First Financial’s Neptune Branch Donates to Lunchbreak over the Holiday Season

Press Release 

FREEHOLD, N.J. – First Financial Federal Credit Union’s Neptune Branch partnered with the Lunchbreak organization in Red Bank, to collect food and clothing for those in need, during the months of November and December 2017. The organization’s mission is to lead the region as the comprehensive food, nutrition, and life skills resource for community members in need.

During the holiday season, the Neptune Branch asked their staff and members of the credit union who primarily banked at the Neptune Branch, to contribute to the cause. As a whole, they  collected 121 pounds of non-perishable food items such as cans of soup, cereal, rice, pasta, and the like. They also collected household items such as paper towels, cleaning supplies, and even baby formula. In addition, the branch collected 28 bags of clothing too!

The credit union was proud to help contribute to such an important cause within our local community. “We’re thrilled our members and staff were fortunate enough to help the Lunchbreak organization assist those in need, right within our own backyard – during the season of giving. Since we began within a small community back in 1936, we thrive on contributing to other community initiatives and helping our Monmouth and Ocean County neighbors,” added Issa Stephan, President and CEO of First Financial.

In addition to the Neptune Branch contributing to Lunchbreak and collecting toys for Operation Sleighbells in December, the Toms River Branch participated in the Ocean County Sheriff’s annual holiday toy drive and donated non-perishable food items to The People’s Pantry. The Freehold/Howell Branch collected food items for the Freehold Open Door Pantry, and new unwrapped toys were donated to the Salvation Army. Overall, it was a successful holiday season filled with giving back to the Monmouth and Ocean County community. A big thank you to all who contributed to the cause!

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About First Financial Federal Credit Union:

First Financial Federal Credit Union (formerly Mon-Oc 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.

 

 

First Financial Foundation Awards Scholarship to University of Tampa Student

Press Release

FREEHOLD, N.J. – The First Financial Federal Credit Union Foundation (www.firstffcu.com) awarded a $500 scholarship to Cassidy Sabins of Spring Lake Heights, who graduated from Manasquan High School. She is attending the University of Tampa (Tampa, FL) studying Business Financial Enterprise Systems.

In order to qualify for the 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. Four winners were selected to receive a $500 First Financial Foundation 2017 Erma Dorrer Literary Scholarship.

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.

Video topic: Create a 60-second video that covers the importance of financial literacy.

Sabins submitted an essay in which she explained that “good credit is taking responsibility for your spending behaviors and only purchasing items that you can afford.” She recommended choosing a credit union, such as First Financial, because it is “a great place to open a savings account” since “member-owned credit unions charge their members lower monthly fees and lower interest on loans as opposed to banks, as well as they support community programs.”

“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 in 1936 – 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 Foundation Awards Scholarship to Dartmouth College Student

Press Release

FREEHOLD, N.J.– The First Financial Federal Credit Union Foundation (www.firstffcu.com) awarded a $500 scholarship to Cara Ditmar of Manahawkin, who graduated from Southern Regional High School in Manahawkin. She is attending Dartmouth College’s (Hanover, NH) School of Arts and Sciences.

In order to qualify for the 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. Four winners were selected to receive a $500 First Financial Foundation 2017 Erma Dorrer Literary Scholarship.

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.

Video topic: Create a 60-second video that covers the importance of financial literacy.

Ditmar submitted a script between herself and a friend, in which she explained that “a credit score represents how financially responsible a person is” and “the better your credit, the more likely it is that companies will be willing to give you loans.” She also mentioned that credit unions, such as First Financial, where she’s had her own student account since 2005, are “great because they’re non-profit, and they are owned by each member of the credit union. They generally have lower interest rates and personalized customer service too.”

“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 in 1936 – 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 Foundation Awards Scholarship to Rutgers University Student

Press Release

FREEHOLD, N.J.– The First Financial Federal Credit Union Foundation (www.firstffcu.com) recently awarded a $500 scholarship to Juliana DiGiacomo of Freehold, who graduated from Biotechnology High School in Freehold. She is  attending Rutgers University’s (Piscataway, NJ) School of Arts and Sciences Honors College.

In order to qualify for the 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. Four winners were selected to receive a $500 First Financial Foundation 2017 Erma Dorrer Literary Scholarship.

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.

Video topic: Create a 60-second video that covers the importance of financial literacy.

DiGiacomo submitted an essay in which she explained that it is important “to develop good credit because it shows banks, credit unions, employers, landlords, utility providers or really anyone, that you can be trusted, not only financially but in many other respects as well.” She ended her essay with the assertion that “being in debt and paying bills seems scary to us right now, but it’s part of becoming an adult.”

“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 in 1936 – 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 Foundation Awards 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 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 the 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. Four winners were selected to receive a $500 First Financial Foundation 2017 Erma Dorrer Literary Scholarship.

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.

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 in 1936 – 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 at Jackson Memorial High School).

Freehold, N.J. – First Financial Federal Credit Union held their first student run LIFE™ (Learning Independent Financial Education) financial reality fair events at both Jackson Liberty and Memorial High Schools with the 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 in 1936, 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  business@firstffcu.com.

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