Community Bank partners with CVOEO to help keep Vermonters warm at home

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Community Bank partners with CVOEO to help keep Vermonters warm at home

Tue, 04/05/2022 - 3:07am -- tim

Photo (left to right): Travis Poulin, Chittenden Community Action Director, CVOEO; Jason Rouse, Director of Philanthropy & Communications, CVOEO; Erika Baldasaro Vice President, Senior District Manager, Community Bank; and Anita Bourgeois, Community Bank Regional Manager. Courtesy photo.

Vermont Business Magazine During the 2021 holiday season, Community Bank N.A. challenged the public to help low-income Vermont families heat their homes in conjunction with Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity’s (CVOEO) WARMTH program. The bank generously pledged to give $17,500 to WARMTH if the communities in which CVOEO operate could raise $30,000 via online contributions between November 16 and December 31.

Thanks to Community Bank’s partnership, online donations to CVOEO for WARMTH exceeded $34,000 between November 16 and December 31, which is an increase over last year’s online donations during the same timeframe. Impressively, statewide donations to the WARMTH program equaled $746,269 for the entire year.

On April 1, 2022, Community Bank presented CVOEO with the $17,500 donation to celebrate the successful campaign.

“We are proud to donate to the WARMTH program this year in continued support of the generous work carried out by CVOEO in our community,” Community Bank New England Regional Manager Anita Bourgeois said. “It is so important to take care of those in need, and CVOEO demonstrates what it means to be a true community friend by aiming to provide heat to all homes in our community during this cold winter season.”

The WARMTH program is a vital lifeline for many during Vermont’s cold winter months. WARMTH has supplemented Vermont’s Seasonal and Crisis Fuel Assistance services for over 30 years. Funds received by CVOEO are distributed to the five community action agencies statewide for the emergency-based WARMTH program to help offset home heating bills. One hundred percent of donations are used for WARMTH client services and WARMTH funds are always paid directly to the fuel or energy vendor on behalf of low-income Vermonters.

“Winter is perhaps the most difficult of seasons as our vulnerable neighbors are faced with extreme cold,” said Paul Dragon, CVOEO’s Executive Director. “This is also a season of compassion and giving where the community and our partners shine bright. We thank Community Bank for its partnership and contribution to the WARMTH program. We are indeed stronger when we act together.”

For more information about CVOEO and the WARMTH program, visit To apply for home-heating assistance, contact your local community action agency.

About Community Bank System Inc.
Community Bank System Inc. operates more than 215 customer facilities across Upstate New York, Northeastern Pennsylvania, Vermont and Western Massachusetts through its banking subsidiary, Community Bank N.A., and has been serving its communities for more than 150 years. With over $15.5 billion in assets, the DeWitt, New York-headquartered company is among the country’s 125 largest financial institutions. Community Bank N.A. has consistently been ranked among the top performing U.S. banks in America by Forbes Magazine since the list was first published in 2009. In addition to a full range of retail and business banking services, the Company offers comprehensive financial planning, insurance and wealth management services through its subsidiaries/business units that include: OneGroup NY Inc., which provides risk management and commercial insurance, employee benefits and personal lines insurance; Community Bank Wealth Management, which provides investment advisory, personal trust and financial planning services, as well as personal, business and nonprofit portfolio design; and Benefit Plans Administrative Services Inc., which provides actuarial, retirement and VEBA/HRA plan administration, and collective investment fund, employee benefit trust and transfer agency services on a national scale.

Community Bank System Inc. is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and the company’s stock trades under the symbol “CBU.” For more information about Community Bank, visit or

About Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity (CVOEO)
As a social services organization with 10 distinct yet interconnected programs, CVOEO addresses fundamental issues of economic, social, environmental, and racial justice and works with people to achieve economic independence. Formed in 1965 to carry out the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964, CVOEO is a nonprofit organization that relies on support from various sources, including federal, state, and local governments, foundations, corporations, and individuals. With a dedicated and passionate staff of over 200 employees, CVOEO offers a holistic and client-centered approach to serving individuals, families, and communities and provides vital support to over 23,000 Vermonters every year.

To learn more about CVOEO, its mission, impact, and programs, visit

The WARMTH program is a fund that helps neighbors in need pay for their home heating fuel and basic electrical needs. Since its inception in 1986, WARMTH has assisted over 80,000 families facing heating emergencies during Vermont’s cold winter months. An additional 43,000 households have received essential information and counseling to help them avoid heating crises. The WARMTH program is solely funded by generous community support.