Westbrook, Maine – January 20, 2022 – In response to the rising cost of home heating oil, the Biddeford and Mechanics Savings Charitable Foundation has donated $25,000 to support the Keep ME Warm Fund, providing direct and immediate home heating assistance to financially vulnerable Mainers. “Making a contribution to the Keep ME Warm program will allow us to help our neighbors when Mainers need it most – during the winter months. No one should have to choose between paying for heat and other essentials like electricity and food. Our hope is that we can make the lives of individuals and families in the communities we serve a little easier this year,” says Jeanne Hulit, President and CEO of Maine Community Bank.
Although the coldest months are still ahead, the cost of home heating fuel in Maine has already increased significantly over last year and is expected to keep going up over the winter season. According to The Governor’s Energy Office, the average cost of heating fuel is currently at $3.14 per gallon, compared to $2.11 per gallon one year ago. Thousands of Mainers are faced with choosing between heating their homes and basic needs like food and medicine. Donations to Keep ME Warm help to make the winter warmer and safer for Maine families. The Biddeford and Mechanic Savings Charitable Foundation donation to Keep ME Warm Fund will help people across Maine, including the bank’s footprint in the Androscoggin, Cumberland, and York regions. Keep ME Warm Funds are distributed through 211 Maine, local United Ways, and community partners like The Opportunity Alliance (TOA) and others.
According to Liz Cotter Schlax, President and CEO of United Way of Southern Maine and Lead Administrator for Keep ME Warm Fund, a gift of $25,000 will help heat 80 Maine homes. “Keep ME Warm Fund is an emergency heating assistance resource to close the heating gap. When Mainers find themselves in an emergency heating crisis, they can access Keep ME Warm funds through our state’s 211 Maine hotline, their local United Way, or community action agency,” said Schlax. “These funds give our partners the flexibility and resources to help fill a tank or address repairs, often in the same day.”
The Keep ME Warm Fund, in partnership with local community service organizations, relies heavily on donations and distributes assistance based on need. “This winter will be challenging to our vulnerable neighbors who were already most at risk, and these funds will be crucial to keeping individuals and families warm, safe, and healthy in their homes during the coldest months,” says Joe Everett, President & CEO of The Opportunity Alliance. “Maine Community Bank is a wonderful partner and we are grateful for their longstanding support of communities across Central and Southern Maine.”
This donation wraps up a year of giving for Maine Community Bank and the Biddeford and Mechanic Savings Charitable Foundation totaling over $327,000 to 240 different organizations.
About Maine Community Bank
Biddeford Savings and Mechanics Savings have been financial partners with the people of Central and Southern Maine for the past 150 years. To help carry out their commitment to the communities they serve, the two banks merged on January 1, 2020, becoming divisions of Maine Community Bank. The merger expands the lending capacity, product offerings, and branch service areas, while keeping all decision-making at the local level. They have branches in Auburn, Biddeford, Brunswick, Kennebunk, Lewiston, Scarborough, Waterboro, and Windham, with a new branch and operations center in Westbrook.
About the Biddeford and Mechanics Savings Charitable Foundation
The Biddeford and Mechanics Savings Charitable Foundation was created in July of 2020 and is structured to give back to the communities in a larger, more enduring way. The Foundation’s mission is to help individuals and families in the bank’s local communities meet their basic needs and achieve financial empowerment.