The Chase Home Receives $5,000 Grant from Bangor Savings Bank Foundation

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Recently, Bangor Savings Bank Foundation awarded a $5,000 grant to The Chase Home as part of its Community Matters More initiative. Residents across Maine and New Hampshire were provided with the opportunity to vote for up to five nonprofits.

“It is just an incredible award that has come at precisely the right time,” said Meme Wheeler, executive director of The Chase Home. “The coronavirus has led to a substantial spike in the need for our services, so this gives us a push in the right direction when we really need it.”

According to Kelly Goodwin, Bangor Savings Bank’s Portsmouth branch manager, Community Matters More is an important part of the bank’s philanthropy.

“Community Matters More actively engages the public and puts dollars into the community in ways they direct,” he said. “It is empowering for the communities that we serve and gratifying for all of us at Bangor Savings Bank.”

In looking ahead at the needs of The Chase Home, Wheeler said it is too early to tell how COVID-19 might affect their operations in the long-term. She said community support, however, remains critical.

“We are so thankful for Bangor Savings Bank and individuals who are stepping up to support our kids,” she said. “We want everybody who supports us to feel like they are part of a real solution when they become involved in The Chase Home.”

Founded in 1877, The Chase Home in Portsmouth is one of the oldest nonprofits in New Hampshire, serving more than 140 at-risk youth annually statewide through prevention, early intervention, residential and community-based programs. Some youth are served in the community while others live at The Chase Home.

To learn more about The Chase Home, visit chasehome.org.

The Chase Home Receives $5,000 Grant from Bangor Savings Bank Foundation

Staff and community rally around The Chase Home

While the coronavirus has effectively ceased operations for many sectors of industry, nonprofit agencies like The Chase Home in Portsmouth have potentially never been busier.

“We are taking every preventative measure possible right now to prevent any cases of COVID-19 both among our staff and our kids,” said Executive Director Meme Wheeler. “Our staff are literally working overtime right now to ensure we adhere and even exceed all CDC guidelines.”

The Chase Home (76 of 92) (1)

Citing the need to hire additional relief staff in the event of a positive diagnosis for the coronavirus at The Chase Home–currently, there are none–Wheeler said the challenges currently faced by staff extend beyond the pragmatic.

“For the kids that live here, their families cannot visit them right now,” she said. “This is really tough on the kids.”

To address the anxiety experienced by many of the kids, Wheeler said they have instituted a rewards system to encourage positive behaviors.

“For instance, Laney & Lu is delivering smoothies for our kids today,” she said. “It’s an amazing gesture and one that reinforces for kids that they are part of this community. We are in this together and so thankful for everyone rallying around us and our kids.”

Regarding services provided by The Chase Home in the community, Wheeler said staff is using Skype and similar videoconferencing platforms to stay in close contact with families.

“Clinically, we cannot just stop providing services, so we are working strategically to stay in contact and offer support and guidance to families that really need that connection right now,” she said.
Founded in 1877, Chase Home in Portsmouth is one of the oldest nonprofits in New Hampshire, serving more than 140 at-risk youth annually statewide through prevention, early intervention, residential and community-based programs. Some youth are served in the community while others live at Chase Home.

To learn more about The Chase Home, visit chasehome.org.

Staff and community rally around The Chase Home

Tenants Association at Pease (TAP) Selects The Chase Home as 2020 Beneficiary

Formed in 1999 to create an organized body of the people who work on the Pease Tradeport, Tenants Association at Pease (TAP) has selected The Chase Home as its 2020 charity beneficiary.

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From left to right: Craig Dennis, Chase Home Director of Operations; Deanna St. Hilaire, TAP President; and Meme Wheeler, Chase Home Executive Director.

“We choose a local charity that we feel could use the support and recognition and has not been chosen by us in previous years,” said President Deanna St. Hilaire, who said TAP has nearly 9,000 members.

Founded in 1877, The Chase Home serves more than 140 at-risk youth and families annually statewide through prevention, intervention, residential and community-based programs.

Meme Wheeler, executive director of The Chase Home, said she is “thrilled” at the selection.

“We want to express our deepest thanks for their support,” she said. “This is going to be a wonderful partnership.”

As beneficiary, The Chase Home will benefit from three TAP member events in 2020. These events include Spring Fling (May 7), Summer BBQ (August 13) and Fall Festival (October 28).

“We have great attendance at all of the events, especially the Summer BBQ,” explained St. Hilaire.

At each event, members will be asked to bring an item needed by The Chase Home or a cash donation.

“At each event, we will also provide a table or spot for Chase Home to collect donations,” added St. Hilaire. “We are excited to have Chase Home as our beneficiary in 2020 so we can help support their kids and raise awareness about what they do.”

To learn more about TAP, visit tenantsassociationatpease.org. To learn more about The Chase Home, visit chasehome.org.

Tenants Association at Pease (TAP) Selects The Chase Home as 2020 Beneficiary

Local Resident to Lead Renovation Project at The Chase Home

In its current location since the early 1900s, The Chase Home is in need of substantial exterior improvements, which has attracted the support of Portsmouth native Jeff Keefe, who has volunteered to lead the project.

Jeff Keefe and Meme Wheeler Outside The Chase Home
Jeff Keefe (left) and Meme Wheeler, executive director of The Chase Home. Photo credit: David J. Murray, ClearEyePhoto.com

Financial Advisor and Principal at Whole Wealth Management, LLC, Keefe led the successful development of the Puddle Dock Pond ice rink at Strawbery Banke Museum, which required nearly $1 million in cash and in-kind donations.

“I’m doing this for the kids,” said Keefe, who said his impetus is to elevate “the spirits of the kids who live at Chase Home.”

“My grandparents lived next door to Chase Home, so I have always been aware of it and what they did,” he explained. “I wanted to do something for an agency that has done so much for kids in this community for more than 140 years.”

Founded in 1877, The Chase Home in Portsmouth is one of the oldest nonprofits in New Hampshire, serving more than 140 at-risk youth annually statewide through prevention, early intervention, residential and community-based programs. Some youth are served in the community while others live at The Chase Home.

Meme Wheeler and Jeff Keefe Outside The Chase Home
Photo credit: David J. Murray, ClearEyePhoto.com

Regarding the needed improvements, Keefe cited a new driveway, roof and walkways as well as enhanced exterior lighting and landscaping as constituting the majority of the proposed work, which can be completed in phases.

“We will complete aspects of the project as the money is raised,” he said.

With preliminary costs of about $270,000, the project has already garnered nearly $40,000 in support from area companies, including Pike Industries, Bourassa Construction, Terra Firma Landscape Architecture and AndHow.

“Ideally, the project would ‘break ground’ this summer and be completed in about 8 weeks,” added Keefe.

For Meme Wheeler, executive director of The Chase Home, the project has long-term potential to impact the nonprofit agency in several ways.

“It not only addresses infrastructural and safety concerns, it creates a new face for The Chase Home,” she said. “This is a home for dozens of youth each year, many in crisis. It is very important we create the most welcoming environment possible for them.”

Keefe agreed and added, “This is really about emphasizing the ‘home’ in Chase Home, and it will require a community effort to do that.”

To learn more about The Chase Home, or support the campaign, visit chasehome.org.

Local Resident to Lead Renovation Project at The Chase Home

The Chase Home to Participate in Bangor Savings Bank’s Community Matters More

Selected for the first time to participate in Bangor Savings Bank’s Community Matters More, The Chase Home in Portsmouth is asking the community for its vote.

Each year, Community Matters More allows community members to become actively involved in grant giving as they decide which nonprofits will receive financial support from the Bangor Savings Bank Foundation. The two nonprofits with the most votes in each geographic region will receive a $5,000 grant, while the remaining agencies will receive $1,000.

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Exterior of The Chase Home

“We are thrilled to be on the 2020 Community Matters More ballot,” said The Chase Home Executive Director Meme Wheeler. “This is a wonderful initiative.”

Founded in 1877, The Chase Home in Portsmouth is one of the oldest nonprofits in New Hampshire, serving more than 140 at-risk youth annually statewide through prevention, early intervention, residential and community-based programs. Some youth are served in the community while others live at The Chase Home.

Voting for the Community Matters More campaign takes place during the entire month of February. All votes must be completed by online ballot at www.bangor.com/cmm. Only one online ballot per person is eligible for submission.

To learn more about The Chase Home, or how you can support us, please visit www.chasehome.org.

The Chase Home to Participate in Bangor Savings Bank’s Community Matters More

Martingale Wharf Donates nearly $2,900 to The Chase Home

A longstanding supporter of The Chase Home in Portsmouth, Martingale Wharf recently donated $2,894.21 to The Chase Home, an amount raised from a portion of all sales on Tuesdays in December.

“It’s an initiative that brings more people to our restaurant on these days, which in turn provides nonprofits with financial support that can boost their operations,” said Martingale Wharf’s Michelle Matthews. “Everybody wins.”

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Interior of Martingale Wharf

MemeWheeler, executive director at The Chase Home, agrees and said such contributions are important in several ways.

“They not only help address budget gaps, they are unrestricted so we can use them in ways that best address current needs,” she said. “Through the years, Martingale Wharf has really impacted our operations. We are so thankful.”

Founded in 1877, The Chase Home serves more than 140 at-risk youth and families annually statewide through prevention, intervention, residential and community-based programs. To learn more about The Chase Home, or learn more about how your business can get involved, visit chasehome.org.

Martingale Wharf is located at 99 Bow Street in Portsmouth. To learn more about Martingale Wharf, visit martingalewharf.com.

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Martingale Wharf Donates nearly $2,900 to The Chase Home

The Chase Home selected as co-beneficiary of New Castle 10K

One of the most important organizational skills that must be developed by nonprofits is relationship-building, the result of which will be demonstrated at the New Castle 10K on Saturday, April 18.

Nick Diana (l) with Meme Wheeler (r).JPG“I selected Chase Home in Portsmouth as one of our race beneficiaries,” said Organizer and Seacoast resident Nick Diana, who acknowledged the nonprofit agency had not previously been “on his radar.”

“My good friend Jenna [Thomson] joined their board and simply asked if I would consider donating,” he added. “I was familiar with Chase Home already and had donated to them through a business I started years back, but it wasn’t until I attended a recent event where I really felt the impact they had on children in need.”

For Thomson, who now serves The Chase Home as an ambassador, the opportunity to tell others about the agency’s work is part of her everyday life.

“I tell people about The Chase Home and what we are doing for kids,” she said. “I enjoy building relationships to advance their mission.”

Founded in 1877, Chase Home in Portsmouth is one of the oldest nonprofits in New Hampshire, serving more than 140 at-risk youth annually statewide through prevention, early intervention, residential and community-based programs. Some youth are served in the community while others live at Chase Home. 

As for the race itself, Diana said this is its third year with more than $11,000 donated to local charities since its inception. A runner himself, he said he has tried to create the best running event possible.

“Our event makes every effort to have a very small footprint on the environment with the use of compostable cups and trash bags,” he said. “Local artist Dan Blakeslee has been commissioned to create a custom print for the race that will be given to each registered runner for free, too.”

He said other perks include a free beer and stainless steel pint glass.

“Add in a beautiful course, a low registration fee, charitable mission and the most beautiful route, and it’s hard not to register,” he said.

To learn more about the New Castle 10K and all other beneficiaries, visit newcastlenh10k.com.

To learn more about The Chase Home, visit chasehome.org.

The Chase Home selected as co-beneficiary of New Castle 10K