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SPOTLIGHT FUND

Shining a light, making a difference.

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The Spotlight Fund reflects the continued evolution of our longtime Community Promise. Created in 2016 to shine a light on critical issues affecting our community, the Spotlight Fund dedicates a portion of Kennebunk Savings’ earnings to nonprofit organizations and programs that aid these causes.

Causes we care about

  • Early Childhood Education
  • Substance Use Disorder Prevention and Recovery
  • Addressing Food Insecurity

How we decide who receives Spotlight Fund contributions

Each year, our team proactively researches and identifies a pressing issue affecting our local communities. We meet with leaders in the field to really understand how a long-term investment will create resources and opportunities that lead to positive change.

We donate to organizations based on three factors:

  • The ability of a contribution to make a concentrated and substantive difference.
  • Assurance that efforts can help educate ourselves and the community.
  • Evidence that funds can further the work of our grant recipients.

 

Spotlight Fund assistance so far:

In aid to nonprofits in local communities
Unique organizations in the community

Early Childhood Education

In 2021, we committed $100,000 in donations to bolster early childhood development programs. We’re focusing on supporting children during those pivotal early years. We want to ensure that young children have stable home lives and healthy families; we want them to have every opportunity to develop the -regulation, problem solving, and social-emotional skills necessary to thrive. And we want to contribute to the stability of an engaged workforce of dedicated teachers and caregivers, providing the tools they all need to move forward.

Mission:

To actively engage families in hands-on discovery, and to inspire the next generation of innovators and creative thinkers. The Children’s Museum maintains a focus on early childhood development through their play-based learning programming, an evidence-based model for improved development.

How the Spotlight Fund helped:

A $10,000 grant was used to upgrade the Museum website’s infrastructure, increasing accessibility to online educational resources for families and early education professionals.

“We are grateful for the continued support of our partners at Kennebunk Savings. In addition to allowing us to better serve caregivers and educators, these upgrades will extend learning and engagement for families after their visit through better delivery of virtual programming.” — Jane Bard, Museum President.

Mission:

For more than 50 years, Waban has worked to provide support for  children and adults with autism, and intellectual and developmental disabilities. Waban offers many programs including residential services, adult day programs, therapeutic preschool and K-4 programs, children’s and adult case management, employment services and clinical services.

How the Spotlight Fund helped:

A $20,000 grant to aid in providing remote instruction for early childhood students, in addition to playing a significant role in Waban’s children’s case management program

“Thanks to the grant from Kennebunk Savings, we’ll be able to expand our program and ensure that all of the children who are able to use technology will have access to it.” — Jennifer Putnam, Executive Director at Waban

Mission:

For more than 50 years, York County communities have counted on York County Community Action  to provide opportunity and hope to people from all circumstances, particularly in times of transition or adversity. When our communities are strong, all of its members have opportunities to thrive.

How the Spotlight Fund helped:

A $20,000 grant supports researching and developing solutions to the childcare availability gaps in York County – with a pilot program set to launch in May 2022 to increase access to quality childcare for working families.

How the Spotlight Fund helped:

A $30,000 grant will support “business response teams”and will work in Maine and New Hampshire to raise public awareness on the importance of early child development.

How the Spotlight Fund helped:

A $20,000 grant will allow Richie McFarland Children’s Center to pilot a social work program that will add supports for young children and their families in Rockingham County, NH.

See the Spotlight Fund in action

Contributions to organizations bring change that make a difference. But it’s not just about what we give, it’s about what we do. We thoroughly research one critical issue impacting our community then, we share what we’ve learned to raise awareness. Here are just a few examples of how the Spotlight Fund helped in the past through education, workplace and community action.

 

Substance Use Disorder Prevention and Recovery

Shawna, Brad and Liz RFWAction at our workplace:

The impact of substance use disorder affects our communities more with each passing year. But knowledge and information can keep us one step ahead to stay healthy and well for our friends, neighbors, and ourselves. That way, we empower our communities to help themselves and each other.

Kennebunk Savings continues to work to support prevention and recovery from substance use disorder with donations, community education, our Deterra drug disposal program, and our status as an active and engaged Recovery Friendly Workplace.

Substance Use Disorder Action in our Community: 

Unused prescription drugs pose a risk to the community – because they are difficult to dispose of properly, many are left accessible in our homes. Since 2019 we’ve offered free Deterra bags at all of our branches – the bags begin to deactivate medications in just 30 seconds, rendering them safe for disposal in household trash.

Below President & CEO Brad Paige and Kennebunk Police Chief Robert Mackenzie pose with the Deterra bags.

Deterra bag event

 

Food Insecurity

“One thing that’s always kept me optimistic in difficult times is belief in the resilience and ingenuity of our communities.” – Bradford C. Paige.

Food insecurity is a serious problem here and everywhere. But one thing we never run out of in New England is generosity and creativity. When we chose to focus on Food Insecurity for the first year of our Spotlight Fund, we got to meet and work with so many talented people dedicating their lives to feeding others. It was an inspiring jolt of energy that has nourished us ever since.