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Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Behavioral Health Network Inc. (BHN) announced it has received a $25,000 donation from PeoplesBank to benefit the Katherine B. Wilson Staff Excellence Fund. It is the first installment of a $125,000 commitment over the next five years.

BHN established the Katherine B. Wilson Staff Excellence Fund to support the career and professional development of the organization’s workforce and assist in achieving social-justice objectives. Through community partnerships, valuable in-kind services, and generous donations, BHN seeks to address a variety of staff professional-development opportunities. The fund will provide support for scholarship funds and forgivable loans for staff to further their education at local colleges, along with licensure support.

“BHN made a compelling case that the engagement/skillset of their workforce has an enormous impact on their ‘end users’ – something we know to be true, even in a seemingly different industry such as banking,” said Matthew Bannister, senior vice president, Marketing and Corporate Responsibility at PeoplesBank. “It is the ‘hand up, and not handout’ to these vulnerable populations that hews most closely to our giving philosophy, so we are comfortable that this program will produce those desired results.”

Steve Winn, president and CEO of BHN, added that “we are deeply grateful to PeoplesBank for their generosity and partnership. Through this commitment, PeoplesBank demonstrates understanding of the importance of ensuring high-quality behavioral-health services to the Western Massachusetts community. Supporting BHN’s essential workforce accomplishes that goal.”

Daily News

WESTFIELD — Behavioral Health Network Inc. (BHN) announced it received a grant of $10,000 from Westfield Bank to benefit Kamp for Kids, the organization’s summer day camp for children and young adults with and without disabilities.

Westfield Bank has been a longtime supporter of BHN’s Kamp for Kids. According to Cathy Jocelyn, vice president of Marketing at Westfield Bank, “we consider it an honor to support Kamp for Kids, which has been changing lives and offering opportunities for growth for children and youth of all abilities in the Greater Westfield area. We support the mission and appreciate the work of BHN and all who have made this program such a success.”

Grants made to Kamp for Kids provide camperships to youth with or without disabilities to ensure that all children, regardless of family income, are able to attend camp.

Due to COVID-19, this summer Kamp for Kids is being held virtually in order to provide a safe camp experience for the campers and their families. The virtual camp is open to all who wish to participate and offered free of charge, and consists of recreational activities, nature time, and arts and crafts. To register and participate in virtual camp, visit www.bhninc.org/kamp-kids.

The camp has created three themes for this year’s activities: “In My Backyard,” “Only in New England,” and “All Around the World.” Kamp for Kids has also continued its partnership with the Westfield Cultural Council and Berkshire Hills Music Academy, a music-based program for people with disabilities in Franklin County, to offer musical programming for participants.

“We are so appreciative of the consistent and ongoing support of Westfield Bank,” said Anne Benoit, Kamp for Kids program director. “This grant allows us to sustain Kamp for Kids. We could not do this work without the support of community partners.”

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Behavioral Health Network Inc. (BHN) has been awarded a $15,000 grant from Country Bank, which will fund direct services for BHN’s domestic-violence programs in Ware.

Country Bank’s grant to BHN will be used for innovative support and advocacy services for domestic-violence survivors, which includes partnering with Country Bank employees in offering the economic-freedom initiative known as Money School. BHN’s Money School program is an award-winning, trauma-informed financial-independence initiative designed to create long-term safety and economic security for survivors of domestic violence.

The grant will also be used to provide prevention-education work in local schools, and for interruption and prevention services for perpetrators of domestic violence.

“Country Bank is honored to support the vital work that is provided to survivors through BHN’s domestic-violence programs. We are fortunate to have programs locally that support our communities and those in need of these services,” said Shelley Regin, Country Bank’s senior vice president of Marketing and an advisory board member of BHN.

Added Kathy Wilson, president and CEO of BHN, “we are thankful to Country Bank for this important funding that supports the critical programming we provide to survivors of domestic violence. These funds, and Country Bank’s prior support, allow us to work with survivors in taking their first steps in achieving financial freedom. This support helps us in the complicated work of recovery with survivors, and we appreciate Country Bank’s community leadership.”

Country Bank has long been a supporter of BHN’s programs and mission, making frequent donations to BHN Valley Human Services in Ware.