Florence Bank Supports Revitalize CDC’s Capital Campaign and 2024 #GreenNFit Event

Florence Bank recently pledged a $25,000 gift to Revitalize CDC’s $3 million capital campaign, launched in 2023. Funds will be used to develop a 3,200-square-foot warehouse that will allow the Springfield-based nonprofit to better serve its audience of low-income families, seniors, veterans and those with special needs.

Colleen Shanley-Loveless, president and CEO of Revitalize CDC, said the organization purchased its first office in January 2023, in Springfield, yet additional space was needed. In addition to improvements to the building, campaign funds will allow the development of a much-needed warehouse and distribution center for volunteers and nutritional supplies, creating the means to better serve clients and also expand through the hiring of additional staff.

“Florence Bank is a good neighbor,” Colleen says. “It’s a local bank, and it knows the community. The bank knows everybody needs a little help now and then, and the bank is there to help. We appreciate that.”

Our President and CEO Matt Garrity says, “It’s important to the bank to stay active in the regions we serve. We want to help organizations in the community serve those neighbors who need a helping hand.”

Revitalize CDC has a mission to improve homes, neighborhoods and lives through preservation, education and community involvement. It oversees the repair and modification of area homes for its clients and also offers a health and nutrition program.

The organization was founded in 1992 as an all-volunteer agency that raised roughly $40,000 each year and assisted about five families annually. Today, it serves over 800 families a year with a $5 million annual budget. Revitalize CDC serves Hampden, Hampshire and Franklin counties, with its primary reach in Holyoke, Chicopee and Springfield. 

“We’re really a basic needs organization, providing food and shelter,” Colleen adds.

Joe Kulig, vice president / commercial lender for Florence Bank, has been involved with Revitalize CDC since November 1996 and is the longest-serving board member. He has seen the organization through various name changes and watched it expand over the years.

Joe got Florence Bank involved with the agency when he joined the bank’s staff in September 2018. A West Springfield resident, he enjoys having an outlet to help his neighbors, and he finds it rewarding that the bank has supported Revitalize CDC over the years with annual gifts for its #GreenNFit event and volunteer helpers. 

The bank assisted with the effort again this year, offering volunteers and a $10,000 sponsorship, and Joe and Nikki Gleason, vice president / branch manager in West Springfield, once again took part, leading teams of staff helpers.

Each year through the #GreenNFit event, the organization selects a neighborhood in Springfield and upgrades roughly a dozen homes. This year, efforts are focused on Chapin Terrace and Massassoit, Jardine and Lancashire streets.

The goal of #GreenNFit is to make homes more energy efficient, safe, healthy and aesthetically pleasing. The CDC’s Fundraising Committee, which Nikki has served on since 2016, seeks sponsorships, and volunteers do everything from tidying yards, power washing siding and staining fences and gates to removing carpeting that might be causing asthmatic flare-ups or installing deck railings.

“Everybody in each neighborhood gets involved,” Nikki says. “It’s the best comradery I’ve ever witnessed. It brings out the best in everybody, and the work we do revitalizes whole streets.”

This year’s #GreenNFit event took place on April 27.

Roughly $2 million has been received toward the $3 million capital campaign goal. Funds have also paid for updated heating and cooling systems in the main 7,000-square-foot CDC building, roof replacement, new carpeting, new furniture and video equipment. 

Tax credits are available on donations over $1,000. For more information, or to volunteer for #GreenNFit or donate to the campaign, visit revitalizecdc.com. Those interested in sponsorship can email cloveless@revitalizecdc.com or call or 860-668-9701.