Kennebunk Savings has exceeded their volunteering goal for 2023 – all told, the Bank’s employees dedicated a collective 11,840 hours to the community. “Volunteering is really central to our culture,” explained Rachel Peter, Community Engagement Manager. “Giving back is what we do.”

At the beginning of each year, a goal is set. For 2023, it was 10,000 hours. Employees are kept abreast of the running tally as their coworkers log hours, often giving rise to intramural competitions between branches and departments. Membership in the “100 Club” – for volunteers who log over 100 hours in the year – is highly coveted! The Bank’s volunteer force turned out for a total of 346 unique nonprofit organizations over the course of the year.

At community events in Southern Maine and Seacoast New Hampshire, Kennebunk Savings volunteers are often ubiquitous in their bright green shirts. “We hand out water and coffee, we run check-in desks, sometimes we provide security at bouncy houses—we can really do it all,” Peter said. Volunteering takes on many shapes. Many employees of Kennebunk Savings serve on boards or committees for nonprofits, lending their enthusiasm and expertise in leadership roles.

Stephanie Neal, Retail Market Manager in York, volunteers with groups like the United Way and the Rochester Youth Football League. “Kennebunk Savings supporting our volunteer initiatives allows us to really participate in our communities like we are a neighbor and not just a bank,” she said. “To be able to serve in ways that express my own values and what is important to me is very empowering and encouraging.”

Sherrelle Riquinha, Berwick Branch Manager, volunteered teaching financial literacy classes at Noble High School—a place you might expect to find a banker. But she also served as a volunteer chef for Lasagna Love and House of Hope, alleviating food insecurity in the region. “I am supported and encouraged to spend time doing things that I love like cooking and doing educational and fun activities for kids,” she said. “My son loves to join me. I love that I can support organizations that I am passionate about and expose him to the joy of volunteering.”

Mark Ross, Director of Operations with Kennebunk Savings Insurance, has a long list of organizations he’s volunteered with in 2023, including Kennebunk’s Rotary and Chamber of Commerce, Indonesian Community Connect, and Red’s Good Vibes. “For me it’s the camaraderie and relationship-building we do with our coworkers when we volunteer together. Some of the best bonds I’ve created at work come through volunteering. And whether it’s raising money, doing manual labor, bookkeeping, serving dinners, or coaching my daughters and their classmates, volunteering ends up being fun every single time. It always feels good to help others when they need it most.”

Sunny Rivero, a Sales and Service Representative at the Bank’s Sanford location, has volunteered with several organizations, including the Casco Bay Threshold Singers, a group who shares simple encouraging songs with older adults in end-of-life care. “It helps me to live in the best part of myself for a little while,” she said. “I feel like when we are able to volunteer, we can touch the spirit of being human, and the spirit of this institution, too.”

2024 is the 30th year of the Kennebunk Savings’ “Community Promise.” Though the Bank often makes headlines for its charitable giving, Rachel Peter says that volunteering is an equally essential part of the program. “It’s not just about what we give, it’s about what we do. And we hope those actions make our commitment to the community very clear.”

PHOTO CAPTION: Kennebunk Savings employees (from left) Karenlee Gorman, Sunny Rivero, and Elizabeth Marston pose for a selfie after volunteering with the United Way.