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December 18, 2017

Kennebec Savings Bank awards $54K in three ‘catalyst’ grants

Kennebec Savings Bank awarded grants worth up to $18,000 to Kennebec Valley Family Dentistry of Augusta, the Restorative Justice Institute of Maine and Waterville Area Habitat for Humanity.

The organizations will get "catalyst capacity building grants" of $10,000 the first year, $5,000 the second and $3,000 during the final year, according to a news release from the bank.

The grant was launched in October 2016 to further develop the bank's "community dividends" program and to meet a need that the bank has seen with many nonprofits — the lack of resources to pursue creative ideas.

"The purpose of this grant is to provide organizations the means to add capacity in new and creative ways that will further benefit the communities we serve," Alicia Wing, community dividends director, said in the release.

Kennebec Savings Bank President and CEO Andrew Silsby said since the bank doesn't have stockholders, 10% of its profit is targeted to go directly bank into the community.

Here’s how the grants will be used

Kennebec Valley Family Dentistry is relocating its clinic to the Ballard Center in Augusta, where it will be in closer proximity to critical referral sources. The grant funding will be used to buy the equipment necessary to accommodate more patients, and also implement a dental training program. Kennebec Valley Family Dentistry primarily serves the uninsured and 70% of its patients have nowhere to go for primary care, said Bonnie Vaughn, its executive director.

The grant to the Restorative Justice Institute of Maine will help at-risk youths, said Jan Rollins, who partners with the organization at Cony Middle School in Augusta. The grant will be used to contract with a local coordinator who will receive referrals of youths facing chargeable offenses, assign them to a facilitator and work to create a consensus-based plan for the child alongside those affected by the offense.

Waterville Area Habitat for Humanity has been working on a creative way to help low-income families who are moving out of a shelter. The grant will expand on a home furnishing pilot program that further stretches the funds received by the families from other resources and provide them with an additional voucher to shop at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore.

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