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Catholic Charities New Hampshire Receives $2,700 Grant from Merrimack County Savings Bank Foundation

The Merrimack County Savings Bank Foundation granted $2,700 to Catholic Charities New Hampshire (CCNH) in support of its pilot year for Basic Financial Fitness, a financial literacy program for low- to moderate-income families in Concord, NH. This is one of 19 awards presented by the Foundation to non-profit organizations this year.

Philip Emma, President of Merrimack County Savings Bank with Thomas Blonski, President and CEO of Catholic Charities NH.

The mission of CCNH’s Basic Financial Fitness program is to help break the cycle of dependence on human service programs by providing the knowledge and skills needed to successfully manage personal finances. The program will allow participants to make better financial decisions and become more efficient and effective with their limited resources. Project initiatives include basic financial education for approximately 40 clients, the development of workbooks and other learning materials and matching funds for clients opening new savings accounts.

“I am pleased that the Foundation was able to support the efforts of Catholic Charities New Hampshire and their mission to bring financial literacy to clients,” said Philip Emma, President of Merrimack County Savings Bank. “We will continue to support local non-profits who are dedicated to helping the underserved become self-sufficient and gain confidence through financial education.”

“We’re grateful for the Foundation’s support of our program and mission,” said Thomas Blonski, CCNH President and CEO. “Most clients initially seek assistance from CCNH for an immediate, pressing need, like hunger relief, fuel or utility assistance, counseling services, teen pregnancy or parenting support, which are usually symptoms of a greater root cause. Many of the emergency and on-going needs clients face result from poor financial decisions, and lack of budgeting and shopping skills. Without an understanding of good financial habits, individuals have a hard time making smart choices about spending their money, managing their credit, avoiding scams and saving and investing for their futures. We need to overcome this deeper barrier before we can eliminate problematic symptoms and the cycle of dependency.”

Catholic Charities is a human services organization founded in 1945 to serve the poor and vulnerable statewide. The services offered at CCNH are available to anyone in New Hampshire regardless of religion, race, gender, age or ability to pay. CCNH is committed to addressing the varied and individual needs of each person seeking assistance through a system of integrated support, including financial education and counseling, immigration legal assistance, material support and health care for seniors.

The Merrimack County Savings Bank Foundation was funded by Merrimack County Savings Bank in 1997 for grant-based contributions to not-for-profit organizations that enrich and improve the quality of life for residents living in the Bank’s service areas. Five Trustees, selected among the Bank’s Corporators and Board of Trustees administer the Foundation and its activities, distributing a portion of the Foundation's endowment each year. While not focused on a particular category, the Foundation remains mindful of the receiving organization and its contribution to the quality of life in the communities served. Applications are due annually on October 1st. For more information, visit:

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