Strengthening Communities

Citizens Helping Citizens names NH Children's Trust its Champion in Action

New Hampshire Union Leader
July 23. 2014 10:18PM
Joe Carelli, president of Citizens Bank-New Hampshire and Vermont, speaks at a luncheon Wednesday in Concord to announce that New Hampshire Children's Trust is the Citizens Bank Champion in Action grant winner for 2014. (DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER)

On Tuesday, the New Hampshire Children’s Trust was named a Champion in Action in the Strengthening Communities category of the Citizens Helping Citizens Strengthen Communities program.

Citizens Helping Citizens, a program through Citizens Bank, recognizes small nonprofits in New Hampshire by providing them with monetary and marketing means to enhance their missions and support them in the communities they serve. The Champion in Action award is a collaboration between Citizens Bank and the New Hampshire Union Leader.

“I think it’s just a true testament to the organization, the dedication and the commitment that (Executive Director of New Hampshire Children’s Trust) Keryn (Bernard-Kriegl) and her team have to really protect children and help families and doing what they can to help everyone in the state to lead a better life,” said Shannon Sullivan, community relations manager at the Union Leader.

As this year’s winner, New Hampshire Children’s Trust will receive a $35,000 grant from Citizens Bank, media coverage by the Union Leader, including website exposure, public relations and volunteer support through Citizens Bank, including advertisements on all Citizens Bank ATM locations.

Employees and board members of the Children’s Trust filled the event room at the Common Man restaurant in Concord to show support for the organization. Employees from Citizens Bank also attended.

Joe Carelli, president of Citizens Bank in New Hampshire and Vermont, and Sullivan, Bernard-Kriegl and Robert Matheson, board chairman of the New Hampshire Children’s Trust, spoke at the event.

Carelli explained how the award was created and described the selection process used to determine the 42 New Hampshire nonprofits that have won the award since 2002.

“With Champions in Action, we get to, a couple times a year, look at an organization and say, ‘Hey, we’re going to provide you with $35,000, and you can use it in any way you deem necessary to continue your mission,’” Carelli said. “Of course, we know it’s all going to get used incredibly well to support the mission, but it doesn’t have to be specific to a program, and I’ll tell you time and time again that we hear from board and from staff that component of the program is extremely, extremely important.”

Bernard-Kriegl and Matheson, of the Children’s Trust, accepted the grant check from Carelli. According to Bernard-Kriegl, the trust plans to divvy up the funds between 16 family resource centers in New Hampshire. The funds can be used to “assist families in their communities with access in concrete supports such as transportation, housing, food, clothing, household and school supplies,” according to Bernard-Kriegl.

Bernard-Kriegl said her organization is also ramping up a campaign to show people in all of the communities they serve how to be “a champion for others.”

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