Easthampton, Massachusetts, March 2022 – Matthew S. Sosik, president and CEO of bankESB, announced that the bank is making a $15,000 community grant to the Children’s Advocacy Center of Hampshire County to help support the organization’s efforts to expand and enhance its child abuse prevention, services, and advocacy efforts through capital improvements to the CAC house at 593 Elm St., Northampton.
“Children are our future, and The Children’s Advocacy Center helps build that future for young children who have been traumatized and victimized by linking them to vital services,” said Sosik. “bankESB is pleased to do its part in supporting the CAC of Hampshire County and its critical efforts to help children receive the medical, mental health, victim advocacy and other services they need.”
CAC provides a coordinated response to allegations of child abuse in a dedicated, child-friendly setting. According to Executive Director Kara McElhone, maintaining the CAC house is central to the organization’s mission of providing safety, healing, and justice, because the house is designed to make the process of disclosing abuse less traumatic for children.
“When kids come to the CAC, they are welcomed, safe, and believed,” said McElhone. “Thanks to the generosity of community partners like bankESB, the CAC can fulfill its promise to be a permanent place for child survivors to begin to heal.”
McElhone also explains that the pandemic has meant fewer opportunities for children to access trusted adults, leaving them more vulnerable to abuse and exploitation. But as restrictions ease and unreported child abuse comes to light, the CAC is seeing an increase in both the volume and severity of cases. That’s also increased the need for resources and funding from the community.
The donation was made as part of the bank’s charitable giving program, The Giving Tree, which reflects the roots the bank has in its communities, its commitment to making a real difference in the neighborhoods it serves, and the belief that everyone’s quality of life is enhanced when we work together to solve our communities’ biggest problems.
April is Child Abuse Prevention Month in America. In conjunction with Child Abuse Prevention Month, the CAC will be shining a light on child abuse on April 8 at 5:30 p.m. at Childs Park for their signature Luminaria event. Approximately 2,200 luminaries will be lit throughout Hampshire County to honor the children served by the CAC. Individuals and organizations can contribute to the CAC be sending donations to the Children’s Advocacy Center of Hampshire County, 593 Elm St., Northampton, MA 01060 or on the organization’s website at cachampshire.org, or through Venmo @cachampshire.
In the Photo:
L to R: Cara Crochier, CAC Board Member & Assistant Vice President, Marketing Officer at bankESB; Kara McElhone, Executive Director of the CAC of Hampshire County; Nancy Lapointe, Chairman of the CAC Board & Senior Vice President of Retail Banking at bankESB.
Founded in 1869 as Easthampton Savings Bank, bankESB is headquartered in Easthampton, Massachusetts and operates 11 branches throughout Western Massachusetts. Through its sponsorship and charitable giving program, The Giving Tree, bankESB and the Easthampton Savings Bank Charitable Foundation support non-profit organizations and causes throughout Hampden and Hampshire counties. In 2021, The Giving Tree donated nearly $352,000 and over the past decade has donated more than $3.1 million. For more information, visit bankESB.com.
bankESB is a member of the Hometown Financial Group, a $3.4 billion mutual multi-bank holding company headquartered in Easthampton, Massachusetts and the parent company of bankESB, bankHometown, and Abington Bank. For more information, visit bankHFG.com.