M&T Bank kicks off ‘Gift of Warmth’ drive

BUFFALO — For three decades, at its branches across Western New York, M&T Bank has collected warm clothes for local families in need as part of its Gift of Warmth campaign. Starting now and continuing through Dec. 31, Western New Yorkers can again drop off donations of new mittens, gloves, scarves, hats and coats at their nearest M&T Bank branch.

The Buffalo Bills helped M&T kick-off this year’s 31st annual campaign with a special on-field presentation during its Nov. 27 game against Jacksonville. All of the warm clothing collected benefits children and families served by The Salvation Army of Buffalo.

“The snowy, cold weather that has now returned to Western New York is a helpful reminder of the need to give back to our community and help our neighbors stay warm during the winter months,” said Jim Jarosz, M&T Bank Group Vice President for Retail Banking in western New York. “Each year, M&T Bank collects about 3,500 items at local branches during our Gift of Warmth campaign, and this year, with the community’s help, we’re hoping to reach record levels.”

Donations can be dropped off at any of the 77 M&T branches throughout western New York. Branches in Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Niagara, Orleans and Wyoming counties participate. Most branches are open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. To find the nearest branch and its hours of operation, individuals should visit https://locations.mtb.com.

“So many children in our community walk to school or wait for their bus without appropriate winter-weather clothing. When times are tough for families, they’re forced to make difficult economic decisions to keep their children fed and a roof over their heads. Donating to M&T Bank’s Gift of Warmth campaign will provide a relief, small but important, to our neighbors in need,” said Major Thomas Applin, Executive Director of The Salvation Army of Buffalo. “We are always so grateful to everyone who supports this drive because it allows us to do even more to protect the less fortunate from our region’s harsh winters.”

In 1985, one M&T em-ployee developed an idea to help local families by teaming up with the Salvation Army of Buffalo. That idea has grown into a communitywide effort that remains strong more than 30 years later. Since 2012, the Gift of Warmth campaign has collected nearly 20,000 items of winter-weather accessories for children and families.

In addition to M&T branches, collection bins will also be located at several senior and health care facilities throughout December.

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