Merrimack Valley businesses are the backbone of the local economy and many of them support their communities in a variety of ways, such as through the sponsorship of events, employee volunteerism and financial donations. Here are just a few of our area’s shining lights, companies that make an effort to give back to the community not just during the holidays, but all year long.
Anna Jaques Hospital
Newburyport, Mass. / (978) 463-1000 / AJH.org
Anna Jaques gives back to the community through its free support groups and cancer screenings, parenting classes, wellness fairs, emergency training and road races. The hospital also sponsors community programs, including the Newburyport Farmers Market and youth sports programs, as it seeks to improve the health of patients out in the community as well as in the hospital. Hospital medical staff, employees, volunteers and board members work and live in Greater Newburyport and understand that supporting one another is a responsibility in a tight-knit community. Anna Jaques’ Community Benefits Advisory Committee supports a variety of local efforts that focus on diabetes, cancer, heart health and obesity. Through a variety of educational and awareness initiatives, Anna Jaques strives to take an active role in keeping the community healthy.
Downer Brothers Landscaping
North Andover, Mass. / (978) 975-5106 / DownerBrothers.com
Downer Brothers Landscaping owners Chris and Nicole Downer are both longtime residents of North Andover. “It’s important to us to give back to our community because we want to be a part of what makes our town a great place to live and raise a family,” Nicole says. “Our business gives us a unique way to have an impact.” Downer Brothers has provided free landscaping services for North Andover’s Joseph N. Hermann Youth Center since it opened 15 years ago. “We also donate our time and labor to the Family Cooperative Preschool, and at the Franklin School, where we were instrumental in installing the new school playground,” Nicole says. “This spring, we treated 17 trees for winter moth caterpillar pro bono for the Stevens-Coolidge Place in an effort to protect the aesthetic beauty and health of the beautiful collection there. We love our town and want to do what we can to protect and improve its wonderful gems.”
Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union
Lowell, Mass. / (978) 452-5001 / JDCU.com
“Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union and its employees give back to the community via their time, talents and treasure,” says President and CEO Mark Cochran. “We support more than 100 area nonprofits, including the Merrimack Valley Food Bank, the Lowell Transitional Living Center, Mill City Grows, Angkor Dance Troupe, Lucy’s Love Bus, Light of Cambodian Children, Catie’s Closet, The Paul Center, Operation Delta Dog, numerous food pantries, and Girls Inc.” The credit union also sponsors and participates in charitable walks, local cleanups and community music and art exhibitions. It is the premier sponsor of the Lowell Summer Music Series and the Lowell Spinners. In 2014, more than 6,000 hours of volunteer work by Jeanne D’Arc employees benefited schools, senior citizen centers, animal shelters, children’s athletic teams, and substance abuse prevention programs.
Woburn, Mass. / (781) 904-2700 / McLane.com
“Service is part of the culture at McLane Middleton, whether that be excellent client service or community service. It is just part of what we do,” says John Colucci, managing director of the law firm’s Woburn office. “We live and work in this community, so it is important to assist those in need.” McLane’s community service committee collects money, food, clothing, back-to-school supplies and holiday gifts for local families in need. Last winter, Executive Director and CEO Cathy Schmidt led Team McLane (Middleton) in the Child and Family Services’ Sleep Out, at which participants pitched a tent and slept in a local park to raise more than $10,000 and community awareness about the plight of homeless youths. McLane Middleton attorneys and professionals also commit their own time and resources while serving on the boards of nonprofits and community organizations.
Senior Financial Resources Inc.
Nashua, N.H. / (603) 595-4990 / SeniorFR.com
Senior Financial Resources has donated more than $9,000 to two local organizations. The firm’s annual “Butterball” Christmas Party benefits the New Hampshire Food Bank, a program of Catholic Charities New Hampshire that provides nutritious resources to thousands of residents. Senior Financial Resources night at a Fisher Cats baseball game benefits Veterans Count, N.H., the philanthropic arm of Easter Seals Military and Veterans Services, which assists veterans, service members and their families. “There’s no more efficient and caring organization serving veterans’ immediate care needs in the state of New Hampshire than Veterans Count,” says Senior Financial Resources President and CEO Thomas Brueckner. “Having two sons of our own who served during the Iraq War, and who lost friends during that conflict, it’s an honor to be able to give something back to those amazing men and women.”