Giving back to our communities is in our DNA. We love lending a helping hand to our neighbors and are always looking for ways to get involved. Here are just a few of the local organizations' events we participate in every year.
Ending Hunger in Maine Campaign
Each year, nearly all of Maine's credit unions participate in the Maine Credit Unions' Campaign for Ending Hunger. Since 1990, the year that this collective effort began, Maine's credit unions have raised and distributed more than $8 million for ending hunger in Maine.
Bangor Federal has contributed over $230,000 since 1999 and we continue to hold fundraisers every year to benefit this cause.
Food insecurity in Maine is a real problem backed by statistics from the United States Department of Agriculture. According to the Good Shepherd Food Bank’s website, “the USDA estimates that 15.8 percent of Maine households, or nearly 200,000 individuals, are food insecure. The number of Mainers who are food insecure decreased slightly from 2014 to 2015, but our rank compared to other states slipped. Maine now ranks 7th in the nation and 1st in New England for food insecurity.”
Because food insecurity is a problem in Maine, Bangor Federal is proud to support the Ending Hunger in Maine campaign by organizing a variety of activities. We hold an annual Ending Hunger in Maine golf tournament that helps us raise money for the Ending Hunger in Maine cause. All the money we have raised stays within Maine. Bangor Federal’s contribution is distributed throughout Penobscot, Waldo, and Hancock counties.
In addition to our annual golf tournament, we hold food drives and donate all the nonperishable items we collect to local food pantries. We also hold raffles throughout the year, facilitate staff dress-down days, and we sell candles and soaps.
If you’re interested in learning more about Maine Credit Unions’ Campaign for Hunger, please visit their website. If you would like to participate in events to benefit this cause, or learn what you can do to donate, please visit our Facebook page or contact us.
Feztival of Trees
Every year, the Anah Shriners, an organization best known for its colorful parades, the distinctive red fez and its national philanthropy designed to help children in need, puts on the Feztival of Trees, an event that recruits local organizations and businesses to donate fully decorated artificial trees for display.
This beautiful extravaganza has a minimal admission fee for adults (admission for children is free) and proceeds for the event benefit the Anah Shrine. Every year, raffle tickets are available for sale so viewers can enter their tickets in the hopes of winning a tree. The event also includes refreshments and food.
The Feztival of Trees began six years ago and has raised a significant amount for the Anah Shrine. Bangor Federal is proud to support the Anah Shriners, who fund a number of charity programs, including the Shriners Hospitals for Children, a network of pediatric specialty hospitals founded by the Shrine where children under the age of 18 receive excellent medical care; the Shrine Circus, where Shriners dress up as clowns to entertain attendees; and more. We have participated since 2016, and continually looks forward to this annual tradition.
One Bangor Federal employee commented, “For a couple of years the employees of Bangor Federal have heard the chatter and excitement from family and friends concerning the Shriner’s Festival of Trees. Besides the good the event funds bring; the event also helps kick off the Christmas season in the Bangor area. You can drive by at any time the event is happening to see lines of people waiting to get in to view the trees, spend their money on raffle tickets in hopes of winning the tree and prizes that come along. Once they leave the event, they are filled with Christmas spirit, so they go shopping, out to dinner, to the movies supporting out local merchants. This supports our local families and businesses which is what Credit Unions are all about.”
If you would like to learn more about the event or the Anah Shriners, visit their website.
Maine Special Olympics
Special Olympics provides year-round fun for Maine residents, and Bangor Federal has been proudly participating since 2001.
In 1968, the world's largest sports organization for children and adults with intellectual disabilities was founded. According to their website, “Special Olympics Maine's mission is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community. In Maine we serve over 3800 athletes and offer events at the local, state, national and international levels.”
Credit unions across the state help to support Maine athletes and donate to the Maine Special Olympics by hosting events, fundraisers, and more. Bangor Federal supports the Special Olympics with monetary donations and volunteered time.
Each year, BFCU staff join other credit union employees from all over the state at the annual Winter Games held at Sugarloaf. While at the three-day long event, volunteers help to prepare the athletes for their snow shoeing and downhill skiing competitions. Additionally, credit union volunteers help prepare the food at the event, including over 1,000 sandwiches for lunch!
Over the past 23 years, credit unions and the Insurance Trust have contributed over $1.2 million to Maine Special Olympics, and Bangor Federal is proud to have contributed a portion to that amount.
One of our employees appreciates the work credit unions do for the special Olympics because her son enjoys the games every year.
“I volunteer for Special Olympics because my son has disabilities and participates in Special Olympics. With Special Olympics, they focus on the ability and not the disability and lets them know that they can succeed.”