SBW donation to YMCA and Stonewall Farm

Danielle Ruffo, center, community engagement coordinator for Savings Bank of Walpole, presents a check for $12,500 to Keene Family YMCA CEO Dan Smith and Stonewall Farm CEO Julie Davenson at the bank’s Court Street branch Monday. Savings Bank of Walpole donated the money to the two area nonprofit organizations to support their efforts to help the region meet a growing demand for school-age child care amid a prolonged pandemic.

The Keene Family YMCA’s efforts to expand its school-aged child-care program received a boost Thursday with a donation earmarked for that effort.

Savings Bank of Walpole will assist the Y’s COVID-19 response amid new demands borne out of hybrid school models and an ongoing pandemic, by contributing $10,000 toward furnishings, equipment and supplies needed to operate the program,said Dan Smith, the Y’s CEO.

Additionally, the bank is donating $2,500 to Stonewall Farm, another area nonprofit organization, for supplies and scholarships for home-school classes and full-day programs for school-age students.

Smith said the effects of the health crisis on school-aged child care, locally and nationally, are not insignificant and noted it will take a team to carry programs and providers through the crisis and the coming recovery.

“I continue to draw great inspiration from the good will of our community’s institutions like Savings Bank of Walpole and their eagerness to respond to emerging needs in our community,” Smith said. “This is a big boost for our community. Our kids will be stronger and more resilient because our community cares.”

The Keene Y hosted a three-day job fair that concluded Thursday to try to begin to fill more than two dozen child-care and school-aged child-care positions at its care sites as the demand for the need grows.

Smith said the Y aims to create 100 new school-aged child-care openings for children in kindergarten through grade 6 by the second week of September. He noted that the Y program will run in parallel with the Keene School District schedule so that between its program and the schools, children will have opportunity for care Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Julie Davenson, Stonewall Farm CEO, said she is grateful for the bank’s generosity and its shared concern to help address “a significant need for children and families in our region.”

“Savings Bank of Walpole is proud to support the Keene Family YMCA and Stonewall Farm’s efforts to expand their wonderful services to our local families in need,” said Mark Bodin, president of Savings Bank of Walpole. “We consider this to be a critical community need, and we are fortunate to have a committed organization like the Keene Family YMCA leading the charge. They are true local heroes.”