Eastern Bank Presents "Community Quarterback" Award to Guard Support

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March 23, 2011
On March 23, 2011 at the 7th Annual "Community Quarterback" award ceremony featuring quarterback Doug Flutie, Eastern Bank recognized Guard Support for outstanding community leadership.

Eastern Bank Logo

Eastern Bank recognized Guard Support of Massachusetts at the "Community Quarterback" award ceremony held on March 23, 2011 at Cradles to Crayons in Brighton, Mass. Guard Support was among 41 organizations that received a total of $600,000 in grants for their outstanding community leadership.

Sherry Handel, Executive Director of Guard Support of Massachusetts accepted the Eastern Bank "Community Quarterback" award on behalf of the organization. This award was presented by quarterback Doug Flutie and Eastern Bank's Chairman and CEO Richard E. Holbrook.

Eastern Bank Photo

Photo courtesy of Eastern Bank - Left to right: Richard E. Holdbrook, Chairman
and CEO of Eastern Bank; 
Sherry Handel, Executive Director of Guard Support;
Doug Flutie, Spokesman, 
Eastern Bank and Quarterback

The Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation awarded a $10,000 Partnership Grant on November 29, 2010 to support Guard Support of Massachusetts' Emergency Financial Relief Program. Grant grant proceeds will directly assist Massachusetts National Guard families residing in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts with emergency financial relief assistance throughout the grant period.

“The mission of the Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation is to contribute, in a meaningful way, to the health and vitality of the communities where we live and work,” said Laura Kurzrok, Executive Director, Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation. “We are grateful to those serving in the National Guard and proud to support their families.”     

Guard Support aids the members and families of the Massachusetts National Guard when deployment causes financial hardship. Families frequently need emergency financial assistance after a spouse deploys overseas. To date, over 60% of grants disbursed have been for direct Emergency Financial Relief to the families of the men and women of the Massachusetts National Guard.

Guard Support is experiencing a dramatic increase in need due to the largest deployment of Mass. National Guard in the Commonwealth's history. In August of 2010 the 650 soldiers of the 181st Infantry Battalion were mobilized for deployment to Afghanistan. This is in addition to approximately 1,400 soldiers that were already deployed last year. It is estimated that more than 1,000 soldiers and airmen will deploy in 2011.

Because of these deployments, in 2011 we expect the surge in emergency financial relief grant requests to continue. In addition, in 2011 more than 1,700 soldiers and airmen will be returning from overseas deployment. Many will not be able resume their civilian jobs due to medical and mental health issues resulting from deployment; others will face unemployment, reduced benefits and underemployment due to layoffs and other cut backs.

Examples of  Emergency Financial Relief Program grant awards include:

*  Housing (rent or mortgage to avoid eviction or foreclosure)
*  Vehicle payments
*  Car insurance payments
*  Utilities (heating, electric, water)
*  Child care assistance
*  Rent security deposit
*  Telephone bills
*  Vehicle repairs
*  Funeral expenses not covered by eligible military benefits
*  Emergency travel expenses related to serious injury, illness or death 

About Guard Support of Massachusetts

Since 2007, Guard Support has helped thousands of Guard members and their families by disbursing over 290 grants which provided Emergency Financial Relief to Guard members and their families, funding for unit Family Readiness Groups that provide support to Guard families coping with the deployment of a spouse or parent and Transportation on Leave Subsidies to deployed Guardsmen so that they can visit their families at no out-of-pocket cost.

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Children's party at the base