Every year, Banker & Tradesman rounds up a snapshot of good deeds performed by industry professionals in the finance and real estate fields to commemorate the holiday giving season. Features on these selfless acts could fill every page of this issue; the staff receives so many emails about philanthropic endeavors, we collect and highlight them in a weekly Friday feature on bankerandtradesman.com. 

As 2018 wraps up, Banker & Tradesman is pleased and proud to acknowledge some of the fine work done by volunteers in industries and communities across the commonwealth. 

 Blue Hills Bank Invests in its Community 

 Blue Hills Bank donated $100,000 in support of Hyde Park’s 150-year anniversary in February.  

Spearheaded by volunteer co-chairs Scott Smith and Michelle Consalvo, along with more than 100 volunteers, the HP150 Steering Committee planned a year-long celebration with four main events: a Founder’s Day Celebration in April, followed by a Family Fun Festival, an “I Remember When” Senior Citizen event at Blue Hill Collaborative and a Festival in the Streets in June in the neighborhood’s Logan Square. 

“Hyde Park is part of the DNA of Blue Hills Bank,” Blue Hills Bank President and CEO William M. Parent said in a statement. “Our main office has been in the center of Logan Square since 1871 and dozens of our employees are Hyde Park residents. We are thrilled to be able to support this year-long, community-wide celebration and are proud to be Hyde Park’s community bank.” 

With Donation, Cornerstone Bank Helps Shelter the Vulnerable 

Worcester-based Cornerstone Bank donated $7,500 to Abby’s House to support renovations of the organization’s main building in March. The largest provider of affordable and supportive housing in the Greater Worcester area, Abby’s House provides services for women and children who are homeless and in need of shelter. Abby’s House offers both short-term emergency shelter and longer-term housing. 

The offices of Abby’s House reside in a 100-year-old, four-story building. The donation will go toward necessary renovations and system updates for the building, to ensure it’s up to date with building codes. Services provided by the staff at Abby’s House include advocacy, food and clothing assistance, support programs for domestic violence and other issues and assistance in finding long-term housing. 

“Abby’s House is such an important resource for women and children who are homeless and need a way to regain their independence,” Cornerstone Bank Chairman and CEO K. Michael Robbins said in a statement. “The services provided by the caring staff are paramount to improving the lives of our community members.” 

On Veterans Day, Hanscom FCU Helps Repair Disabled Veteran’s Home 

In honor of Veterans Day this year, the Hanscom Federal Credit Union Charitable Foundation partnered with Operation Veteran Home Renovation, a Purple Heart Homes program initiative, to help a disabled U.S. Air Force veteran make some necessary home repairs. A team of seven from Hanscom Federal Credit Union, along with volunteers from the Waltham Home Depot and Purple Heart Homes, joined forces to complete the project on a chilly November morning. 

Wayne Orpin’s Bedford home was chosen to receive renovations through a national collaboration with Purple Heart Homes and the Home Depot Foundation. The Hanscom FCU Charitable Foundation donated $5,000 toward project costs, which included replacement windows, a new mailbox and door, and general landscaping for Orpin’s property. The Armed Forces Financial Network contributed an additional $1,500 to the project. 

“As a military-based credit union serving active duty and retired service members and their families, we’re always looking for an avenue to extend our genuine thanks and appreciation for the dedication of our armed forces and the sacrifices they’ve made to protect our country,” foundation chairwoman Teresa Conrad said in a statement. “When we found out a local veteran was in need of basic home repairs that would enable him to live a more comfortable life in retirement, we were eager to work with Purple Heart Homes and Operation Veteran Home Renovation to make this happen for him.” 

Purple Heart Homes provides housing solutions for service-connected disabled veterans, and its Operation Veteran Home Renovation program partners with participating credit unions like Hanscom FCU to identify older veterans who need help with basic maintenance and repairs on their homes. Funds for the repairs are raised by the credit unions. This program helps make life for older veterans, their families, and their caregivers a little easier so they can safely age in the comfort of their own homes. 

Prompted by Students, MutualOne Helps Feed Framingham 

In June, MutualOne Charitable Foundation gave $5,000 to Daniel’s Table in Framingham after two eighth-grade volunteers at the soup kitchen, Kevin Rosoff and Jake Rymsza, petitioned the foundation in a letter. The pair have been volunteering at Daniel’s Table since age 12. 

“We go every Saturday and make bagged lunches that are given out to people that are homeless in Framingham. We think making lunches is important, but we want to do more,” the boys wrote in the letter. They added that they wanted to “help buy a piece of cooking equipment that will increase food production to get more meals to people in need.” 

Daniel’s Table Founder and Executive Director David Blais identified the “cooking equipment” as a 40-gallon braising kettle that will enable the nonprofit to increase production capacity by 300 meals per day, 9,000 meals per month. The goal, Blais said, is to eventually provide 1,500 meals per day to Framingham citizens facing food insecurity. With food donations from multiple resources including the Greater Boston Food Bank, Wegmans, and Whole Foods, Daniel’s Table prepares and distributes full, healthy meals throughout the community. 

“We’d like to thank volunteers Kevin and Jake for prompting us to help Daniel’s Table expand and enhance nourishing food opportunities for all those in need,” Steven M. Sousa, executive vice president and chief operating officer of MutualOne Bank and a MutualOne Charitable Foundation trustee, said in a statement. “We are pleased to have a role in making that possible.” 

Jack Conway & Co. Supports Fallen Officer’s Family 

Norwell-based Jack Conway & Co. donated $10,950 to the Officer Michael Chesna Family Fund at the Weymouth Police Department. The funds came from a portion of every home put under contract by any of its 683 agents in August, as well as direct donations from agents and managers. 

“Officer Chesna’s death was a terrible blow to our community,” Conway-Weymouth Manager Christine Rosa said in a statement. “I thought it would be wonderful for Jack Conway Co. to donate money from our Weymouth office’s deals in August to the Chesna Family Fund.”

Slain Weymouth Police Sergeant Michael Chesna, 42, was a U.S. Army veteran and a recipient of the Purple Heart Award. The Family Fund was established to benefit his wife Cynthia and their two young children, Olivia, 9, and Jack 4. 

North Shore Bank Makes Animal Rescue Paw-sible  

Proceeds raised through weekly “Jeans Day” donations from employees of Peabody-based North Shore Bank totaling $1,226 were donated to Sweet Paws Rescue in Groveland.  

Lisa Chochrek, appraisal review officer for North Shore Bank, recommended Sweet Paws Rescue as the recipient of their August Jeans Day dollars. Sweet Paws Rescue is a local nonprofit “shelterless” dog rescue that finds homes for dogs from Mississippi, Alabama and Massachusetts and works to improve legislation and awareness of dog rescue in these areas. 

“I learned about Sweet Paws Rescue from my longtime friend Heidi Murphy, who became involved with the organization when she both volunteered and provided photography services for them,” Chockrek said in a statement. “She would often talk about her experiences with the rescue since she knew that we shared a love for animals. I knew the bank’s Jeans Day program would be great way to raise money and help these dogs.” 

“The funds raised from this generous donation will allow us to vaccinate, microchip and spay/neuter a whole litter of puppies,” Cynthia Sweet, founder and director of Sweet Paws Rescue, said in a statement. “We can’t rescue these dogs without partnerships with local businesses like North Shore Bank.” 

Focus on Philanthropy

by Banker & Tradesman time to read: 5 min