MILBRIDGE, Maine — Each week, Bar Harbor Bank & Trust directors and employees, in exchange for being able to dress casually on Fridays, voluntarily contribute to a charitable fund that disburses gifts monthly to a local nonprofit organization. This employee-driven donation program is called Community Commitment.

The bank matches the employee donations, doubling the amount given to the chosen nonprofit organization. Each month a different bank location gets to choose the recipient of these contributions. For the month of May, Bar Harbor Bank & Trust employees at the Milbridge branch chose two organizations in Cherryfield to receive these funds: The Ark Animal Shelter and the Maine Sea Coast Mission Food Pantry at Weald Bethel, the mission’s Down East campus in Cherryfield.

Wendy Harrington, Down East campus program director at the Maine Sea Coast Mission, was grateful for the donation to the food pantry.

Food donations can be dropped off at Bar Harbor Bank & Trust in Milbridge. Checks may be made payable to Maine Sea Coast Mission and mailed to MSCM Food Pantry, c/o Gena Norgaard, P.O. Box 428, Cherryfield 04622. Write “Food Pantry” in the memo line.

Lorna Konyak, shelter manager at The Ark, said she was appreciative of the gift. The Ark cares for homeless, unwanted or displaced animals until appropriate placement can be made. The shelter, located at the end of Barber Lane in Cherryfield, now houses 36 cats, 24 kittens and four dogs, all available for adoption.

To help cover their costs, monetary donations may be made online at Its Web site includes a wish list of items it needs such as a new canister vacuum cleaner, dog crates, dog leashes and paper towels. For more information about making a specific donation, contact Lorna at 546-3484.