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Shining a Light & Making a Difference 

About the Spotlight Fund

The Spotlight Fund was created by Kennebunk Savings in 2016 to shine a light on critical issues affecting our community. Our team identifies an issue to focus on and proactively works to understand how our community is impacted via research and input from subject matter experts. The monetary gifts that the Spotlight Fund provides are intended to help make meaningful impact on a single, critical issue. We hope that helping advance the efforts of our grant recipients will lead to added support for affected community members. 

2020 Spotlight Fund – Community Education and Social Determinants of Health

Each of us has been affected in some way by substance use disorder. A stronger and more informed community is a powerful tool to help our friends, our neighbors and ourselves. Kennebunk Savings continues to work to alleviate this crisis in 2020, and this year we are stepping up our contribution, committing $150,000 to efforts in Maine and New Hampshire with a focus on community education and the social determinants of health that are key to recovery.

What they do:

Hope on Haven Hill (HHH) provides a nurturing therapeutic home environment for pregnant women with substance use disorder who are seeking recovery. By providing a safe home with comprehensive addiction treatment services, family therapy, parenting classes, advancement in education and life coaching, they support families in their recovery from addiction. An enriched self-esteem, confidence and a tool belt full of life skills will promote independence and sustained sobriety.

Kennebunk Savings grant funding will support a Connected Transportation Services (CTS) van. 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 groups, therapy and case management. They often miss critical treatment services due to transportation issues. The State of New Hampshire has approved HHH to become their own CTS provider and the Bureau of Drug and Alcohol Services (BDAS of NH) has awarded them with a grant to fund a driver if they are able to secure a safe van. Our donation is allowing them to purchase a new van to help transport clients to and from outpatient services, as well as to provide transportation to clients wishing to have assessments for intake.

What they do: Maine Recovery Fund works in conjunction 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 their efforts to York County.

Kennebunk Savings grant funding will support a program expansion into York County, with start again services provided for 10 individuals.

What they do: the Pinetree Institute promotes a sustainable sense of health, prosperity, happiness and life-satisfaction in individuals, families and communities. This is accomplished through educational workshops and retreats at their Learning Center in Eliot, Maine and through strategic facilitation of community-based collaboration throughout the Seacoast New Hampshire and Southern Maine region.

Kennebunk Savings grant funding will support the facilitation of a “Master Trainer” series, created to carry the message of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and the effect of toxic stress to every sector of the community, adapting the approach we take to law enforcement, counseling, rehabilitation and social work. Adverse Childhood Experiences 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.

What they do: SOS Recovery Community Organization is a collaborative 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.

Kennebunk Savings grant funding will support a new transportation program at their Hampton recovery center, as well as sponsorship of SOS’ “Innovations in Recovery” conference, New England’s premier peer recovery conference. The event will bring national keynote speakers to New Hampshire to share the latest research in peer recovery and its intersection with trauma, toxic stress, and harm reduction.

What they do: 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.

Kennebunk Savings grant funding 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.

What they do: the Granite Youth Alliance (GYA) is a collection of youth groups in Rockingham and Strafford Counties, NH that focuses on drug prevention, under the auspices of United Way of the Greater Seacoast. 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.

Kennebunk Savings grant funding will support youth leadership groups in Portsmouth, Newmarket and Stratham, NH, as well as the GYA Youth Empowerment Training for middle and high school students who want to get involved in preventing the harm caused by substance misuse in their communities.

What they do: Maine Association of Recovery Residences (MARR) manages the ethical and safety standards for recovery residences in Maine. All people seeking recovery-based housing should have access to a safe and welcoming residence where they can live a healthy life.

Kennebunk Savings grant funding will provide a community training video for recovery residence peer leaders which will be used as part of the recovery residence certification process.

What they do: 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.

Kennebunk Savings grant funding will support exclusive sponsorship of the documentary “Roads to Recovery IV,” which focuses on veterans impacted by substance use disorder.

What they do: Step Up Parents provides financial assistance to caregivers (relatives or in some cases close family friends) in New Hampshire raising the children of parents with substance use disorder.

Kennebunk Savings grant funding will support marketing and fundraising support for assisting kinship caregivers.

What they do: 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.

Kennebunk Savings grant funding will support systemized and sustainable marking and fundraising.

History of the Spotlight Fund

Click here to review our past spotlight fund recipients

2019 Spotlight Fund

The small, picturesque towns of Maine and New Hampshire are not immune to the profound impact the opioid crisis is having on communities nationwide. Substance use disorder does not discriminate - it affects people from all walks of life regardless of factors such as age, sex, ethnicity and socioeconomic background. In 2018, we donated $100,000 to nonprofit organizations dedicated to ending substance use disorder.

In 2019, we are once again focusing our Spotlight Fund on the opioid crisis: We are contributing a total of $125,000 to ten nonprofits in York County, Maine and Seacoast New Hampshire that are working diligently to battle substance use disorder through prevention programming and recovery services.

Taking Action

According to a survey by the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, easy access to prescription drugs at home is a major contributing factor to opioid misuse. Safely disposing of unwanted prescription medications is a preventative action that anyone can take. As part of our Spotlight Fund, we are distributing prescription drug deactivation bags at each of our 17 branches.

Kennebunk Savings invited members of the business community to a forum about substance use disorder. Some of the topics discussed are ways to support an employee who is coping with a substance use disorder or has a family member who is impacted, reducing stigma, and ways we can come together to combat the issue.  You can watch videos of the forum below. 

Opioid Infographic

Spotlight Fund: A business forum on the opioid crisis

Impact. Support. Understanding. Resources.

2019 Grant Recipients

Granite Youth Alliance

Granite Youth Alliance, a program of the United Way of the Greater Seacoast, is a network of youth leadership programs in Rockingham County, NH, working to implement advocacy initiatives related to drug abuse prevention. The Spotlight Fund will help Granite Youth Alliance spread the word about their work and fund high school and middle school coalition members presenting to school assemblies in their local elementary schools. 

Portland Recovery Community Center

Portland Recovery Community Center is a safe haven for people in addiction recovery, offering a home for meetings and activities. PRCC serves as a model and a hub for a network of recovery community centers in Maine. The Spotlight Fund will provide startup funding to develop an infrastructure for recovery coach volunteers in York County, with a longer term goal of opening a recovery community center.  

Dover Youth to Youth

Dover Youth to Youth is the evidence-based youth empowerment program on which Granite Youth Alliance is modeled. The Spotlight Fund will support programming and assemblies in Dover and Somersworth schools.

York County Shelter Programs

Layman Way is York County Shelter Programs’ licensed residential treatment center for up to 24 men and women at a time. Currently residents are referred via the York County Jail. The Spotlight Fund will establish a peer recovery coaching program at Layman Way. 

Hope on Haven Hill

Hope on Haven Hill provides substance use disorder treatment for pregnant and parenting women and supports families through their outpatient recovery programs. The Spotlight Fund will support a new and database marketing materials.

The Triangle Club

The Triangle Club provides a safe, substance-free space, centrally located in Dover, NH, to help promote spiritual, physical and mental health for people in recovery.  The 2019 Spotlight Fund will support next steps, including leveraging a new donor management system and running an in-depth fundraising and marketing campaign, in a strategic plan that was developed as a result of a 2018 Spotlight Fund grant.

SOS Recovery Community Organization

SOS Recovery Community Organization provides recovery coaching, telephone support services and wellness plan provisions for individuals in recovery from substance use disorder. The Spotlight Fund will support the establishment of a Recovery Coach Academy and Ethics curriculum for peer recovery coaches, improving sustainability in workforce development around the state.

Northeast Passage

Northeast Passage empowers people living with disabilities to define, pursue and achieve whole life health, community engagement and fulfillment through therapeutic recreation and adaptive sports. The Spotlight Fund will support the development of a Community-Based Recreational Therapy program for individuals with special needs around substance use disorder recovery called Recovery in Action.

Choose to Be Healthy Coalition

The Choose to be Healthy Coalition, based at York Hospital, works to create a culture of healthy living by supporting community change and policies that promote alcohol and drug-free living for our youth. The Spotlight Fund will support a regional training and youth leadership programming in Southern York County schools.

Project Alliance

Project Alliance works to reduce risks related to substance abuse for youth and community members in northern York County. The Spotlight Fund will help the Kennebunk High School Captain’s Club create a series of substance use prevention PSAs to show in schools, on social media and in local movie theaters in Southern Maine.

2018 Spotlight Fund

2018 Spotlight on the Opioid Crisis

When it was time to decide what issue we would focus on in 2018, it was impossible to ignore how the opioid crisis is affecting our community. Both Maine and New Hampshire are experiencing profound pressure on the institutions and organizations that are attempting to address the impacts of this crisis. The stereotypes for addiction and those addicted are no longer applicable. Opioid substance use disorder affects people from every type of background and every single age group. New Hampshire has the second highest rate of opioid-related overdose deaths in the country, with Maine not far behind1. Kennebunk Savings has committed $100,000 in support of eight nonprofit organizations that work diligently to combat this issue.

 Graphic showing high number of opioid deaths

Holding hands

Substance Use Disorder: Prevention & Recovery

Kennebunk Savings is committed to helping the members of our community stay on a healthy, successful path. Therefore, the Spotlight on the Opioid Crisis is focused on two facets of substance use disorder: Prevention and Recovery, in hopes that we can help to make a long term impact on those most at risk.

2018 Grant Recipients

Granite Youth Alliance

The Granite Youth Alliance is a youth leadership program focused on alcohol, tobacco and substance abuse education and prevention. The Spotlight Fund will support GYA programs in Stratham, Newmarket and Portsmouth, NH.

Restorative Justice Institute of Maine

The Restorative Justice Institute of Maine focuses on repairing and preventing harm caused by criminal behavior. The Spotlight Fund will support development of a substance use prevention program in York County schools.

Recovery Center at York Hospital

The York Hospital Recovery Center offers outpatient treatment and counseling for substance use disorder patients. The Spotlight Fund will allow York Hospital to hire a Recovery Coach to guide, mentor and support patients entering long term recovery, and a certified Training Coach to educate other peer-to-peer mentors on the recovery journey.

Coastal Healthy Communities Coalition

The Coastal Healthy Communities Coalition at the University of New England is partnering with Learn to Cope to establish a local chapter offering education, resources, peer support and hope for parents and family members who have someone in their lives struggling with substance use disorder. The Spotlight Fund will support the Maine chapter launch of Learn to Cope.

Hope on Haven Hill

Hope on Haven Hill works to provide a nurturing, therapeutic home environment, outpatient services and recovery support for pregnant women with substance use disorder who are seeking recovery. By providing family therapy, parenting classes, advancement in education and life coaching to mothers, they make a positive impact on their children as well. The Spotlight Fund will assist Hope on Haven with expansion of their recovery housing program.

The Triangle Club

The Triangle Club is a chemical free, safe meeting place for recovering people in Dover and surrounding communities. The Spotlight Fund will help the Triangle Club boost its overall organizational health and funding base by financing a consultant to assist with the development of a strategic plan and funding model. Lighting for the parking lot and building improvements will also be funded. 

SOS Recovery Community Organization

SOS Recovery Community Center is a peer support program in Dover and Rochester that works to connect and engage those in all stages of recovery and encourage hope, optimism and healthy living. 

The Spotlight Fund will support the recovery coaching, crisis response, telephone recovery support, meetings, activities and workshops, organized advocacy and volunteerism at SOS Recovery Community Center.

Safe Harbor Recovery Center

Safe Harbor Recovery Center is a Portsmouth area community center providing a holistic approach to recovery, including recovery coaching, wellness planning, housing and workforce development. The Spotlight Fund will support peer-led recovery and resources for anyone impacted by addiction, including family and friends. 

2017 Spotlight Fund

Food Insecurity

We believe that all children should grow up knowing where their next meal is coming from. Year two of our Spotlight on Food Insecurity focused on childhood nutrition, along with efficiency and innovation to help our grant recipients advance lasting solutions to the challenge of food insecurity.

Delivering food from the back of a truck

2017 Grant Recipients:

House of Hope
End 68 Hours of Hunger
York Community Service Association
Community Outreach Services
Gather: Meals 4 Kids
Strategies for a Stronger Sanford
St. Vincent De Paul Hampton
Footprints Food Pantry
York County Shelter Programs

2016 Spotlight Fund

Food Insecurity

More than 300,000 people in Maine and New Hampshire do not have reliable access to nutritious food1. The first year we launched our Spotlight Fund we focused on Food Insecurity. We partnered with local agencies to connect people with food, fund healthy eating initiatives, purchase food bank equipment and supplies and support direct food purchases.

Volunteers smiling behind food counter