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Shining a light, making a difference.

Graphic of a heart with NH and ME inside

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

  • 2021 – Early Childhood Education
  • 2018-2020 – Substance Use Disorder Prevention and Recovery
  • 2016-2017 – Addressing Food Insecurity
Staff with large check for SOS Recovery

Spotlight Fund assistance so far:

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

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.


When non-recovery-related businesses take note and make it a point to learn everything about substance use disorder and recovery, that’s what’s going to make a change. That’s how we’re going to be able to turn the tide and beat this.Kerry Norton, Co-Founder


To provide a nurturing therapeutic home environment for pregnant women with substance use disorder who are seeking recovery.

How the Spotlight Fund helped:

Hardware and training to create a database that documents funding sources, donors, and all of the excellent work that they’re doing.

Peer support is a very logical outlet, and one goal is to have a Peer Recovery Coach when we bring a person over from the jail to enter Layman Way… they’ll be able to say, ‘I made it through’.Clinical Director, Jen Ouellette


To end homelessness and help people reach their potential through housing, opportunities, and resources. They promise that “Hope Starts Here.” Layman Way is York County Shelter Programs’ licensed residential treatment center for up to 24 men and women who are referred to the program via the York County Jail.

How the Spotlight Fund helped:

Hire professionals to train Layman Way Recovery Center graduates to become Peer Recovery Coaches, and connect them to programs where they can interact with people experiencing substance use disorder, like hospitals and jails.


Promote the spiritual, physical, and mental health of people in recovery from addiction to alcohol, heroin, and other substances, and to provide a safe place for those who acknowledge that staying substance-free is of primary importance.

How the Spotlight Fund helped:

Continue building a vital administrative infrastructure and become a bigger nonprofit force in the community. Funds supported consultants, staff, new software, and further renovations and repairs to their building.

Our goal has always been to work to strengthen our communities Kennebunk Savings President and CEO, Bradford C. Paige

Deterra bag event
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.


The 2020 Spotlight Fund: Focus on substance use disorder prevention and recovery

Community is crucial to sobriety, and the more strong connections people make the greater the chance of staying sober.Chairman of the Board of Directors Sandra Jalbert

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 in 2020. A $150,000 contribution to Maine and New Hampshire programs focuses on community education and access to the social determinants of health that are key to recovery.

Hope on Haven Hill (HHH)

The organization provides a nurturing therapeutic home environment for pregnant women with substance use disorder seeking recovery. Their comprehensive addiction treatment services, family therapy, parenting classes, advancement in education, and life coaching support families in their recovery from addiction. Enriched self-esteem, confidence, and a tool belt full of life skills will promote independence and sustained sobriety.

What the Spotlight Fund contribution supports:

A Connected Transportation Services (CTS) van.
Our donation allowed them to purchase a van to help transport clients to and from outpatient services and provide transportation to clients wishing to have assessments for intake.

Women who graduate from HHH’s residential program and those who only need outpatient services come to the facility Monday through Friday for intensive outpatient support groups, therapy, and case management. They often missed critical treatment services due to transportation issues. The State of New Hampshire approved HHH to become their own CTS provider, and the Bureau of Drug and Alcohol Services (BDAS of NH) awarded them with a grant to fund a driver if they were able to secure a safe van.


Maine Recovery Fund

This organization collaborates with MaineWorks to provide “wraparound” services for people in recovery from substance use disorder, re-entering the workforce from jail or prison, or Veterans facing obstacles upon their return. “Wraparound” social services are intended to support individuals in all aspects of their lives – acknowledging the importance of the social determinants of health in creating individual and community wellbeing. MaineWorks provides jobs, while the Recovery Fund provides access to housing, transportation, tools, and training. After several successful years of operating in Portland, Maine, the group is now expanding its efforts to York County.

What the Spotlight Fund contribution supports:

Program expansion into York County, with “Start Again” services provided for ten individuals.
Economic opportunities and resources, positive relationships, and support networks can impact the quality of life beyond our traditional understanding of health care. A person’s education, employment history, and access to transportation and housing can significantly impact their wellbeing.

“Start Again” services provide employment support in the form of assistance with transportation, housing, basic self-care needs, access to social services, access to healthcare including mental health, educational opportunities—plus a new work jacket, new boots, and new gloves.

The Pinetree Institute

This organization promotes a sustainable sense of health, prosperity, happiness, and life satisfaction in individuals, families, and communities through educational workshops and retreats at their Learning Center in Eliot, Maine. Strategic facilitation of community-based collaboration throughout the Seacoast New Hampshire and Southern Maine region is also a focus.

What the Spotlight Fund contribution supports:

The facilitation of a “Master Trainer” series, created to carry the message of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and the effect of toxic stress on every sector of the community. We were also proud to sponsor the Pinetree Institute’s Resilience Conference through the Spotlight Fund.

The master trainer series adapts the organization’s approach to law enforcement, counseling, rehabilitation, and social work. Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are instances of abuse or neglect experienced by people under the age of 18. In 1997, a study found a strong connection between high ACE scores and negative health outcomes later in life.

Toxic stress occurs when stress response systems are overtaxed, which can be particularly dangerous for young children, having an adverse impact on their developing brain, immune system, metabolic system, and cardiovascular system. Toxic stress early in life can lead to negative health outcomes later in life, including substance use disorder.

SOS Recovery Community Organization

This collaborative consists of peers in recovery from substance use disorder and their allies working together to create safe spaces and peer-based recovery supports throughout Strafford and Rockingham Counties, NH. SOS and its Recovery Community Centers exist to bolster and grow the local recovery community through recovery coaching, crisis response, telephone recovery support, workshops, advocacy, partnerships with diverse community organizations, and more.

What the Spotlight Fund contribution supports:

A new transportation program at their Hampton recovery center and sponsorship of SOS’ “Innovations in Recovery” conference, New England’s premier peer recovery conference.
The event brings national keynote speakers to local audiences to share the latest research in peer recovery and its intersection with trauma, toxic stress, and harm reduction.

Trauma is a deeply distressing or disturbing personal experience that may or may not be physical or violent in nature.

Toxic stress occurs when stress response systems are overtaxed, which can be particularly dangerous for young children, having an adverse impact on their developing brain, immune system, metabolic system, and cardiovascular system. Toxic stress early in life can lead to adverse health outcomes later in life, including substance use disorder.

Harm Reduction describes public health policies designed to lessen the social or physical consequences associated with behaviors such as recreational drug use and sexual activity. Harm reduction policies are used to manage behaviors nonjudgmentally.

Other 2020 Recipients

The Center for Grieving Children is a nonprofit organization that provides peer support, outreach, education, and a safe gathering space to children, teens, and families suffering a loss. Services are provided for free at centers throughout southern Maine. The Spotlight Fund supported their March 2020 Bereavement Conference: “Fostering Resiliency, Support, and Hope Following Loss,” providing the latest research and discussions about trauma-informed care for educators, counselors, and social workers.

The Granite Youth Alliance (GYA) is a collection of youth groups in Rockingham and Strafford Counties, NH that focuses on drug prevention under United Way of the Greater Seacoast’s auspices. GYA teams are based in middle and high schools – teens meet weekly and plan various activities and action items related to education, prevention, and community health. The Spotlight Fund will support youth leadership groups in Portsmouth, Newmarket, Stratham, NH, and the GYA Youth Empowerment Training for middle and high school students who want to prevent harm caused by substance misuse in their communities.

Maine Association of Recovery Residences (MARR) manages the ethical and safety standards for Maine’s recovery residences. All people seeking recovery-based housing should have access to a safe and welcoming place to live a healthy life. The Spotlight Fund will provide a community training video for recovery residence peer leaders, which will be used as part of the recovery residence certification process.

New Hampshire Public Broadcasting (NHPBS) inspires their one million NH viewers each month with engaging and trusted local and national programs on-air, online, in classrooms, and in communities. The Spotlight Fund will support exclusive sponsorship of the documentary “Roads to Recovery IV,” which focuses on veterans impacted by substance use disorder.

Step Up Parents provides financial assistance to caregivers (relatives or close family friends) in New Hampshire, raising the children of parents with substance use disorder. The Spotlight Fund will support marketing and fundraising support for assisting kinship caregivers.

The Triangle Club is a welcoming meetinghouse and a leading source of recovery support in Dover, NH. They provide a safe environment for those recovering from substance use disorder, where shared experience leads to empowerment, respect, and a new way of life. The Spotlight Fund will support systemized and sustainable marking and fundraising.