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.

 

Press Release: 150 NJ Motorists Amazed by $3,750 in Free Gas

First Financial Federal Credit Union Provides Free Gas in Response to NJ Gas Tax Hike

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Pictured above from L to R: Toms River Assistant Manager April Sirleaf, Chief Financial Officer Terri Warn, Director of Business Development Matt Brazinski, Howell Branch Manager Dan Dunn, Assistant VP of Member Services Jackie Setser, and Assistant VP of Marketing Jessica Revoir provide free gas to Howell and Freehold motorists at Exxon on Rt. 9 on 11/15.

FREEHOLD, N.J. – At 6 a.m. at three secret locations during the week of November 14th, New Jersey motorists were stunned to be greeted by employees of First Financial Federal Credit Union where they received $25 in free gas, plus a travel coffee mug. In the wake of New Jersey’s 23-cent gas tax hike, the credit union eased the pain at the pump for 150 drivers with a total of $3,750 in free gas this month.

“This is a really great thing and a nice way to give back to the community,” one motorist said after filling up at the Mobil station at 3330 Rt. 66 East in Neptune on November 16th. Free gas was also given away at the Exxon station at 639 US 9 North in Freehold, where one woman even got out of her car to shake every First Financial staff member’s hand. On November 17th, the First Financial surprise team also provided another 50 motorists with free gas at the Shell station on the corner of Routes 9 and 571 in Toms River.  One woman was so happy with the efforts of the credit union that she opened her membership at the Toms River branch across the street a few hours later.

11-16-np-gas-event-5

Pictured above: Business Development Representative Kyle Kasten informs a happy customer about their free gas at Mobil on Rt. 66 in Neptune 11/16.

The free gas promotion came soon after New Jersey had its first raise in its gas tax in nearly 30 years. On November 1st, New Jersey went from having the nation’s second lowest gas tax to the seventh highest. The added funds are expected to raise an estimated $16 billion over the next eight years to fund improvements to roads, bridges and mass transit.

11-17-staff-gas-giveaway-tr

Pictured above: Assistant VP of Marketing Jessica Revoir, Toms River Branch Manager Suzanne Mealia, Director of Business Development Matt Brazinski, Assistant VP of Member Services Jackie Setser, and Compliance Specialist Jennifer Bly provide Toms River motorists with free gas at Shell on the corner of Routes 9 & 571 on 11/17.

“This was a fantastic three-day event, and not just for 150 lucky New Jersey motorists, but for all of us here at the credit union,” said Issa Stephan, President/CEO of First Financial. “We care about the people outside our walls at the credit union. Our employees also thrive on the positivity and joy they receive when helping our community. We know it’s a busy time of year with the holidays coming up and shopping to do, so if we could help by providing groups of motorists with free gas on their way to work for a few days in the month of giving thanks – we’re happy to be giving back to our community even in some small way.”

neptune-mobile-staff-11-16-event

Pictured above from L to R: Assistant VP of Marketing Jessica Revoir, Chief Financial Officer Terri Warn, Howell Branch Manager Dan Dunn, Assistant VP of Member Services Jackie Setser, Neptune Branch Manager Jessica Lombardi, HR Manager Patty Razzano, and Business Development Representative Kyle Kasten provide free gas to Neptune motorists on 11/16.

While the free gas events have ended, First Financial is offering anyone who refinances their auto loan, or purchases a new or preowned car financed with First Financial, a $25 Wawa gas card at loan closing. This gas card promotion runs through December 31st or while supplies last. For more details visit firstffcu.com.

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About First Financial Federal Credit Union:

First Financial Federal Credit Union is a community credit union serving Monmouth and Ocean counties in New Jersey. First Financial is a not-for-profit whose goal is to achieve members’ financial dreams by defining their goals and lifestyle, empowering them through financial education, building their wealth, planning their retirement, and managing their risk. Established in 1936, First Financial currently serves more than 19,000 members. First Financial is overseen by a volunteer Board of Directors made up of credit union members. The credit union is federally insured by the NCUA. To learn more, visit http://www.firstffcu.com.

First Financial Rewards Local Kids for Love of Reading

Press Release

grand-prize-winner-catherine-p-hw

FREEHOLD, N.J. – First Financial Federal Credit Union has announced the grand prize winner of the 2016 Reader Rewards Summer Reading Contest. Catherine P. from Howell, N.J., was selected among 41 participating children who committed to stay on track academically with summer reading.

The 2016 Reader Rewards Contest was open to children up to 18 years of age, whereby First Financial would give each participant $1 per book read, up to 10 books. For each book read, the children also earned one entry into prize drawings that included school supply baskets and the grand prize, an Amazon Kindle Fire Tablet. Though the credit union paid up to $10 per student for books read over the summer, the amount of entries into the prize drawings was unlimited.

“Our credit union puts a high priority on education, that’s how First Financial began 80 years ago – with a group of schoolteachers in Asbury Park,” stated Issa Stephan, President/CEO of First Financial. “It’s wonderful to see some of our youngest First Financial members taking pride in their education to further learn and read throughout the summer, and we wish all our summer reading contest participants a successful school year.”

runner-up-baskets-4

This year saw the highest number of summer readers to date, and First Financial awarded $284 to students who were committed to return to school ready to continue learning. In addition to Catherine P., other school supply basket winners included Alexis F. of Barnegat, Mackenzie M. of Howell, Allison J. of Jackson, and Micah R. of Wall Township.

Congrats to all our 2016 Summer Readers!

Pictured at top: Grand Prize Winner Catherine P. with her Kindle Fire Tablet.

Pictured at bottom: Four age group runner up basket winners Alexis F., Mackenzie M., Micah R., and Allison J. 

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About First Financial Federal Credit Union

First Financial Federal Credit Union is a not-for-profit financial cooperative whose goal is to provide the highest level of quality products and personalized services while maintaining financial integrity and stability.  Our vision is to be a long-term financial partner with our Members. While First Financial has a highly trained, professional staff using the latest technology, we also pride ourselves on our personal touch. Unlike huge banking conglomerates, policy setting and overall strategic direction of First Financial are overseen by a volunteer Board of Directors made up of credit union members. The credit union is federally insured by the NCUA. For more information on First Financial, visit www.firstffcu.com.