this new partnership directly impact the communities Tops serves, but it further enhanced Tops’ commitment to The Salvation Army and the Red Kettle Campaign. Bell ringers could be seen – and heard – in Tops vestibules across Western New York helping to raise over $1,007,633!

“Without the support of retail locations such as Tops Markets, loyal volunteers to man the kettles six days a week, and the generosity of the community, The Salvation Army would not be able to raise the funds needed to support those who depend on us for basic needs. Thank you,” said Maj. John Lock of The Salvation Army.

Tops President Ron Ferri said, “For years, we have partnered with The Salvation Army on their Red Kettle holiday campaign in our stores, and now, in joining the ‘Gift of Warmth’ drive, we were proud to be able to further support our neighbors in need. On behalf of Tops Markets, I commend M&T Bank and The Salvation Army for their tremendous work together. We were incredibly proud to join the effort and bring this initiative into our stores.”

M&T Bank Western New York Regional President Eric Feldstein said, “This winter has proven once again just how unpredictable the weather can be in Western New York. From bitter cold and significant snow to mild days and bouts of rain, the ‘Gift of Warmth’ provides critical winter essentials to people in our community who are experiencing clothing and shelter insecurities. This year, by expanding our longstanding ‘Gift of Warmth’ campaign, M&T Bank and Tops Friendly Markets collected over 4,600 winter clothing items for The Salvation Army to distribute to families and individuals in Buffalo and Rochester. We are truly grateful to everyone who helped make this year’s drive a success.”

The “Gift of Warmth” was created in 1985 when a small group of M&T Bank employees came together to encourage their colleagues to donate winter clothing items to The Salvation Army. As the years went on, this small group effort transformed into a communitywide campaign and has since collected over 41,500 winter clothing items – all distributed by The Salvation Army to local families, children and individuals. Through this year’s expanded “Gift of Warmth” campaign, M&T Bank and Tops Friendly Markets collaborated to inspire their employees, customers and communities to get involved and helped their neighbors stay warm this winter.

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