By Celina Colby

Last year, Sasha Liang and David L. Gladstone were wielding power tools on the roof of a Habitat for Humanity home in Roxbury. But generally, you can find them at the Brookline Bank location at Coolidge Corner (hammerless for the most part). Liang, a manager of the 1324 Beacon Street location, and Gladstone, a business banking officer at the same branch, represent the community-oriented spirit that makes Brookline Bank a unique business model.

“Community is a big, big priority with us as a branch. It’s in our DNA,” says Gladstone. “We don’t forget where our roots began, and they began right here in Brookline.” This commitment to the neighborhood is clear from the first steps into the Coolidge Corner bank. Not only is the space accessible with ramps, bright lighting, and readable signage, it features a gallery showcasing local artists and curated by Arts Brookline.

The Coolidge Corner location is also a hub for Aira, a company that assists the visually impaired via Google Glass technology. Participants wearing the glasses will automatically connect to the network in Brookline Bank. Then, a representative who can see what’s in front of the participant through their glasses can guide the customer through the space, help them fill out deposit slips and explain paperwork.

Brookline Bank is the primary sponsor for Brookline Day every fall, and staff participate yearly in other programs like Project Bread’s Walk for Hunger. Climate change is a community cause near and dear to Gladstone. He serves on a select board for Climate Action and founded Climate is Everyone’s Business, an initiative established to educate local businesses on being more environmentally friendly.

But Brookline isn’t the only town that benefits from this community-oriented approach. “Even though David and I hang our hats here [in Brookline], we’re happy to be in whatever community needs additional support,” says Liang. Recently the staff taught a financial literacy class in high schools in Danvers. The bank is taking over five branches on the North Shore that were formerly Ipswich Bank and wanted to establish a personal connection to the locals from the start.

Personal connections are what fuel Brookline Bank’s work. Though Liang grew up in Brookline, he now lives in Waltham and has worked at branches all over the Greater Boston area. Even though he’s based at the Coolidge Corner location, Liang still provides services to customers he met in other towns. “A client that I used to service ten years ago could still and does still reach out to me for any service they might need,” he says. “We know their life story, we know their struggles, we know their successes, they don’t have to explain themselves to us.”

Gladstone recalls a moment when a local business owner who had been turned down by several banks for a loan came into Brookline Bank. Gladstone was familiar with the owner and his work style and took a risk on his venture because of years of built trust. It was a huge success.

Whether they are grabbing a coffee at Paris Creperie to support local businesses or hammering away on a new home in Roxbury, Gladstone, Liang and the team at Brookline Bank hope to bring more to the Greater Boston communities than just checking and savings accounts.