First Financial Foundation Awards 2017 Scholarship to Stockton University Student

Press Release

FREEHOLD, N.J. – The First Financial Federal Credit Union Foundation (www.firstffcu.com) recently awarded a $500 scholarship to Nicole Weaver of Toms River, who graduated from Toms River High School North. She is now attending Stockton University (Galloway, NJ) to pursue a B.S. in health science and then a M.S. to become a future physician’s assistant.

In order to qualify for this year’s scholarship, high school seniors attending school in Monmouth or Ocean Counties were given the option to submit a written essay or create a 60 second video clip. The students must also be attending an accredited 2 or 4 year college or university in the fall of 2017. Four winners were selected to receive a $500 First Financial Foundation 2017 Erma Dorrer Literary Scholarship.

This year’s essay topic: You and a friend decide that you would like to start building credit. Discuss with your friend what good credit is, ways to start building credit, how your credit union can help, and the benefits earned by having good credit.

This year’s video topic: Create a 60-second video that covers the importance of financial literacy.

Weaver submitted an essay where she explained that “having good credit is extremely important, and if you have good credit you may receive a lower interest rate on big items – such as a house or car.” She also mentioned that “a credit union such as First Financial, can help individuals start building credit by offering help or counseling on how to effectively build your credit without going beyond your means, and that credit unions can also offer low-cost secured loans.”

“We are thrilled to be able to aid these admirable and bright young students in their journey of success and education,” said First Financial President and CEO, Issa Stephan.  “Our credit union puts a high priority on education. After all, that’s how First Financial began 81 years ago – with a group of schoolteachers in Asbury Park.”

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About the First Financial Foundation: Since 1994, First Financial has supported the Monmouth & Ocean communities with the Erma Dorrer Scholarship Program. Today, that program has been extended into the First Financial Foundation to assist charitable organizations of the Monmouth & Ocean County Communities.  The First Financial Federal Credit Union Foundation is a non-profit working to support a variety of community programs and organizations throughout Monmouth and Ocean Counties.  We direct 100% of your contributions to programs because all administrative expenses are paid for by First Financial Federal Credit Union.  To learn more, visit http://www.firstffcu.com.

First Financial Hosts Student Run LIFE Fair at Jackson High Schools

Press Release

(Pictured above: First Financial staff members and students from the Jackson Academy of Business teach fellow students about the financial realities of life on June 2nd at Jackson Memorial High School).

Freehold, N.J. – On May 24th and June 2nd, First Financial Federal Credit Union held the first student run LIFE™ (Learning Independent Financial Education) financial reality fair event at both Jackson Liberty and Memorial High Schools with their Jackson Academy of Business (JAB) students. While the credit union has hosted financial reality fairs in the past, this fair was actually staffed by high school students, who sat behind each of the financial tables and worked with other students to help plan their financial future. Approximately 160 students at each school participated in this hands-on version of the “game of life,” during which they were required to make on-the-spot financial decisions.

The LIFE™ Fair consists of a full day hands-on experience where students, after identifying their career choice and starting salaries, are provided a budget sheet requiring them to live within their monthly salary while paying for basics such as housing, utilities, transportation, clothing, and food. Once the students visit all the booths, they balance their budget and sit down with a financial counselor to review their expenses and get a “financial reality check.” At the student run fairs, First Financial staff members worked at the financial review tables with each of the participating students to provide insight.

In regard to the school’s experience with their first ever student run LIFE™ Fair, Laurie Shupin, Jackson Liberty teacher and the high school’s JAB coordinator stated, “The students felt it was an excellent learning experience and became more knowledgeable of the subject matter as the day progressed.  They are looking forward to more presentations and would love to extend it to the fall and spring semesters.” Laura Fecak, Jackson Memorial teacher and JAB coordinator stated, “The LIFE Fair was a great opportunity for all of our students involved.  It was an eye opening experience for the Financial Literacy students that came through to get a dose of reality, connecting classroom concepts to real life situations.  As well as, for the Jackson Academy of Business students that got to act as the sales representatives in a variety of situations (housing, transportation, technology, furniture, etc.).”

While the LIFE™ Fair was certainly full of temptations, the students had to spend their money wisely while being able to save and budget themselves for the future – while also enjoying everything life has to offer. First Financial President and CEO, Issa Stephan, concluded, “Our mission for our first student run LIFE™ Fair was to help the students understand the value of money and how to manage their money, so as they grow as an adult they’ll become more financially responsible. The student run fair was able to show the high school students even more about the financial realities of the real world. Our credit union puts a high priority on financial education, after all – that’s how First Financial began 81 years ago, with a group of schoolteachers in Asbury Park.”

(Pictured above: Jackson Liberty LIFE Fair).

Additional photos from the event can be seen on First Financial’s Facebook page. To inquire about or set-up a LIFE™ Fair for a Monmouth or Ocean County, NJ school or business – please contact the Business Development Department at 732.312.1421, 732.312.1426, or email business@firstffcu.com.

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August 2017 Blood Drive and Shred Event

Blood Drive (9am-1pm, Corporate Headquarters Parking Lot – Front)

Join the fight to save a life! First Financial will be holding its first ever Blood Drive with the Central Jersey Blood Center on Saturday, August 5th from 9am-1pm in the parking lot of our Corporate Headquarters in Freehold/Howell.

Requirements for donating blood:

  • Donors must present photo or signature ID.
  • Donors must drink water and eat a full meal before donating.
  • Donors must be healthy and weigh at least 120 lbs.
  • Donors must be 16 years of age (with parental consent) or older.

For additional frequently asked questions about donating blood, medical conditions & medications which may effect blood donation, and reasons you could be turned away from donating blood – click here.

All donors will receive a coupon for a free oil change from Schwartz Mazda in Shrewsbury.

Advanced registration for blood donations is preferred.  If you would like to register to donate, please email marketingbd@firstffcu.com or call 732.312.1500. When you pre-register, you will receive an email confirmation and a text message reminder prior to the Blood Drive.

Please consider joining the fight to save a life in our local Monmouth and Ocean County Community!

  • Just 1 pint of donated blood can help save as many as 3 people’s lives.
  • More than 4 million Americans would die each year without lifesaving blood transfusions.
  • Every 3 seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood.
  • Less than 5% of the population donates blood, yet up to 80% will need blood one day.
  • 1 out of every 10 people entering the hospital needs blood.
  • Your blood donation could help a heart surgery patient with red blood cells and platelets, a car accident victim, or a severe burn victim.

Shred Event (9am-12pm, Corporate Headquarters Parking Lot – Rear)

Also on August 5th in our Corporate Headquarters parking lot in Freehold/Howell, we will be holding a free shred event that is open to the public.

WHAT CAN BE SHREDDED:

  • Mixed office paper
  • Papers with staples or paperclips
  • Papers with small binder clips or rubber bands

WHAT CANNOT BE SHREDDED:

  • Magazines and newspapers
  • Hardcover books and 3-ring binders
  • X-rays and MRIs
  • Wet, damp or mildewed paper

*There is a limit of 5 boxes/bags per person. 100% of the material will be recycled. Shred Event is open to the public. If the shred truck reaches 9,500 lbs. of paper before 12pm, the shredding portion of the event may end earlier.

We hope to see you on Saturday, August 5th! If you have any questions about either event, please email marketingbd@firstffcu.com or call 732.312.1500.

Our Spring 2017 Newsletter is Here!

Our Spring Semi-Annual Member Newsletter has arrived! In a continued effort to go green, we’re publishing our newsletter electronically – it can also be found on our website and social media sites. Paper copies will also be available in our branches. This Spring First Edition newsletter covers some great new topics and talks about some of the exciting events and promotions going on at First Financial for the beginning of 2017.

The Spring Newsletter features the following articles:

  • Upcoming First Financial seminars and events (May – August 2017)
  • Article – “4 Fastest Ways to Pay Off Credit Card Debt”
  • Message from the CEO
  • Visa Prepaid Reloadable Cards
  • IRC Article – “Retiring with an Age Difference”
  • Foundation Sponsors Career Day Program at South Toms River Elementary
  • 150 NJ Motorists Amazed by Free Gas
  • Article – “3 Steps to Take Before Seeking Preapproval for a Mortgage”
  • Important information, holidays, phone numbers, and branch locations

 To view a copy of the newsletter, click here.

Enjoy and Happy Spring!

First Financial Foundation Sponsors Career Day Program at South Toms River Elementary School for a Second Year

Press Release

(L to R: AVP of Marketing at First Financial, Principal at South Toms River Elementary, Director of Business Development at First Financial, President & CEO at First Financial, Supervisor at South Toms River Elementary, and Guidance Counselor at South Toms River Elementary).

FREEHOLD, N.J. (March 2017) – The First Financial Federal Credit Union Foundation once again awarded $500 to South Toms River Elementary School to sponsor their annual Career Day Program for students.

This year’s grant money will be going to South Toms River Elementary and the Walnut Street School so the 4th and 5th grade students can attend the Teen Arts Festival at Ocean County College this June. The students will be spending the day at OCC taking part in the activities presented in the arts, having lunch on campus, and touring the college to see what OCC has to offer for various future career opportunities. After this visit there will be a follow up musical presentation by students at both elementary schools to promote careers in the arts.

First Financial’s Business Development and Marketing departments were also asked to come back to the elementary school to speak during South Toms River Elementary’s on site Career Day and discuss basic financial education with the students.

“We’re thrilled to be fortunate enough to help the students of South Toms River Elementary prepare themselves for a bright future during their Career Day for the second year in a row, and upcoming visit to Ocean County College. Since we began as a teacher’s credit union, we thrive on the importance of education and the success it brings – we’re happy to continue to support this great program,” added Issa Stephan, President and CEO of First Financial.

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About the First Financial Foundation:

Since 1994, First Financial has supported the Monmouth & Ocean communities with the Erma Dorrer Scholarship Program. Today, that program has been extended into the First Financial Foundation to assist charitable organizations of the Monmouth & Ocean County Communities.  The First Financial Federal Credit Union Foundation is a non-profit working to support a variety of community programs and organizations throughout Monmouth and Ocean Counties.  We direct 100% of your contributions to programs because all administrative expenses are paid for by First Financial Federal Credit Union.  To learn more, click here.