This week, Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Maine will host their annual holiday parties and by the kindness of their community, hundreds of Club members, young and old, will have a holiday gift to unwrap. The Winter Wishes program through Gorham Savings Bank was able to collect 230 presents for Clubhouses in Sagamore Village, Riverton Park, and downtown Portland - just in time for the holidays. Each Clubhouse submitted a wish-list of toys that members asked for and in a few short weeks, the community responded with incredible generosity. The result was a mountain of presents sitting in the lobby of Gorham Savings Bank’s Long Wharf location.
Throughout the Winter Wishes three-week campaign, GSB customers who entered the branches in Portland and South Portland were greeted by hanging snowflakes with toy requests, such as a basketball for an eight year old boy or a stuffed animal for a five year old girl. One by one, customers plucked the wishes from dozens of choices, and the new toys started piling up.
Started six years ago, Winter Wishes granted more gifts this season than ever before, and it was achieved by the same Gorham Savings Bank customers and employees that have come to the rescue each year. More wishes were filled this season and more cash donations were received, cementing the success just in time for everything to be wrapped for the Boys & Girls Club members in Portland.
Families do not always have the means to celebrate the holidays in ways that many of us take for granted. “Winter Wishes ensures that community youth, especially those who need Boys & Girls Clubs the most, are remembered during the holiday season by providing hundreds of deserving members with a special holiday gift,” said Bob Clark, Chief Professional Officer of Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Maine.
What’s more than a gift for each child is our collective message that we have their backs. The community gave Boys & Girls Club members some excitement, happiness and more importantly, inclusion into the holiday season. It is absolutely what this time of year is all about.