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WEST SPRINGFIELD — Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity (GSHFH) received a $39,000 charitable grant from KeyBank Foundation, the charitable foundation of KeyBank, during the bank’s Volunteer Build Day held on Chestnut Street in Holyoke.

The donation will assist Habitat’s environmental-stewardship program, which strives to build homes utilizing a variety of environmentally friendly building practices to have a positive impact on the environment while providing homeowners with energy-efficient homes.

“We appreciate KeyBank’s donation to our environmental stewardship campaign, which will allow us to incorporate more green-building and energy-efficient products into our home designs and helping us to provide our partner families with more environmentally friendly homes and lower utility costs,” said Aimee Giroux, executive director of GSHFH.

Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity builds safe, decent, and affordable homes that allow families to build stronger foundations that create a more stable future for themselves and their families. Through construction utilizing community volunteers, the organization provides low-income families with the opportunity of affordable homeownership or needed repairs on a home they already own.

Habitat for Humanity also educates families about financial-asset building, the value of good credit, and budgeting by requiring families to complete first-time-homebuyer and financial-literacy education. They then work with the family, community volunteers, and workforce-development partners to construct and/or repair the homes incorporating green-building practices that provide energy cost savings for homeowners.

“At KeyBank, supporting affordable housing solutions is core to our community investment strategy and how we help our communities thrive,” said Ramon (Tito) Albizu, branch manager of KeyBank’s Holyoke branch. “We are pleased to support Habitat for Humanity’s mission philanthropically, and as members of the Holyoke community, we are particularly proud to volunteer our time to help make the dream of homeownership a reality for a Holyoke family.”

KeyBank has seven branches serving Greater Springfield. This foundation grant is part of its philanthropic support aimed at creating safe, healthy, affordable, and inclusive communities throughout its service area.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Springfield Boys & Girls Club (SBGS) received a $10,000 charitable grant from KeyBank Foundation, which will support the club’s Brain Gain program, an after-school program designed to bolster appropriate grade-level reading skills for the inner city, at-risk children, and youth served by the club.

“The Boys & Girls Club is pleased to see KeyBank’s strong commitment to the education of children,” Executive Director Vinnie Borello said. “This gift from Keybank Foundation is a much-needed investment to our community as we strive to help our kids expand their reading skills in a fun learning environment. We appreciate KeyBank’s support.”

The vast majority of children served by the Springfield Boys & Girls Club are from low-income families, with 65% of them raised in homes where English is a second language, putting them at a disadvantage in terms of reading, retention, and school learning. In addition, many of the students are still recovering from learning loss sustained during the remote learning environment of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Brain Gain program is designed to build reading comprehension and retention skills so that participants are reading at grade level at minimum. SBGS utilizes specific software programs to support the curriculum and provides Chromebook computers and internet access to children who may otherwise have no access to technology and these learning tools.

“At KeyBank, we believe in supporting organizations and programs that help students be successful in school, get good grades, and eventually graduate and have access to college and career-building opportunities,” said Analisha Michanczyk, KeyBank’s Corporate Responsibility officer. “The Boys and Girls Club’s Brain Gain program is an effective way to help kids build literacy skills and perform better in school, and we are proud to support their efforts.”