The Cooperative Bank of Cape Cod’s holiday season tradition of supporting local community service organizations continues, despite the pandemic.
“With the year drawing to an end and the start of the ‘season of giving’, we knew we had to be creative in our community support initiatives,” said Lisa Oliver, Chair, president and CEO of The Cooperative Bank of Cape Cod. “With several new and innovative programs, we did not miss a beat providing assistance to our neighbors in need, while adhering to COVID-19 safety protocols.”
During the holiday season, the bank would typically host food and toy drives in its branch locations, but to protect the health and safety of employees and customers, was unable to do so this year. In lieu of those programs, the bank donated $1,000 each to 10 food pantries across the Cape, and through employee “Charity Jeans Days” donations and a bank match, raised more than $14,000 for an additional 20 local charities.
The bank also forged a partnership with Duffy Health Center this holiday season, donating $5,000 from its Pandemic Relief Fund to purchase a tent for use at the Duffy shower program site in downtown Hyannis. Duffy has operated mobile shower units since April to serve those experiencing homelessness who suddenly had no access to public showers and bathrooms due to COVID-19 safety restrictions. The bank and Duffy have also launched a holiday giving program to provide essential hygiene items, or “Coop Kits,” to the region’s homeless population. The “Coop kits” can be purchased online through Dec. 20 at https://www.duffyhealthcenter.org/coop-kits.
In addition to the bank’s corporate giving, The Coop Foundation awarded $25,000 in grants to three local nonprofits:
- Cape Arts & Entertainment received $15,000, providing financial flexibility needed for the organization to adapt and thrive during the pandemic.
- Cape Cod Military Support Foundation received $5,000 for their Food4Vets Outer Cape Initiative, providing food boxes to veterans and active-duty military on the Outer Cape.
- Lower Cape Leadership Forum received $5,000, allowing for the collaborate work of seven Lower and Outer Cape organizations, including enhancing the quality of services to low/moderate income families and providing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion training to the leaders, staff and volunteers of the partner organizations.
Finally, an additional $5,000 was disbursed into the community through the generosity of the bank’s board of directors and corporators. Every year, the bank provides annual holiday gifts to the board of directors and corporators. Those funds were redirected to provide donations of $1,000 each to five nonprofit organizations providing essential services on Cape Cod. Beneficiaries include Cape Cod Children’s Place, Cape Kid Meals, Falmouth Housing Trust, Helping Our Women and SKIP (Soup Kitchen in Provincetown).
“To date, the bank has donated more than $500,000 through The Coop Foundation, our Corporate Giving and the Pandemic Relief Fund,” said Oliver. “As we look ahead to 2021, we know that our commitment to our employees, customers and the Cape Cod community will not wane.”
Beneficiaries of The Coop’s 2020 holiday giving programs include: Falmouth Service Center; Sandwich Food Pantry; St. Vincent de Paul/Christ the King (Mashpee); The Salvation Army (Hyannis); Yarmouth Food Pantry; Hands of Hope (Dennis); The Family Pantry of Cape Cod (Harwich); Lower Cape Outreach Council (Orleans); Wellfleet Food Pantry; and Helping Our Women (Provincetown); Alzheimer’s Family Support Center; Amazing Grace of Cape Cod; Belonging to Each Other; Cape Cod Ambassadors; Cape Cod Moves; Cape Cod Veterans Inc.; Champ Homes; Children’s Cove; Dream Day on Cape Cod; Falmouth Military Support Group; Nauset Youth Alliance; New England Society for Abandoned Animals: Robert A. Cooke Memorial Scholarship Fund; Scholarship Association of Falmouth; United Way: Strong from the Start program; and WE CAN.