Community Helping Hands up for $10,000 grand price in competition

Submitted Photo Community Helping Hands has reached the finals of M&T Bank’s Understanding What's Important Business Challenge and are now they're up for the $10,000 grand prize in a public vote. Voting started Nov. 2.

BUFFALO — M&T Bank announced the five finalists in its first-ever Understanding What’s Important Business Challenge, an initiative that celebrates local businesses and the organizations they support to make a difference in their communities.

The public will have an opportunity to vote for their favorite of the five finalist organizations on M&T’s contest website. Voting ends Wednesday, Nov. 22. The winning organization will be awarded $10,000, and the remaining finalists will each receive $1,000.

“At M&T Bank, we understand that small businesses help keep our communities strong and successful-not only by creating jobs and economic growth, but by supporting local charities and not-for-profit organizations as well. To show our appreciation for their hard work and commitment, we asked our small business customers to share their stories about a local organization that’s important to them. Hundreds took the time to share their stories and now we’re asking our neighbors to vote for their favorite finalist organization to win a $10,000 gift of support,” said Eric Feldstein, M&T Bank senior vice president and manager of business banking. “The well-being of our communities depends on the hard work and commitment of our families, friends and neighbors, and we’re honored to recognize and support their tireless efforts.”

M&T received nearly 500 submissions from businesses throughout its geographic footprint. The five finalists are:

¯ Benedictine Health Foundation – Kingston, New York

Nominated by Timely Signs of Kingston

Working alongside health care providers and educators, the Benedictine Health Foundation develops innovative programs to improve the health and well-being of individuals who are vulnerable or underserved. It focuses its services on key pillars, such as cancer care, behavioral health, substance abuse services and spiritual care to support families during times of need. Learn more at

¯ Community Helping Hands – Jamestown, New York

Nominated by Trinity Guitars

Community Helping Hands is a community-based nonprofit that provides emergency assistance to local families in need of clothing, household items and furniture. It is based in a repurposed factory building that houses several programs and organizations to serve the community. They adopt a holistic approach to change lives, including providing innovative workforce development programs. Visit to learn more.

¯ LifePath Christian Ministries – York, Pennsylvania

Nominated by Osterberg Chiropractic Centres

LifePath provides support services to help their neighbors who are facing poverty, hunger or homelessness. In addition, it seeks to address mental health issues, such as addiction or depression, in order to facilitate life transformations that improve quality of life for individuals and the community. For more, visit

¯ There Goes My Hero Inc. – Lutherville, Maryland

Nominated by ProfitComm

Founded by a leukemia survivor and bone marrow transplant recipient, There Goes My Hero Inc. seeks to restore hope to blood cancer patients and their families by increasing registered bone marrow donors and by funding meals to families and patients in treatment. To date, they have added more than 14,500 names to the registry and have funded more than 134,000 meals. For more, visit

¯ Waggies by Maggie & Friends – Wilmington, Delaware

Nominated by Janssen’s Market

Waggies by Maggie & Friends is a nonprofit dog treat company whose mission is to employ persons with intellectual disabilities. By providing meaningful employment, encouragement and support, Waggies aims to empower its employees to be successful in the workplace and in the community. More information is at

To learn more about the finalist organizations and their nominating businesses, and to cast your vote, visit:

Finalists were selected based upon independent scoring criteria that weighed key factors including why the community organization is important to the nominating business, the business’ involvement with the organization and the impact of the prize money.

M&T Bank will announce the winning community organization on Tuesday, Nov. 28, which is also being celebrated globally as Giving Tuesday. Voting opens at 7 a.m. ET Nov. 2 and closes at 11:59 a.m. ET Nov. 22.

For M&T’s business banking team, “Understanding What’s Important” is more than the company’s mantra, it’s a description of their approach to business. They seek to understand what’s important to their customers-whether it’s expanding the company or supporting nonprofit organizations in their community-in order to help them achieve their goals.