First Financial Works with Joshua House to Distribute Food


On Monday, November 21st 2011, we put your Joshua House Ministries donations to use by working with Joshua House to distribute the food collected in our Thanksgiving food drive. The drive exceeded the expectations of the Joshua House and 105 families of Farmingdale and Howell, New Jersey were assisted.

Earlier this year when planning the Credit Union’s 75th Anniversary celebration, First Financial’s COO, Alice Stevens approached Accounts Payable Clerk, Betty Bono hoping to be of service to the Joshua House, knowing that Betty has been working with the Joshua House for several years and that it was an important service organization within our local community.

“Alice said to me, we want to do something to help the Joshua House for the holidays and in honor of our 75th Anniversary this year,” Betty said. “With all the other agencies out there that needed assistance, I was very appreciative that the Credit Union chose Joshua House.”

Betty has been volunteering with the Joshua House since 2004 and currently serves as their secretary. She also said that in working with the Joshua House, you get a first hand perspective on the need in the community.

“A lot of people know that needs are out there but until they actually experience it, they don’t know the severity of it,” Betty said. “Because of First Financial’s generous donations of food and turkeys, we exceeded our Thanksgiving needs for food and we have enough leftover for the December holidays.”


First Financial’s Marketing Manager, Jessica Revoir was another one of the volunteers at Joshua House on November 21st, distributing Thanksgiving basket items. She said that as often as possible, the Credit Union likes to give back to the local community and that this experience was special because she was able to go out to the Joshua House and work to directly assist families firsthand.

First Financial has been collecting” target=”_blank”>cellphones for soldiers, we give out” target=”_blank”>awards to teachers monthly, and we give away” target=”_blank”>scholarships each year to local students,” Jessica said. “This year we had the opportunity to do something more, and it was really heart-warming to see the support of our members and to be able to help the Joshua House.”

First Financial’s Business Development Director, Kathy Zimmer and Business Development Officer Megan Shull, also assisted other volunteers at the Joshua House by unloading vehicles, organizing food, and distributing items to families on November 21st.

Joshua%20House%20Bags%20of%20Food-resized-600Bags of food that the team made up for families.
Joshua%20House%20Food%20Against%20Wall-resized-600 Food boxed and ready to go.

Joshua%20House%20Supplies-resized-600 Food and supplies.

Joshua%20House%20Turkeys-resized-600 11 of the 75 turkeys First Financial donated as promised,
in celebration of our 75th Anniversary.
Volunteers Risa and Bill Bastedo, along with Ed Surgent, unloading a truck full of food.

Joshua%20House%20Betty-resized-600 Other volunteers, Bernnie Olson and Barbara Surgent with Betty Bono.

Joshua House Ministries serving Howell and Farmingdale, collects food, clothing, towels, sheets, toiletries, and more. To learn more about this charitable Monmouth County organization and how you can donate during designated hours and days of the week,” target=”_blank”>visit their website.

First Financial’s Food Drive was a Success

On Thursday November 10th 2011, we held a day of Turkey Shuffle (a Thanksgiving themed variation of shuffleboard) at our Howell Branch. Our mission for the Turkey Shuffle was for it to entice people to donate food to our food drive to benefit the Joshua House Ministries  in Howell and Farmingdale. When they donated an item, they got to play the game for their chance to win prizes in the form of gift certificates, show tickets, and gift baskets donated by local businesses.

Michelle G. of Jackson was the first person to play the Turkey Shuffle

Thanks to the efforts of participants, the food drive was a success! Last Thursday evening First Financial staff dropped off nearly 1,000 pieces of food at the Joshua House to accompany the 75 turkeys we purchased and donated as part of our ongoing 75th Anniversary celebration.


When the Turkey Shuffle game was done being played at the Howell Branch, we packed
the First Financial van up with the food collected then brought the items over to the Joshua House with the rest of the food that was collected from our other four branches.


94.3 The Point came out with Lou Russo. Here is Lou playing the Turkey Shuffle.


The inflatable turkey which players pushed along the shuffleboard.

Some of the Turkey Shuffle crew posing behind the Turkey Shuffle.
Across the top from left to right:
First Financial’s President and CEO, Issa Stephan and
Howell Financial Services Consultant, Gary Schayne.
Across the bottom from left to right:
Marketing Manager, Jessica Revoir;
E-Marketing Specialist, Marisa Sanfilippo;
The Point’s Lou Russo;
Business Development Director, Kathy Zimmer, and
Business Development Officer, Megan Shull.


This lucky contestant won four tickets to see Disney on Ice!


Here Megan explains how to play the Turkey Shuffle to Lucy and Jessica of Jackson.

Additionally, 12-year-old Sam F. from Howell took it upon himself to use his allowance money to purchase a frozen turkey and some other food items for the Joshua House. He told us he bought the food with his allowance because he thought it was important to help people. We were especially impressed!

The Joshua House collects food and clothing all year long. For more information or to donate, visit them on the web or give them a call at 732.751.0715.

Thank you again for helping us make this a success! 
Happy Thanksgiving!


First Financial Celebrates 75th Anniversary with BlueClaws

On August 18th 2011, the weather cleared up enough just in time for our First Financial sponsored BlueClaws game at FirstEnergy Park in Lakewood. Thousands of fans gathered to celebrate the credit union’s 75th anniversary and were entered for a chance to win $10,000 if a BlueClaw hit a homerun on the 75th pitch. The first 2,000 fans also took home a Back-to-Back Championship Ring Display. A great time was had by all!

Blueclaws 013(Pictured L to R: BlueClaws player, Issa Stephan – First Financial President & CEO, Jessica Revoir – First Financial Marketing Manager, Buster, Penny Smart, and Kathy Zimmer – First Financial Business Development Director).

Though a homerun was not hit on the 75th pitch, Kelly, below, took home our prize pack as a consolation prize. She is pictured below with our new mascot, Penny Smart.

Blueclaws 001

Our President and CEO Issa Stephan threw out the first pitch of the game and also took to the radio to speak with WOBM-AM 1160 & 1310 about First Financial, what a credit union is, and what we offer our current and potential members.

Blueclaws 012Blueclaws 015

We continue to celebrate our 75th anniversary with various events throughout the rest of the year.

Happy Birthday to Us, and you!