When Carol Bickford, SVP, Retail Lending Officer, retired from New Hampshire Mutual Bancorp in December of 2020, after 37 years of dedicated service, the Board of Directors for Merrimack County Savings Bank (the Merrimack) honored her with a donation of $5,000 to her choice of nonprofit. Bickford chose the Concord Coalition to End Homelessness (CCEH).
In her role, Bickford led a the highly skilled teams of mortgage specialists at Merrimack County Savings Bank, Meredith Village Savings Bank and Savings Bank of Walpole, offering personal, tailored support for individual mortgage needs, including construction lending, second homes, unusual homes and first-time home buyers.
“Carol’s work made a significant difference for the Merrimack, our customers and our community,” said Bill Dunlap, Chair of the Board for Merrimack County Savings Bank. “I’m not surprised by her choice of organization to support. The Concord Coalition to End Homelessness offers resources that help people struggling with homelessness meet their basic needs, and they provide permanent housing opportunities to some of our most vulnerable citizens. The Board is honored to make this donation on her behalf.”
“We are thrilled with Carol’s decision to contribute to the Concord Coalition to End Homelessness,” said Linda Lorden, President of the Merrimack. “They work with community partners and advocate for solutions that actually end homelessness. Because of her decades of work in helping people purchase homes, Carol appreciates the joy and confidence that comes with having a stable place to live. She has supported financial education and programs that help people of all economic situations throughout her decades with our organization, and we can’t thank her enough.”
“We are so grateful to Carol and the Board of the Merrimack for this donation,” said Ellen Groh, Executive Director of the Concord Coalition to End Homelessness. “We are committed to ending homelessness because we know that it is absolutely possible. Crucial to this goal is providing permanent supportive housing for the most vulnerable people experiencing long-term homelessness. This generous contribution will help us go far in support of our community.”
The Concord Coalition to End Homelessness was founded in 2008. They provide support to individuals experiencing homelessness and work to bring solutions to actually end homelessness in the greater Concord community. CCEH operates the Concord Homeless Resource Center at the Tom Fredenburg House and the Emergency Winter Shelter, both located at 238 N. Main St. in Concord. However, because of the pandemic, CCEH has been able to use CARES Act funding to purchase the First Congregational Church building in Concord, and use that as a larger, temporary space for both the Resource Center and Winter Shelter, so guests can maintain social distance. When the pandemic passes, CCEH hopes to convert the First Church building into affordable housing. Through their Housing First Concord program, CCEH helps place people exiting long-term homelessness into permanent supportive housing, and they lead the City of Concord’s Steering Committee in a Plan to End Homelessness. For more information about the Concord Coalition to End Homelessness, visit https://concordhomeless.org/.