DRACUT — Take care of the pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves.
Officials from Washington Savings Bank are hoping customers take that adage to the bank. A newly formed partnership teams the bank, which has branch offices in Lowell, Dracut and Tyngsboro, with the M.G. Parker Library in Dracut.
Customers who activate a debit card through the bank will receive a $25 cash reward. Friends of the Dracut Library also receive $25 for each card.
“We wanted to reach out to the community and what better venue than the library?” said Sean Lydon, vice president of retail banking and marketing at Washington Savings. “In a tough economy, it’s a way for customers to give back to their town without taking money out of their pockets. I’d like to think that this is one of the functions of a community bank.”
The “Support Your Library” program is a pilot program that bank officials want to start in other entities in neighboring towns.
“Our target demographic is working families with kids that go to the library,” Lydon said. “It’s an entity that everyone can identify with.”
Customers also receive up to 20 cents on most purchases and the library receives and additional 3 cents.
“It adds up,” said bank president and CEO Jim Hogan. “It’s exciting to watch it grow. And you can give every day, every time you use your debit card.”
Lydon said he was looking for just the right organization with whom to partner. He considered several schools in town but decided the library had a broader base. He approached M.G. Parker Library Director Dana Mastroianni, who was receptive to the concept.
“It’s a mutually beneficial relationship. It would have been foolish for us to say no. The library is valued by the entire community,” Mastroianni said. “All anyone has to do is activate a debit card and check off a box designating the Friends of the Library as a partner and the money comes in. We get a few cents. The customer gets a few cents. It’s virtually painless.”
Officials agree that the program is also a good public-relations tool and a unique opportunity for any customer from any town with an existing account or who opens an new account.