bankHometown's 2017 Neighbors Helping Neighbors campaign has ended with $25,000 being raised for local food pantries, including the one operated by the Athol Salvation Army. The local Salvation Army was represented at a check presentation event by Lt. Michael Buzzard, pictured on the far left in the second row. Holding the check is Michael Hewitt, third from left, bankHometown president and CEO.Submitted photo

bankHometown NHN campaign raises $25,000

ATHOL — Michael Hewitt, president and CEO of Oxford-based bankHometown, recently announced that the 2017 Neighbors Helping Neighbors campaign has resulted in total donations of $25,000.

This is the 14th year that bankHometown has challenged local residents and businesses to help support local food pantries, including the one operated by the Athol Salvation Army. It’s a way for the bank and its customers to make a real difference in the lives of local residents.

Customers of the bank and community members are invited to be a “Hometown Hero” for a $1 donation or a “Hometown Superhero” for a $5 donation. In addition to the in-branch fund drive, bankHometown also sends a letter to business customers inviting their contributions. bankHometown then matches all of the donations dollar for dollar and splits the funds among food pantries that serve the areas surrounding each of its 13 offices in Massachusetts and Connecticut, among them its Athol branch on Exchange Street.

Besides the Athol Salvation Army, this year’s Neighbors Helping Neighbors donations benefit the Oxford Ecumenical Food Shelf at the Oxford Community Center; Food Share, a Southbridge-based program that serves residents of Sturbridge, Charlton and Southbridge; the St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry at Sacred Heart Church in Webster; CARE Food Pantry in Clinton; the Auburn Youth and Family Services Inc.; and Food Pantry and Ginny’s Helping Hand in Leominster. The Connecticut pantries being served this year are Daily Bread in Putnam; Friends of Assisi in Killingly and Thompson Ecumenical Empowerment Group (TEEG) in Thompson.

At the check presentation, each organization shared a bit about their particular program and how they are striving to feed the hungry in their communities. Each representative also shared how the generous donations raised collectively from customers, employees, and the bank would positively impact their programs and why it means so much that the local communities stepped forward to help. Collectively, the recipients provide meals to thousands of individuals and families each month.

Lt. Michael Buzzard of the Athol Salvation Army shared, “In addition to the donation received today, I am also so appreciative of the support that bankHometown employees provide throughout the year, whether it is spending time on committee work, fundraisers or other support of our programs.”

Hewitt added that branch employee involvement in the community “is yet another example of Neighbors Helping Neighbors.”

To date, more than $142,500 has been distributed through this program.

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Athol Daily News

PO Box 1000
225 Exchange Street
Athol, MA 01331
Phone: (978) 249-3535


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