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 $200,000 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. Collectively, this tournament has raised over $30,000 for the campaign. 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. Below are the most recent recipients of Ending Hunger Funds. This distribution list may change based on yearly need:
- Widows and Orphans Food Cupboard
- Bangor Area Homeless Shelter
- Eastern Area Agency on Aging
- Seeds of Hope Food Pantry
- Salvation Army of Bangor
- Hope House
- Good Shepherd Food Bank
- Bucksport Community Concern
- Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry
- Belfast Soup Kitchen
- AMVETS memorial Post 150 Food Pantry
- Good Shepherd Food Bank School Backpack Program
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.
Bangor Federal has participated in the Feztival of Trees since 2016. Last year, the theme for our tree was “Coastal Christmas.” We decorated our tree with beautiful ornaments representative of Maine’s coast. In 2017, our theme is “Shop Local. Stay Local.”
A very special thank you to the following businesses that were able make our tree possible.
- One Night Stay and Maine Gifts – Black Bear Inn Orono
- Basket of Books – Briar Patch
- $50 Gift Card and Products – Anthony John’s
- Gift Basket – Willie Wags
- Two Bottles of Wine and Accessories – Dragonfly Winery and Farm, LLC.
- $25 Gift Card, Farm Bucket and Decoration – School House Antique Mall
- Gift Basket – Central Street Farmhouse
- $50 Gift Card and Gear – Pats Pizza Hampden
- $50 Gift Card and Leather Wristlet – Valentine Footwear
- $40 Gift Card and Maine Made Coffee/Tea and Spices – Tiller and Rye
- $25 Gift Card and Maine Mugs – The Not So Empty Nest
- Candle Basket – Colley Candles
- Six Movie Passes – Spotlight Movie Cinemas
- $50 Gift Card – Pepinos
- Gift Basket – Specialty Sweets
- Haircare Products – Miss Snippy’s Hair Salon
- $25 Gift Card and Two Movie Passes – Bangor Cinemas
- Two Tickets – Penobscot Theatre
- $25 Gift Card – Miguel’s
- $25 Gift Card – Frank’s Bakery
- Two Free Sandwich Vouchers – Harvest Moon
- Whoopie Pie Basket – Levant Corner Store
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.
Rachel B. 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. I immediately felt this was a community event that matches the values of Bangor Federal, local people helping each other. 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. The theme this year, “Shop Local. Stay Local.” 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.
Bangor Federal supports events, programs and organizations that improve the quality of life for people in our community or are just plain fun!
Fusion: Bangor connects residents of the Bangor region to each other, helping to expand their networks and plug into a community of civic-minded and enthusiastic professionals. As part of their initiative, Fusion: Bangor holds a variety of events, including Newcomer's Night, Feed Your Brain, Happy Hour Socials, and sports programs.
Bangor Federal is proud to be the yearly Fusion Sports sponsor. Our sponsorship helps support their coed adult sports programs, such as dodgeball, kickball and volleyball, which all promote physical activity and social interaction.
This year, we were also proud to sponsor the 2017 Fusion: Bangor Extravaganza and Awards Ceremony. Fusion: Bangor passed out four awards to local businesses, including the BFCU MVP Award, which was given to Hero’s Sports Grill in downtown Bangor.
In addition to our sponsorship, Bangor Federal employees are also part of Fusion: Bangor and enjoy taking part in their events.
It is important to the credit union to support a local organization such as Fusion: Bangor because many of our future community leaders are part of the initiative. We’ve been sponsoring Fusion Sports since last year and we are excited to continue this partnership and support of a program that engages the young professional network.
If you’re interested in getting involved with Fusion: Bangor, you can view a schedule of their upcoming events by visiting their website. You can also check out their Facebook page, their Twitter account, or their Instagram account to learn more about Fusion: Bangor and what they do for the young professional network in greater Bangor.
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.”
Pumpkins in the Park
Each year Bangor Federal participates in the United Cerebral Palsy of Maine’s Annual Pumpkins in the Park at the Anah Shriner’s building.
Pumpkins in the Park is an indoor community Halloween event for the entire family. 2017 marked the second year Bangor Federal had participated in this event, and we continue to be grateful for the work UCP of Maine does for those in Maine who are affected by cerebral palsy, a congenital disorder of movement, muscle tone, or posture.
The 2017 theme was “Games Galore” and attendees dressed up in costumes that represented their favorite video game, board game, or game show. At the event, attendees enjoyed warm and safe trick-or-treating at the business-sponsored pumpkin patches. Bangor Federal was happy to sponsor a pumpkin patch this year, and even had employees attend with their children.
Samantha, our Branch Manager from the Brewer location, attended Pumpkins in the Park with her three children.
“Where Halloween falls on a weekday, we only go out for about an hour to houses we know. I always try to hit up events like Pumpkins in the Park or Trunk or Treating. It’s a quick, safe, fun event the kids can dress up for,” Samantha said. “Helping a cause like UCP is also a win, win.”
Along with trick-or-treating, the event also featured the Anah Shriner clowns, a photo booth, face painting, prizes, a bounce house, and much more. Bangor Federal was happy to participate in this event for a second year and will continue to sponsor a pumpkin patch at this event to support UCP of Maine and give the children in our community a safe place to enjoy Halloween.
To learn more about Pumpkins in the Park, visit the UCP of Maine website.