MutualOne Charitable Foundation helps Police buy back guns

The Town of Framingham’s first-ever Gun Buy Back program on October 29 went much better than expected. In just five hours, 174 firearms were turned in. The department quickly exhausted the $8,000 in gift cards it had on hand to exchange for the weapons, resulting in a gift card IOU balance of $12,050 before the day was over.

According to Mark R. Haranas, president and CEO of MutualOne Bank and a MutualOne Charitable Foundation trustee, the MutualOne Charitable Foundation has awarded $5,000 to help police cover the cost of the Gun Buy Back IOUs.

“The Gun Buy Back event was a positive step in the right direction, and may have prevented any number of future risks to those in our community,” said Haranas. “We are grateful to those who came forward to remove unwanted firearms from their homes, and we’re happy to help police cover the cost of the success of the program.”

Celebrating the MutualOne Charitable Foundations donation to the Framingham Police Department’s Gun Buy Back Program are: (l-r) MutualOne Bank President and CEO Mark Haranas; Acting Police Chief Steven Trask; and Yves Munyankindi, retail support administrator at MutualOne Bank.

MutualOne Foundation awards $10K to Natick Service Council’s adolescent health program

The MutualOne Charitable Foundation has awarded $10,000 to the Natick Service Council. Announcement of the grant was made today by Mark R. Haranas, president and CEO of MutualOne Bank and a Foundation trustee.

The Foundation grant will support the Council’s Smart Nutrition and Exercise for Kids (SNEK) program, an initiative designed to improve adolescent health through proper nutrition, exercise, and nutritional education/intervention.

“The MutualOne Foundation is pleased to support a program that provides youth with hands-on learning about food, nutrition, and health,” said Haranas. “It is the foundation for a healthier, happier future.”

Celebrating the MutualOne Charitable Foundation’s $10,000 grant to the Natick Service Council are: (l-r) Mobolaji Omisore, manager of MutualOne Bank’s Natick office; Greg Tutuny, Natick Service Council executive director; and Yves Munyankindi of MutualOne Bank

$10K awarded to Resiliency for Life by MutualOne Charitable Foundation

Resiliency for LifeMark R. Haranas, president and CEO of MutualOne Bank and a MutualOne Charitable Foundation trustee, has announced a Foundation grant of $10,000 awarded recently to Resiliency for Life (RFL), a highly successful drop-out prevention program for under-achieving and at-risk students at Framingham High School.

According to Jug Chokshi, Executive Director, RFL strategies include intense academic monitoring, advocacy with teachers and administrators, strict program rules and clear expectations, development of personal responsibility/accountability, and reconnecting RFL parents/guardians with their children’s educational experience through full participation in bi-weekly meetings and workshops. Since its founding at Framingham High School in 1999, RFL has established “a near-perfect record of remediating students’ academic deficits, reversing their declines, and guiding them toward remarkable academic achievement,” Chokshi stated.

The RFL program was expanded last year to include students at Framingham’s Cameron, Walsh and Fuller middle schools, and the high school program has been replicated at Mansfield High School in Mansfield and at Durfee High School in Fall River.

“Resiliency for Life is a tremendously valuable asset with an admirable track record of success,” said Haranas. “The MutualOne Charitable Foundation is proud to support and foster the goals of the program.”

MutualOne Foundation grants $5K to St. Bridget’s Food Pantry for holiday, everyday food items

The MutualOne Charitable Foundation has awarded $5,000 to support St. Bridget’s Food Pantry, an all-volunteer effort that provides food assistance to an average of 150 Framingham households each week, and up to 250 households at holiday time.

“The volunteers at St. Bridget’s Food Pantry have been providing for those in need of assistance in our community for more than 25 years,” said Robert P. Lamprey, chairman of MutualOne Bank and the MutualOne Charitable Foundation. “We are pleased to help them continue to meet the needs of the many families and individuals who rely on them.”

Celebrating the MutualOne Charitable Foundation’s recent grant to St. Bridget’s Food Pantry are (l-r) Jean Hoskins, manager of MutualOne Bank’s Lincoln Street, Framingham office; Mary Kulas, director of St. Bridget’s Food Pantry; Rev. Msgr. Francis Strahan, pastor of St. Bridget Parish; and Yves Munyankindi, retail support administrator at MutualOne Bank.

MutualOne awards $20K Lamprey Grant to Boys & Girls Clubs of MetroWest for new Violence Prevention program

Mark R. Haranas, president and CEO of MutualOne Bank and a MutualOne Charitable Foundation trustee, announced today that the Boys & Girls Clubs of MetroWest has been awarded the Foundation’s annual $20,000 Robert Lamprey Community Grant.

The Foundation’s gift will support a new program at the recently relocated Framingham Clubhouse on Clinton Street: Violence Prevention Through Positive Youth Development. The project will address youth violence and provide programs that improve community safety by reducing youth violence, juvenile delinquency, and related negative behavior. The initiative, which includes collaboration with the Framingham Police Department, will include education, prevention, and enforcement programs, according to Francis X. Hurley, Boys & Girls Clubs of MetroWest president.

The program is designed to target youth ages 10-17 and will focus on academic success, good character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyles.

The annual Robert Lamprey Community Grant was established in 2014 to honor Robert “Bob” Lamprey, the present chairman of the board of MutualOne Bank and chairman of the MutualOne Charitable Foundation, for his longstanding commitment, concern, and caring for those in need in our community, said Haranas.

“The presence of an active Boys & Girls Club in the heart of Framingham is a stepping stone to a positive future for many of our young people,” Haranas added. “MutualOne was pleased to award the annual Lamprey Grant to support an innovative new program designed to help make that possible, and as an additional tribute to Bob Lamprey for his time-honored devotion to helping today’s youth realize and achieve their potential.”

The annual Lamprey Grant is restricted to a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization focused primarily on the towns of Framingham and/or Natick, and must benefit a low-income or less-advantaged and/or under-served population.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of MetroWest’s Framingham Clubhouse was the scene for a celebration of the MutualOne Charitable Foundation’s $20,000 Lamprey Community Grant. Pictured with Clubhouse members Derrick, Skylar, James, Jennifer, and Meadow are (l-r) Francis X. Hurley, president & CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of MetroWest; Robert Lamprey, Foundation chairman and MutualOne Bank chairman and treasurer; and Mark R. Haranas, Foundation trustee and MutualOne Bank president and chief executive officer.

$5K grant from MutualOne Foundation will help bring families out of poverty

Family Promise MetrowestSteven M. Sousa, executive vice president and chief operating officer of MutualOne Bank and a MutualOne Charitable Foundation trustee, announced today that the Foundation has awarded $5,000 to support Family Promise Metrowest’s Steps to Success Program.

Based in Natick, Family Promise Metrowest is a cooperative, interfaith partnership offering hope to homeless families with children through safe transitional shelter, meals, and supportive case management as they seek permanent housing. Local congregations and a network of over 2,500 trained volunteers furnish safe, temporary shelter and meals on a rotating basis while professional staff assist families in reaching goals that end the cycle of homelessness.

According to Sue Crossley, executive director of Family Promise Metrowest, the Steps to Success program offers a comprehensive approach to employment, education, and skills development that assists families in reaching their highest earning potential and accomplishing long-term sustainability.

“MutualOne is proud to be part of the community approach to helping homeless families with children achieve and sustain their independence and ensure their future success,” said Sousa.

$2.5K grant from MutualOne Foundation will fund lending library at Stapleton Elementary School

MF59581The MutualOne Charitable Foundation has awarded $2,500 to the Stapleton Elementary School in Framingham to establish a lending library for students. The grant was announced today by Steven M. Sousa, executive vice president and chief operating officer of MutualOne Bank and a MutualOne Charitable Foundation trustee.

The request for funds to establish a student library was made by Stapleton staff members Debbie Price, resource support teacher, and Michele Biasella, literacy coach, who expressed a dire need for students to continue the reading skills they learn at school when they get home.

Stapleton School has a diverse student population including English Language Learners and special education students in its 21 classrooms.

“In order to grow in reading, our students need to read outside of school and not just in the classroom. Unfortunately, many of our students do not have access to texts at their level at home,” said the request for book sets and organizational supplies to create the new lending library.

“We wholeheartedly agree with the comments by the Stapleton staff that books are an important part of education, and that the more exposure children have to quality literature, the richer their lives will be,” said Sousa. “The MutualOne Foundation is proud to fund the new Stapleton Elementary School lending library.”


Ugly Sweaters & Toys for Tots

Our team was looking good as they sported their ugly sweaters, and counted up the toys collected for Toys for Tots. Thank you to everyone who made a contribution!

MutualOne $10K award sends youth Back to School, grants Holiday Wishes

ProjectJustBecause-logo3A recent $10,000 award from the MutualOne Charitable Foundation to Project Just Because will help provide local low-income families with school supplies and holiday items, according to Steven M. Sousa, executive vice president and chief operating officer of MutualOne Bank and a Foundation trustee.

The gift will support the Project Just Because Back to School initiative, which provides children with a backpack filled with school supplies, and its Holiday Wish List program, which distributes basic cold-weather necessities and small gift items to families in need. According to Cherylann Lambert Walsh, founder and president of Project Just Because, 2,000 students received backpacks last year and 15,000 Holiday Wish List packets were distributed.

“The need is far greater than most of us realize,” said Sousa. “MutualOne is pleased to help provide support for those in the communities we serve who are facing serious life challenges.”