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BankNewport Awards Over $250,000 in Year End Funding

01.15.21

NEWPORT, R.I. (December 28, 2020) – BankNewport is pleased to announce that it has awarded $255,000 in proactive year end funding to dozens of community organizations throughout Rhode Island to aid in their efforts to support those in need.

“We are humbled to have the opportunity to provide these proactive grants and donations to these incredible organizations,” said Sandra J. Pattie, President & CEO, BankNewport. “In the best of times, these agencies work on shoestring budgets, and even those have dwindled during this difficult year. We are so appreciative of the work they do, despite many challenges, to bring hope and dignity to those most in need, especially during the holidays.”

BankNewport awarded $125,000 to 27 organizations to help meet basic needs for families during the holiday season including: Adoption RI, Boys Town New England, five Boys & Girls Clubs locations, the Center for Southeastern Asians, Child and Family Services, Children’s Friend, five Community Action Program agencies, the Corliss Institute, Crossroads Rhode Island, the Elisha Project, Family Service of RI, the Federal Hill House, Galilee Mission, Genesis Center, Goodwill Industries of Southern New England, the Jonnycake Center of Peace Dale, Lucy’s Hearth, McCauley Ministries, Mae Organization for the Homeless West Warwick, Operation Stand Down, Progreso Latino, Ronald McDonald House of Providence, three Salvation Army locations, Silver Lake Community Center, two St. Vincent dePaul Society locations, the J. Arthur Trudeau Center, and the Welcome House of South County.

“Our clients were struggling well before COVID-19 hit,” stated Marty Sinnott, President & CEO of Child and Family Services. “The pandemic has exacerbated issues like homelessness, job loss, food insecurity, and substance use disorder that affect people’s ability to keep themselves and their families safe.This donation will make a direct impact on the lives of the clients we serve during these uncertain times”.

In addition, BankNewport’s Community Fund Committee awarded $130,000 in proactive grants to 25 organizations that have had operations and outreach negatively affected by COVID-19 and that focus on food insecurity, mental health, distance learning, minority-owned small businesses, and underserved populations.

Eight organizations that actively address food insecurity each received a $5,000 grant, including the Blackstone Valley Community Action Program, East Bay Food Pantry, Good Neighbors in Riverside, Jonnycake Center of Peace Dale, Meals on Wheels of RI, MLK Community Center in Newport, Northern Rhode Island Food Pantry, and SVDP St. Philip Food Pantry in Greenville.

“We are so thankful to BankNewport’s Community Fund Committee for the most generous grant,” said Robert Chaput, Co-Executive Director, Northern RI Food Pantry. “It’s so heartening that, during these anxious and trying times, so many members of the community step up to help those most in need.”

The number of children and adults in Rhode Island affected by mental health and substance abuse are on the rise, due to high unemployment rate, social distancing, childcare issues and other stressors related to COVID-19. To assist in their efforts, Newport Mental Health, East Bay Recovery Center/EBCAP, and The Providence Center each received a $5,000 grant.

“COVID-19 is bringing new stressors to families from all walks of life and every age group, and we are projecting that the number of children and adults in Rhode Island experiencing mental health and addiction problems will dramatically increase,” said Lisa Desbiens, Philanthropy Officer, The Providence Center. “We are grateful for these funds, which will help us meet this growing need through our recently established COVID-19 Emergency Fund.”

A new area of focus is on organizations that help to close the distance-learning gap by providing digital learning tools and access to auxiliary learning/non-core curriculum, such as art and music. To assist in this growing area of need, FabNewport and FirstWorks received grants totaling $15,000.

“This investment by BankNewport will bring FirstWorks’ education to 10,000 students statewide through our Virtual Learning series and Student Matinee Series,” said Kathleen Pletcher, Executive Artistic Director, FirstWorks. “Together, we will provide uplifting world-class arts education to students across the state – increasing program impact within Rhode Island’s under-resourced urban schools, while expanding our reach to engage students of Newport as core participants of our Education Program.”

The Center for Women & Enterprise and Social Enterprise Greenhouse each received $5,000 for their support of small businesses to assist with challenges related language barriers and applying for funding assistance.

“Our greatest need in 2021 is funding to help us increase access to high-quality business development resources for women of color,” said Veronica Martinez, Director-Rhode Island, Center for Women & Enterprise, “The COVID-19 crisis has had a devastating impact on women of color who own businesses, which typically require social interaction such as salons, childcare, and retail. With this grant, we will be able to provide technical assistance and training for aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners.”

Due to the restricted environment, it has become more difficult for social service agencies to connect with and provide supportive services and programs for low-income individuals and families and isolated seniors. To aid in their efforts, ten proactive grants totaling $50,000 were awarded to the Amos House, Children’s Friend and Service, Community Action Partnership of Providence, Domestic Violence Resource Center of South County, Family Service of RI, Sojourner House, Southern RI Volunteers, Tides Family Services, West Bay Community Action Program, and the Women’s Resource Center (Newport & Bristol Counties).

“This funding from BankNewport will directly support the essential basic needs of our families this holiday season, from food and heating assistance, diapers and wipes, to warm clothing, coats, and pajamas for their children,” said Stacy Couto, Chief of Philanthropy, Children’s Friend.

About BankNewport

Founded in 1819 and headquartered in Newport, BankNewport offers a full suite of loan and deposit products and services for families and businesses throughout Rhode Island. With $2.0 billion in assets, BankNewport is one of the oldest community banks in the United States and, as a mutual organization, is committed to the financial success of its customers, employees and communities. BankNewport has 17 branch locations, with commercial lending offices in Cumberland and Providence. BankNewport business lines include OceanPoint Marine Lending, specializing in consumer marine and recreational vehicle financing programs, and OceanPoint Insurance, a Trusted Choice independent insurance agency, providing a broad range of property casualty insurance products, including employee benefits and marine related insurance products.