BAR HARBOR — Bar Harbor Bank & Trust recently presented donations totaling nearly $12,000 to seven Northern New England nonprofit organizations from its employee-driven charitable giving program, Casual for a Cause. The recipients of the contributions collected in Q4 2020 are: BROC Community Action, Capstone Community Action, Friends in Action, Island Connections, Knox County Homeless Coalition, Lake Sunapee Region VNA & Hospice and Tedford Housing.
“These nonprofit organizations provide much-needed services to our communities, and the employees of Bar Harbor Bank & Trust are honored to be able to assist them with their efforts,” said Jack Frost, VP director of community giving at Bar Harbor Bank & Trust.
Casual for a Cause gives Bank employees the opportunity to dress casually on Fridays in exchange for a bi-weekly payroll deduction made to a pool of funds collected during each quarter. The employees then vote on the nonprofits to receive their contributions. Employees have donated more than $100,000 to more than 50 organizations across Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont since the program launched in 2018.
Recipients of Q4 2020 donations
Friends in Action supports Hancock County elders with a range of free or low-cost programs, services such as transportation assistance, and activities that support health, fitness, and arts and enrichment. They empower older adults and those with disabilities to thrive and to live independently with dignity and a strong quality of life. Learn more about Friends in Action at www.friendsinactionellsworth.org.
“Thank you very much for the generous donation from the Bar Harbor Bank & Trust employees,” said Jo Cooper, Friends in Action executive director. “This will assist us in providing much-needed free transportation for older people to medical appointments, as well as doorstep delivery of food and medicine, including boxes from food pantries and hot meals from local food programs.”
Island Connections provides transportation assistance to Mount Desert Island residents who can’t drive for medical or age reasons. Volunteer drivers take residents to medical appointments, grocery shopping, pharmacy visits, and more. Learn more about Island Connections at www.islconnections.org.
“We at Island Connections are overwhelmed with gratitude for the generosity of the employees at Bar Harbor Bank & Trust for becoming a part of the family of Neighbors Helping Neighbors by recommending us to benefit from the Casual for A Cause Program,” said Doreen Willett, Island Connections executive director. “The funds raised will be used for the purchase of PPE for our volunteer drivers to help ensure their safety and that of the Neighbors for whom they provide free transportation services.”
Knox County Homeless Coalition offers comprehensive programs and services to help adults, families, and youth in Midcoast Maine address issues that lead to or perpetuate homelessness. They collaborate with community partners and support clients to find shelter, housing, childcare, physical and mental healthcare, transportation, as well as education, job-skills training, financial literacy and life-skills learning. Learn more about Knox County Homeless Coalition at www.homehelphope.org.
“We couldn’t be more grateful to have this community support,” said Stephanie Primm, Knox County Homeless Coalition executive director. “People don’t always associate phones with housing but an activated phone can be a lifeline for those experiencing homelessness…Your donation can keep 30 families connected to essential resources for a month or more while they work on their goals for stability.”
Tedford Housing is a nonprofit organization based in Brunswick, Maine, with a central belief that everyone deserves to have a safe and affordable home. They provide emergency homeless shelter, supportive housing for previously homeless families and individuals as well as homeless prevention services. Learn more about Tedford Housing at www.tedfordshelter.org.
“Every gift is helping individuals and families experiencing or on the brink of homelessness in the community find permanent housing,” said Rota Knott, Tedford Housing executive director. “Thank you, Bar Harbor Bank & Trust, for supporting our mission to empower people to move from homelessness to home.”
Lake Sunapee Region VNA & Hospice provides health care and hospice services for individuals and families in homes and community settings, fostering continuity of care across settings and enabling people to stay in their homes as long as possible. They serve more than 30 towns in the Lake Sunapee and Upper Valley region. Learn more about Lake Sunapee Region VNA & Hospice at www.lakesunapeevna.org.
“We are very grateful for the strong and continued support of Bar Harbor Bank &Trust as Lake Sunapee VNA & Hospice remains committed to enhancing quality of life of for so many people in the regions both our organizations serve,” said Cathy Raymond, Lake Sunapee Region VNA & Hospice development officer. “Our team of nearly 200 staff travel to every corner of a large service area, making a difference every day. It really does empower them to keep up their good and often challenging work knowing that organizations like yours have our back and believe in what we do.”
BROC Community Action works to allow the disadvantaged members of the community to develop and use their capacities and abilities. They are coordinating volunteers and working to meet the emerging needs, such as food, shelter, and medical supplies, for those struggling with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about BROC Community Action at www.broc.org.
“More families than ever are turning to us now for help due to the impacts created by this languishing pandemic,” said Tom Donahue, BROC Community Action CEO. “Bar Harbor Bank & Trust and their many thoughtful employees have been amazing partners in addressing the needs of vulnerable Vermonters during this difficult time.”
Capstone Community Action is dedicated to creating resilient households and communities and to advancing justice in social, economic and environmental policy. They empower individuals with the tools and resources to move beyond poverty. Learn more about Capstone Community Action at www.capstonevt.org.
“On behalf of the thousands of Vermonters we served in 2020, thank you for your generosity to Capstone Community Action,” said Sue Minter, Capstone Community Action executive director. “During a time of great uncertainty and challenge, we all needed to dig deep, and you rose to the challenge by partnering with us during a year like none other.”