Grace Heidinger Dorian Volsch, Community Engagement Officer & Production Manager at Buffalo City Mission
A handful of Bills coaches and members of the Buffalo Bills organization took some time away from their offices at One Bills Drive on Wednesday afternoon to give back to the Buffalo community for the 5th annual Buffalo Bills Coach Serve Day at the Buffalo City Mission.
Giving back to the community is an important part of the culture and identity of the Bills organization, so Wednesday's trip to the City Mission touched the hearts of all who were involved in making the event memorable.
"We love having the Bills here at the Mission," Heather Mattiuzzo, Senior Manager of Marketing/Communications/Volunteers said. "This is the fifth year that they've been out to the Mission serving our residents and the community, and everybody loves it. They feel so uplifted and so special with the items that the Bills bring and the meal that Chef Darian serves. It is just such a wonderful way to just give back and love more on our residents."
Bills special teams coordinator Matthew Smiley, defensive quality control coach Jaylon Finner, assistant special teams coach Cory Harkey, assistant defensive line coach Marcus West, director of team administration Matt Worswick, and team chaplain Len Vanden Bos took part in the special day to serve delicious meals and spread smiles to those in need.
"Buffalo does so much for us, as the Buffalo Bills. As coaches and players, we kind of come and go, but the Buffalo Bills are this community," Coach Smiley said. "Anytime we have a chance to get out of the office and help out in the community, that's an opportunity we want to take."
Chef Darian Bryan of The Plating Society plated his staple meal and the first meal he ever cooked when he was back in Jamaica - Jamaican curry chicken, jasmine rice, and green beans. Each plate was served with love and that love was reciprocated through kind thank you messages that the chef received after the residents and guests cleared their plates.
"To come here and cook for these people in the shelter and the homeless folks, it just warms my heart to see how much they appreciate the love and my meal," Chef Darian said. "It's love serving my community and taking care of my people."
The coaches served a community meal for individuals who don't reside at the City Mission, and a resident meal for the men, women, and children who call the Alfiero Family Center and Cornerstone Manor their home. The lunch was topped off with a spread of delicious desserts, musical entertainment from DJ Milk and DJ Yes, and a "Choose Love" gift bag filled with a 2022 Bills yearbook, Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs pictures, and a Bills pennant.
"We look forward to it every year," Mattiuzzo said. "Pastor Len does an awesome job giving the opportunity to the coaches to come out and to serve."
Dorian Volsch, Community Engagement Officer & Production Manager at Buffalo City Mission
The date of this highly-anticipated event is always circled on the calendar for the Bills staff and those at the City Mission, and they're excited to keep the tradition going in the years to come.
"The staff here does a phenomenal job of running this and setting this day up for us," Smiley said. "We get to interact with these guys, which is wonderful for us. I know they enjoy it, but we probably get more out of it than they do. We're also able to take a tour of the facility, which that's the first time I've gotten to see the new facility in its entirety, and that's an impressive facility."
"I think it's amazing how much they help the community of Buffalo and the people that need it," Smiley said. "So, for the people that are looking for a way to help, even just being able to donate money to the Buffalo City Mission is a giant need and would be very helpful."