PARIS — The word count in the list of resources offered by Community Concepts number in the thousands, but it’s still towered over by the amount of western Maine people who are served by the benevolent organization each year.

“The need in many places is overwhelming, from toddler beds to financial guidance and just about everything in between,” said Janice de Lima. “Through its organization and collaboration, Community Concepts can help meet many of these requests and offer a helping hand and a way forward.”

Community Concepts is a community action agency that has supported residents in Androscoggin, Oxford, and Franklin counties with a dynamic range of services and programming to help strengthen area families since 1965. The organization also fosters economic development in Maine through its wholly-owned subsidiary Community Concepts Finance Corporation (CCFC), which provides financial coaching, education, and assistance to help people and businesses realize their goals.

It is an organization that Norway Savings Bank has been proud to support for over a decade.

“One of the most impressive things Community Concepts does is not only connect individuals and families with services to meet basic needs, but it”s also constantly working to correct the root causes of poverty through business, housing, and personal finance education and support,” said Dan Walsh, President and CEO of Norway Savings Bank. “The mission has evolved over the years but has remained centered on bettering the lives of those in the most challenging of situations. It’s an honor to offer support to an organization like that.”

“We are so thankful for Norway Savings Bank’s contributions to Community Concepts. They support our mission to strengthen individuals, families, and communities in western Maine by providing diverse programs, engaging in strategic partnerships, and through advocacy that addresses the barriers to promote economic opportunities for all,” said Ruby Bean, Director of Development for Community Concepts. “Every person who supports Community Concepts is changing lives for the better and further affirms the importance of fighting for the lives and wellbeing of all human beings.”


NSB’s partnership with Community Concepts doesn’t end with financial support. The contributions extend to team members who offer their time and talent to help the cause.

“As an intake volunteer, I review their needs for heating assistance, food insecurity, and financial guidance,” said Linette Dehetre, Branch Manager and Retail Lender VP for NSB in Auburn. “I provide a smile, listen, and try to help with resources.”

Other NSB team members have conducted workshops that cover financial literacy, guidance for first-time homebuyers, and mortgage advice, while some assist low-to-moderate-income families with free tax preparation.

A number have served on committees and even held leadership positions, including Deb McPhail, Senior Deposit Operations and BSA Officer SVP for NSB, who is a member of the Community Concepts Board of Directors.

“Their approach to solving problems and confronting issues considers the short-term and the long-term,” said Deb. “It focuses on the whole person, family, community, and of course on collaboration. Community Concepts staff members and volunteers work closely with people in need and partner with organizations in the community to meet those needs. In encouraging that collaboration and growing from it, the work is successful and their efforts to solve systemic problems can be addressed. The process is offering vital help and, at the same time, building stronger communities.”

There are so many ways to assist Community Concepts in its mission. To learn more about donating your time or resources in support of their efforts, visit You can also call the organization’s main office in South Paris at 207-743-7716 or the Lewiston office at (207) 795-4065.

Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: