Manasquan Savings Bank, a community bank with a 140-year history serving Monmouth and Ocean Counties, participated in a volunteer corporate build day with Coastal Habitat for Humanity on July 1. The event was held in partnership with NJBankers, a member organization that advocates for the New Jersey banking industry. Throughout the summer, it is hosting a special “Bankers who Build” project during which member institutions are lending manpower and monetary support to benefit Habitat for Humanity projects. This is the bank’s second year partnering with Coastal Habitat for Humanity on its local rebuilding efforts.
The goal of the NJBankers initiative is for area banks to provide nearly 2,000 collective hours of volunteer effort in addition to monetary support. Ten Manasquan Savings Bank team members took part in the day’s events, which included helping to rebuild a home destroyed by Superstorm Sandy in the Shark River Hills section of Neptune. On August 5, a second team of ten will be working on another home damaged by Sandy in Shark River Hills. In conjunction with NJBankers, a $2,000 donation was also made. Manasquan Savings Bank President and CEO James S. Vaccaro serves on the NJBankers Board of Directors as Second Vice Chair.
“As the entire Shore Community continues to recover from Sandy, Coastal Habitat for Humanity does critical work for those who need a place to call home,” says Mr. Vaccaro. “We are moved, inspired and motivated by their work, and are honored to once again lend our support.”
Habitat for Humanity corporate build days merge team-building with philanthropic work, providing an avenue by which local corporations can offer construction assistance paired with a corporate donation. The organization relies heavily on this funding, which supplies the monetary stream by which materials are purchased for an ambitious roster of projects. In addition to Sandy-related initiatives, the group focuses on home preservation, maintenance work, and new-home builds for low- to moderate-income families.
During the event, the Manasquan Savings Bank team rolled up their sleeves to assist with construction on the Neptune home. The residence had taken on three- to four feet of water in Superstorm Sandy, with damage so extensive that a rebuild proved more affordable than a repair. The bank’s monetary donation covered build-day materials, as well as the guidance of on-site build manager Ollie Lowery and crew members Butch Savage and Aaron Beasley. Since the storm, the Coastal Habitat for Humanity team has grown from 4 to 17 full-time employees, in keeping with increased demand.
“With so much need in the community, every donation counts,” Lowery says. “We rely almost completely on corporate donations to purchase building materials and fund our builds, and there is still great need for housing assistance at the local level.”
In total, nearly 10,000 area homes sustained damage during the storm in Southern Monmouth County alone. Plans are in place for the Habitat team and its volunteers to repair nearly 700 of those residences over the next seven years. The group is also developing a 158-bed space to house an increasing roster of global volunteers, and to serve those who may be displaced should a similar disaster occur in the future.
In addition to its relationship with NJBankers, Manasquan Savings Bank enjoys close ties to Coastal Habitat for Humanity. Robert A. Hart, Senior Vice President of Residential Lending for Manasquan Savings Bank, joined its Board of Directors in 2013 after several years volunteering on build projects.
“Coastal Habitat for Humanity takes a direct approach to addressing critical housing issues at the Jersey Shore,” Hart says. “Manasquan Savings Bank is honored to support that mission.”
Throughout the year, Manasquan Savings Bank seeks out numerous opportunities to give back to the communities it serves. Visit the bank online at www.manasquanbank.com to learn more about upcoming events and initiatives.