Taunton, MA: Mechanics Cooperative Bank, and President and CEO Joseph T. Baptista Jr., are proud to announce the winners of the 1st Annual “Let’s Keep it Local! Community Grant Program!” Mechanics Cooperative Bank, as part of their annual 10% Net Income Pledge, is donating $25,000 to these local non-profit organizations who received the most votes from our customers!

Thousands of customers voted through the Bank’s website to voice their opinion on which local non-profit organization deserved a share of the $25,000. It was an extremely tight race right down to the finish and the winners are:

1st Place: Forever Paws Animal Shelter $15,000
2nd Place: Kids Kickin’ Cancer $ 7,500
3rd Place (tie): Our Daily Bread Soup Kitchen $ 2,500
3rd Place (tie): Saint Vincent’s Home $ 2,500

Voting began in February of this year and was open to all Mechanics Cooperative Bank customers that had a loan or deposit account with us. The process was simple to vote and to add local non-profits to our list for consideration.
Mechanics Cooperative Bank wanted as many local non-profit organizations included in our Community Grant Program as possible…so to get included on our list, each non-profit had to join us on social media. Any local non-profit that posted a photo to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram of their organization (employees, members, accountants, anyone!) using #LetsKeepitLocal and tagging Mechanics Cooperative Bank, was added to the list automatically!* We wanted to see why these non-profit were the best and to get people talking about what they do and how they improve our community every day.

Throughout the year as the Bank tracked votes and monitored updates they soon realized those organizations who have a strong social media presence and were actively participating in social media and promoting the Let’s Keep it Local! Community Grant Program, were having more success. All four (4) of our winning organizations were added to our list by posting a photo to social media and using the hashtag #LetsKeepitLocal; and then continued to promote the program and encourage support for their cause.

Mechanics Cooperative Bank, and President and CEO Joseph T. Baptista Jr. said “That is what the Bank was hoping to accomplish. To get people involved and talking about these great local non-profits; and to encourage and highlight the great work they do. I was impressed with the strong effort our winning organizations made through social media in support of our program and I am thrilled that their hard work paid off. I want to thank all of our customers who participated and voted, and all of the great local non-profit organizations that participated but did not win. We will continue the Let’s Keep it Local! Community Grant Program in 2016 and thank you for sharing in its success.”

press_release_2015FamilyServices_clip_image0021st Place Winner: Forever Paws Animal Shelter is a non-profit organization that relies solely on donations, fund raisers, adoptions, and dedicated benefactors, to keep the shelter in operation and is governed by a volunteer board of directors. Forever Paws works to give the animals the gift of time as many municipal shelters cannot keep lost or stray animals for more than a few days. They believe there is a home for every animal they care for and work hard to get them ready for adoption. Every animal taken into the shelter is given complete veterinary care, is neutered or spayed, evaluated and when ready, provided training and behavioral rehabilitation, if needed. Their mission is to provide suitable care, food, shelter and humane treatment for any abandoned, owner surrendered, sick, lame, overworked, old, cruelly treated and/or confiscated dog, cat, or any other domesticated animal. They also educate the public concerning animal welfare and owner responsibility for the purpose of advocating humane treatment for animals and to prevent animals from being sold or given to laboratories or institutions and/or subjected to experimentation. Their motto is to “give animals a new leash on life”.


Beverly Andrade, Volunteer and Board Chair for Forever Paws “Thanks Mechanics Cooperative Bank from the bottom of my heart. This money will have an amazing impact on the future care of our animals and will truly make a difference in their lives. When we first heard about this program our Board was excited at the opportunity. We encouraged all of our members, employees and family members to participate and vote for our cause – and we highlighted this great program through our Facebook and Twitter pages and we won! It shows just how passionate our all of our volunteers and supports are about what we do! Thank you again to Mechanics Cooperative Bank.”

Forever Paws Animal Shelter plans to use the $15,000 prize to continue to improve the outdoor space with fencing, landscaping and new toys so their dogs and cats can enjoy the outdoors while they wait for their forever home.

Forever Paws invites you to visit and meet their pets! They are located at 300 Lynwood St. Fall River, MA with office hours of 11:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. every day except Wednesday.
Visit http://www.foreverpaws.com/ to learn more about the adoption process or to join their monthly “Straight from the Paws Newsletter” for inspirational adoption stories, a look behind the scenes of Forever Paws, recent adoptions, upcoming events and more! Phone: 508-677-9154; Email: Fpas1@foreverpaws.com.


2nd Place Winner: The Kids Kickin’ Cancer Foundation was established to financially assist local families with children diagnosed with cancer while in active treatment. Their story began on January 4, 2011, when Ethan Bairos at the age of 6 was diagnosed with Leukemia. His parents, Emanuel and Debbie Bairos were devastated but also overwhelming by the amount of support from family, friends and members of the community. The generosity that they received allowed them the opportunity to spend much needed time with Ethan and his sister Madelyn. While in the hospital with Ethan, life still continued and bills started to add up. There were also added costs such as parking, gas and food expenses while going through Ethan’s treatment. When a child is facing a life threatening disease the world around them seems to stop for the parents. Ethan’s family knows firsthand how families are feeling when their child has been diagnosed with cancer. In April of 2011, they decided to start a foundation that would help other families that have children with cancer and Kids Kickin’ Cancer was created. Something great came out of Ethan’s diagnosis and that is the foundation of this great organization.

Kids Kickin’ Cancer President, Emanuel Bairos commented “We are so thankful to Mechanics Cooperative Bank and this wonderful program. To date, Kids Kickin’ Cancer has helped hundreds of local children and their families at a time when they need it most. This money will continue to support our cause make a difference in people’s lives. I would also like to thank Joe Baptista for his leadership and generosity through Mechanics Cooperative Bank – they represent exactly what a community bank should be and we were proud to participate in their program!”

Kids Kickin’ Cancer plans to use the $7,500 prize to continue their mission and support local children and families in need of both financial and emotional support as they work through cancer treatment. These funds can make all the difference in the world allowing families manage expenses and continue to spend time together through a very difficult journey.

To see all of the wonderful lives that have been changed as a result of the Kids’ Kickin Cancer Foundation visit http://www.kidskickincancer.net/our-kids.html.

press_release_2015FamilyServices_clip_image006 3rd Place Winner (tie): Our Daily Bread Soup Kitchen continues to fulfill the needs of those less fortunate and strives to provide dignity and stability to the lives of their guests. The program initially started as a two-day-a-week program and now offers warm meals five days a week, with both breakfast and lunch options. In 1988 we were serving an average of 82 people a day and now serve over 150 people per day. Hunger is an invisible need and is often overlooked, unseen or disbelieved by many. People are being forced to make choices between paying their rent, heating their homes or putting food on their table. We have a direct impact on the greater community by providing the very basic need of food to those less fortunate in a safe and friendly environment. We are a vital organization that strives to provide dignity and stability to our guests by making a positive difference in their lives and to fight the invisible problem of hunger in our communities.

Executive Director of Our Daily Bread Ann Duhaime commented on “How thankful we are to Mechanics Cooperative Bank and how great this program has become. We pushed support for this program and our cause through social media and it clearly worked! This money is extremely important, especially at this time of year. The additional assistance provided by Mechanics Cooperative Bank will make all the difference to some local families during the holidays – and could be just the help they need to be sure their children have a wonderful Christmas.”

press_release_2015FamilyServices_clip_image008 3rd Place Winner (tie): Saint Vincent’s Home is a multi-service behavioral health, child- and family-serving organization with program sites in Fall River and Plymouth in addition to providing life skills for older adolescents. They are accredited by the Council on Accreditation, fully licensed by the MA Departments of Public Health and Early Education and Care, and fully approved by the MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Staff provides residential and day school education for middle and high school students, direct care, in-home and community-based services, outpatient behavioral health, residential and group living support, and many forms of support and stabilization for families. For 130 years, Saint Vincent’s has been Working with Children and Families to Preserve Hope.


Jack Weldon, Executive Director of Saint Vincent’s said “Mechanics’ continued and sustained support of Saint Vincent’s over the years speak volumes to their commitment to the youth and families of our community. We are extremely grateful to Mechanics Cooperative Bank for their support of our Mission of Giving Children and Families In Need What They Need Most. We are also extremely grateful the Bank created this program in support of local non-profits that desperately need additional funding. The process to be added to their list for consideration was easy and the promotion provided additional exposure for our organizations and the wonderful work our employees do each and every day. A sincere thank you to Mechanics Cooperative Bank, their Executive Vice President and Saint Vincent’s Board Member Deborah Grimes, and their President and CEO Joseph Baptista.”

These funds will be used to purchase holiday gifts for many of the local children in our care that don’t have a family to celebrate with. These funds will provide a small piece of hope and joy to children that are in desperate need of love and support.

10% Net Income Pledge:

Mechanics Cooperative Bank’s Board of Directors and Executive Leadership Team are excited to continue their pledge to support our local communities. Mechanics Cooperative Bank will donate at least ten percent (10%) of their annual net income to local non-profit organizations. These funds will have a positive impact on the local communities with Mechanics Cooperative Bank branch locations (Bridgewater, Dighton, Fall River, Somerset, Swansea, Taunton and Westport) as well as their surrounding cities and towns.

The Mechanics Cooperative Bank Charitable Giving Guidelines are focused on supporting community organizations that provide support for affordable housing, economic and job development, educational programs, arts and cultural programs and community sports programs. Donation or sponsorship request information and the Mechanics Cooperative Bank donation form are available on their web site at www.Mechanics-Coop.com.

About Mechanics Cooperative Bank
With total assets of $475 million, Mechanics Cooperative Bank offers a wide variety of personal and business deposit and loan products. As a Massachusetts co-operative bank, 100% of customers’ deposits are always fully insured. Established in 1877, Mechanics Cooperative Bank is Massachusetts’ second-oldest co-operative bank with eight conveniently located branches in Bridgewater, Taunton, North Dighton, Somerset, Swansea, Fall River and Westport. For more information, call 1-888-MECHANICS (632-4264) or visit Mechanics-Coop.com. Member FDIC. Member SIF. Equal Housing Lender.

*All “Other Organization” entries required a valid 501(c)(3) designation from the IRS and must agree to spend the money on local needs to be considered. Winners will be announced by December 15, 2015. In the event of a tie, winners will be chosen at random including all organizations with the same number of votes. Your Social Networking accounts or posts must be public in order for Mechanics Cooperative Bank to access the photo. Any image that is uploaded to a private account will not be counted towards automatic entry.For more information please contact John McMahon at Mechanics Cooperative Bank directly at 508-823-7744 ext. 1190.
Community Grant_Winners_2015

The winners of the 2015 Let’s Keep it Local! Community Grant Program receive their funds! (From left) Jack Weldon, Executive Director of Saint Vincent’s Home, (3rd Place Winner; tie), Gail Furtado, President of Forever Paws Animal Shelter (1st Place Winner), Joseph T. Baptista Jr., President and CEO of Mechanics Cooperative Bank, Emanuel Bairos, President of the Kids Kickin’ Cancer Foundation (2nd Place Winner) and Ann Duhaime, Executive Director of Our Daily Bread Soup Kitchen (3rd Place Winner; tie). Mechanics Cooperative Bank would like to thank all of the organizations that participated and the winners for their efforts to promote and support this wonderful program!