FLORENCE and CHESTERFIELD, MA – Florence Bank, a mutually-owned savings bank centered in Florence, recently donated $20,000 to the Hilltown Community Development Corporation to assist in the organization’s locally-centered community development programs. The bank was the top single Bank contributor to their organization’s efforts in 2014, according to Hilltown CDC Executive Director David Christopolis.
Formed in 1981 by a group of citizens who were concerned about providing services to citizens of the Hilltown communities of Western Massachusetts, Hilltown CDC seeks to improve the quality of life for Hilltown residents by addressing economic, housing, educational, social and community needs - like bringing in high-speed internet and updating real estate - while preserving the rural character of the area.
The organization provides affordable housing for local residents by owning, managing, and rehabbing properties, a number of these properties located in Williamsburg, where Florence Bank has one of its nine branches. Christopolis noted that the Bank has consistently partnered with Hilltown CDC for a number of years in helping the organization secure financing.
“Florence Bank’s generous donation helped us develop a community investment plan. We continually seek to engage the community and we are so grateful for institutions such as Florence Bank that help us do as much as we can for the people of this region,” said Christopolis.
Since its inception, Hilltown CDC has rehabbed more than 550 properties in the region into affordable housing. In addition to managing properties, Hilltown CDC directs services to residents over the age of 60, providing assistance so that they can live independently through home health and home care work. The organization also helps in the area of homelessness, coordinating and recruiting volunteers across the three counties they serve, to report to the government on the number of homeless people.
John F. Heaps, Jr., President and CEO of Florence Bank, said, “Hilltown CDC is a great organization which provides so much in the way of needed services to residents throughout this region. We were very pleased to be able to help them with their ongoing mission, and we look forward to continuing to work with them. We thank them for all they do.”
Florence Bank is a mutually-owned savings bank chartered in 1873. Currently, the Bank operates in the Pioneer Valley through 9 full-service branch locations in Florence, Northampton, Easthampton, Williamsburg, Amherst, Hadley, Belchertown and Granby.
Photo courtesy of Jim Farrell at PR First.
Adapted from a Florence Bank press release.