The Buffalo Bills Foundation, NFL Foundation, and Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Western New York are teaming up to help the City of Buffalo and all of Western New York in response to the devastating blizzard that has heavily impacted the entirety of WNY.
The Buffalo Bills Foundation will donate $100,000 to blizzard relief efforts. The NFL Foundation will match the Bills Foundation's donation. In partnership, Highmark BCBSWNY are committing $100,000 relief efforts. A portion of funds will be allocated immediately to region-wide storm-relief efforts to support the victims and all those affected by this once-in-a-generation storm. Funds will also be allocated to future needs of the community as recovery efforts continue in the coming months.
"The Christmas storm of 2022 has been the most intensive storm that we have experienced here in Erie County," Erie County Sheriff John Garcia said. "The loss of life, the amount of people that were in fear of losing loved ones, of not getting medications, or of freezing to death. And for the Buffalo Bills to step up and donate money that could go to feeding people that are basically at this point may be starving or may be homeless, is again showing what a great community partner the Buffalo Bills organization is."
The Bills organization is grateful for all the first responders, community leaders, and everyone else involved who have been working day and night to safely help the citizens of WNY who were stranded away from home, freezing in their cars, or in need of everyday essentials.
"Difficult situation, difficult circumstances," head coach Sean McDermott said. "Great to see that money, that contribution going to a good cause and helping the people of Western New York and everyone affected by the storm."
Now that the treacherous weather conditions are behind us, our organization is focused on identifying the areas which are most in need and helping our entire community recover from the storm.
"The impact of the recent blizzard has been devastating for our community," said Bills Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer Ron Raccuia. "In true Western New York spirit, our first responders and community leaders, along with our friends and neighbors, have stepped up to assist those in need. We are grateful to join these efforts through a donation from the Bills Foundation that will go directly to storm relief, supporting the many impacted across our region. We also extend our sincere appreciation to the NFL Foundation and Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of WNY for their contributions and support that will help now and in the future as recovery efforts continue."
Bills fans can further aid the storm response efforts at the last regular home game of the season against the New England Patriots through the 50/50 raffle. The net charitable proceeds from the raffle will be donated to these efforts. All donations made to the Buffalo Bills Foundation from today through January 10, 2023 will also benefit these relief efforts.
"While we've focused on assisting our members with accessing care and medications, we've become aware of the broader toll the storm has had across Western New York and within the City of Buffalo," said Michael Ball, Vice President, Community Affairs, Highmark BCBSWNY. "Our thoughts are with our workforce, the entire community, and especially, those who have lost a loved one. We stand committed with the Buffalo Bills to supporting the important response of our many long-standing partners."
These initial efforts will make a huge difference to all those impacted, but this is just the beginning. In the coming days and weeks, we will look to provide support through emergency food distributions, shelters, disaster relief organizations, and other organizations directly helping our community recover.