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The Village Bank nomination earns $2,500 Mass Bankers award for Understanding Our Differences

Joseph A. De Vito, president and CEO of The Village Bank, announced today that a nomination by the Bank has earned a local nonprofit organization, Understanding Our Differences, a $2,500 grant from the Massachusetts Bankers Association (MBA) Charitable Foundation.

Founded and still based in Newton, Understanding Our Differences is now a national leader in disability awareness education. It is a model interactive curriculum that teaches children to “see the person and not the disability.” Since it was founded in 1978, the program has been successfully disseminated to more than 200 schools nationwide.

The Village Bank has been a consistent Understanding Our Differences community partner over the years. The Bank’s Susan Paley, vice president and community relations officer, nominated Understanding Our Differences for the MBA award.

“Understanding Our Differences and Rebecca Lubens, its executive director, serve an important purpose here in Newton,” said Paley. “It teaches our children tolerance and understanding. The programs it has developed through the years has rightly earned it a stellar reputation in the field of education and disability awareness, and I’m thrilled that the MBA Charitable Foundation selected it for this award."

A record number of recipients were awarded community grants this year through the MBA Charitable Foundation, which is supported by its 170 member banks throughout Massachusetts and New England. The 37 grants for 2014 totaled $152,500. Over its 18-year history, the Foundation has now provided gifts totaling $1.9 million.

The annual awards are from all MBA member banks, as a symbol of the many charitable contributions made throughout the year by the banking industry to the communities they serve. That figure is now $61 million annually, according to the MBA. In addition, employees of MBA member banks contribute thousands of volunteer hours across the Commonwealth each year.