KENNEBUNK, ME – Kennebunk Savings is assisting a new effort from Maine Recovery Fund (MERF) with a $25,000 donation. The nonprofit used the donation to purchase a Toyota Prius to provide rides to work for MERF clients on the path to workforce reentry.

MaineWorks, the B Corp-certified social staffing company founded by Margo Walsh, employs a spectrum of people looking for a fresh start including people recovering from substance use disorder (SUD), people with felony convictions, new Americans and returning veterans facing workforce re-entry obstacles. Maine Recovery Fund was founded in 2017, in response to recurring barriers to employment observed by MaineWorks. “Despite the best intentions, we found that our clients were unable to fulfill their basic financial needs without significant support,” Walsh said. MaineWorks provides the jobs while Maine Recovery Fund provides the essential support, resulting in better, long-term outcomes.

Maine Recovery Fund has experienced significant cost increases due to the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly in the area of transportation – the most essential service they provide. “Most of our clients do not have a driver’s license or a means of transportation to get to work,” said Lucy Edwards, president of Maine Recovery Fund. “For the duration of the pandemic, we’ve been providing single occupancy rides through taxis, Uber, and Lyft. This has more than doubled our transportation cost. We can save a lot by providing this service ourselves.”

“This grant helps serve a critical need, but we think talking about it is also very important,” said Bradford C. Paige, President and CEO of Kennebunk Savings. “It’s easy to take what most people view as basic essentials for granted – such as a ride to work each day. When we all better understand the barriers to workforce reentry, we can better look out for each other, and build a stronger community. The dedicated folks at Maine Recovery Fund do such a wonderful job not only walking the walk, but talking the talk – fostering empathy and understanding. We’re proud supporters.”

“The collective responsiveness and ‘results oriented’ mindset that has been the trademark of Kennebunk Savings highlights their commitment to the broader good,” added Walsh. “It is an institution that truly lives in our community.”

Kennebunk Savings donates 10% of their profits each year to local groups and causes. Their proactive “Spotlight Fund” identifies critical needs facing our community and works to support relief efforts with grants, volunteering, and advocacy. In 2022, the Spotlight Fund is “shining a light” on food insecurity, substance use disorder, and early childhood development.