79 Maine families and individuals were recipients of community member wishes totaling $150,000.
The initiative, called the GSB Wish Tree, was conceived and implemented as a way to give back to the community as the bank marks its 150th anniversary.
The bank received an overwhelming number of wishes, bringing to light the many challenges Mainers face in their daily lives. Of course, while every wish can’t be granted, the bank sought to do as much good as it could with the program’s funds.
“Gorham Savings Bank was able to provide hundreds of people with financial relief, food, some peace of mind, and we hope, a little bit of joy through this initiative, and we’re grateful for that,” said Steve deCastro, president and CEO, Gorham Savings Bank. “Wish Tree has allowed us to celebrate, through gestures both large and small, the community spirit our bank has thrived on for 150 years.”
Gorham Savings Bank team members showed up at branches to surprise unsuspecting individuals and families. The latest wishes granted include:
- Airfare for the son and grandchildren of a Windham man who has been battling ALS for 11 years to visit him at Christmas
- Funds to help pay for a new handicap-accessible van for three brothers from Gorham with Pelizques-Merzbacker disease
- Gymnastics classes for a 9-year-old Kennebunk girl who has experienced many hardships
- Funding for local backpack and school meal programs
- Heating assistance for 10 local families in need
- Restoration of running water for a Parsonsfield farmer whose wife recently passed. He has been without running water for a year, hauling water from his neighbor’s house for the animals.
- Airfare for a Topsham woman to fly to Vietnam for her son’s wedding and to meet his wife
- Strive University tuition for a Scarborough boy with autism
- A karaoke machine for a 4-year old Windham boy who recently lost his sister to cancer. They loved to sing together!
About the Wish Tree Program
Putting its own spin on an age-old tradition, Gorham Savings Bank celebrated its 150th anniversary by placing Wish Trees in 12 branches and inviting customers and non-customers alike to stop by any time between July and November 2018, write down a wish on a tag, and tie it to the tree. Wishes could be made for a friend, family member, neighbor, acquaintance, or even oneself. While every wish couldn’t be granted, the bank sought to make a meaningful impact for the greatest number of people with the program’s funds, which totaled $150,000.