Camden, ME – March 15, 2016 – Camden National Bank employees have been busy delivering a little extra “hope” to area homeless shelters and charitable organizations over the past week. In conjunction with its Hope@Home initiative, all of the Bank’s 64 locations hosted a company-wide drive during the month of February to collect urgently needed items for Maine’s homeless. Each of the “Hope Kits” included personal items, toiletries and non-perishable food items that the shelters can provide to people in need. Due to an outpouring of support from employees, customers and local businesses throughout the state, Camden National Bank was able to deliver 2,000 kits to help close to 50 area shelters and organizations that provide vital assistance to those in need in Maine.
“We are so thankful for the response we had to our collection efforts,” said Greg Dufour, president and chief executive officer of Camden National Bank. “No matter where I traveled or the communities I visited, there were stories about businesses and individuals who went out of their way to bring items into our banking centers or donate funds to help with purchasing additional supplies for them. It was truly overwhelming, and it speaks to the generosity of the people in our state and their willingness to help their fellow neighbors.”
In coordination with its Hope@Home initiative, the Bank created the Hope Kit collection drive as another means to raise awareness around the issue of homelessness in Maine and provide assistance to the state’s homeless population and the shelters and organizations that support them. Camden National Bank worked with these organizations to identify some of the most urgently needed items for individuals and families, both sheltered and unsheltered, in area communities. Items included toiletries such as toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap and deodorant; personal items and necessities such as hand and foot warmers, bandages, antibacterial wipes, socks, and winter hats, scarves and gloves; and non-perishable, high protein food items like energy bars, trail mix, peanut butter, instant soups and cereals, and beef jerky.
In the Midcoast area, more than 300 kits were distributed between the Hospitality House in Rockport and New Hope for Women in Rockland.
“These Hope Kits are much more than the contents they contain,” said Kristi Braun, development director for New Hope for Women. “For many of our clients, to receive a Hope Kit is to know that there are people who care about them and that they are not alone. Hope Kits remind victims that they matter and are worthwhile. It is the message sent by the community and measured by both the quantity and quality of the kits that have been donated. When you walk in the door at New Hope for Women the first thing you see is an enormous pile of Hope Kits, and that immediately lets a victim know that they are not alone.”
Braun added, “To Camden National Bank and everyone who contributed to the Hope Kits: Thank you for bringing awareness to this issue, not minimizing it. Thank you for expressing an understanding of the prevalence of this problem, not denying it. Thank you showing that you are part of a community that supports and empowers one another.
In the Bangor area, more than 200 kits were donated to the Bangor Area Homeless Shelter, and in the Downeast region, kits were delivered to Emmaus Homeless Shelter in Ellsworth and Next Step Center in Machias among others. In Southern Maine, donations were delivered to the Preble Street Teen Center in Portland, Tedford Housing in Brunswick, York County Shelter Programs in Alfred, and other local community organizations. Central Maine contributions included donations to the Bread of Life Shelter and the Augusta Community Warming Center in Augusta, the Mid-Maine Homeless Shelter in Waterville, and Trinity Jubilee Center in Lewiston.
“We are thrilled by the support we’ve been receiving from Camden National Bank through the Hope@Home program, said Rowena Griffin, executive director of the Bangor Area Homeless Shelter. “Our staff and guests were amazed by the recent donation of 203 Hope Kits filled with personal hygiene products, snacks and other goodies. There were many smiling faces all around, and those who utilized our food pantry were excited to receive their very own bag. The individuals we serve are very aware of the Hope@Home program and appreciative of all the support we receive from it. We can’t thank Camden National enough for everything they do in this community.”
Through the community-based, statewide Hope@Home program, Camden National Bank donates $100 for every new home it finances to a local homeless shelter in the homeowner’s name. In 2015, the Bank raised over $44,000 for Maine’s homeless shelters.
“As a community bank, we are dedicated to working with local shelters and other charitable organizations that provide vital assistance to those in need,” added Dufour. “We are pleased with the response we’ve had to Hope@Home this past year and to our recent collection efforts, and we plan to continue to look for opportunities to increase this awareness and offer help wherever we can.”
To view a video recap of the Hope@Home initiative and the recent Hope Kit collection efforts, go to https://youtu.be/JJKNOgAnaUY. For more information on Hope@Home or how to join Camden National Bank’s efforts to help Maine’s homeless individuals, children and families, please visit our Hope@Home page.
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Images shown above:
CNB Midcoast Hope Kits_managers with donations: Camden National Bank managers representing 13 banking centers in the Midcoast area deliver over 300 Hope Kits to the Hospitality House and New Hope for Women. (Pictured L-R, back row: Randy Cruz, Vickie Hersom, Jody Landrith, Nicole Hotchkin, Carissa Christie, Ann Brindle, Samantha Helander; front row, kneeling, L-R: Jim Jarvis, Juanita Paparello and Crystal Spear)
CNB Bangor Hope Kits_BAHS: Camden National Bank managers from the greater Bangor area deliver over 200 Hope Kits to Rowena Griffin, executive director of the Bangor Area Homeless Shelter. (Pictured L-R: Taylor Black, Carrie Bishop, Cynthia Bergin, Traci Tenney and Griffin)
CNB Hope Kits Brunswick delivery: Camden National Bank employees deliver their Hope Kit collections to Jennifer Iacovelli of Tedford Housing in Brunswick. (Pictured L-R: Francisco Perdomo, Vickie Hersom, Derek Beaulieu, Liz Wyman and Iacovelli)