First Financial Business Member Spotlight: Mount Springs Ministries

“First Financial genuinely cares about helping my business, it’s like being part of a family.”

We’re back with another business member spotlight – this time featuring a non-profit organization whose mission is to give back to our local community. Mount Springs Ministries, located in Neptune, NJ – helps those in need by providing food, home appliances, and paying toward rent. The organization has been able to support various individuals and families through donations from the community, local businesses, and by paying out of their own pocket.

Shortly after Mount Springs Ministries began their work, local community members heard about the organization and reached out to help support. “These people were genuinely concerned about how they can make my organization better,” Robert Turner of Mount Springs Ministries shared.

Robert initially came into First Financial for a personal account and then opened a business account for his non-profit organization. Not only was Robert pleased with the service, but he was excited to work with a credit union that truly cares about his business and the work he’s doing for the local community.

Learn more about Robert’s warm and friendly experience banking with First Financial in the video below.

Help support Mount Springs Ministries:

P.O. Box 2072

Neptune City, NJ 07754

848-298-1748 or 804-481-5940

How to join First Financial

If you live, work, worship, volunteer, or attend school in Monmouth or Ocean Counties in NJ, you’re eligible to become a member. Businesses in Monmouth or Ocean Counties and our community partners are also eligible for membership. To join, all you have to do is open a savings account with $5. It’s that easy! Once you’re a member, your immediate family can also sign up. To get started, call us at 732.312.1500, email, or stop by any of our local branches.

First Financial Foundation Awards Classroom Grant to Shark River Hills Elementary School

Press Release

(Pictured Above L to R: Superintendent of Neptune Schools Dr. Crader, Grant Recipient Stephanie Huff, and Principal Williams).

FREEHOLD, N.J. – Shark River Hills Elementary School Pre-K teacher, Stephanie Huff, was surprised by members of the First Financial Foundation with a $500 Erma Dorrer classroom grant for the 2018-2019 school year. Ms. Huff has been an early childhood educator within Neptune Township Schools for 20 years.

Huff submitted a grant application to purchase equipment for the betterment of her students’ gross motor skills. The grant money will be used to benefit the 60 Pre-K children at Shark River Hills Elementary School for years to come. Currently, the school uses equipment from a gym cart – however there is not enough to go around and it was purchased 16 years ago. With the grant funds, Ms. Huff plans to purchase new kickballs, basketballs, foam balls, a hopscotch rug, a mesh tunnel, a bowling set, handkerchiefs and ribbons, a set of scooters, and more.

(Pictured above L to R: AVP of Business Development at First Financial, Grant Recipient Stephanie Huff, and VP of Marketing and Business Development at First Financial).

“We are required to provide our students with 45 minutes of gross motor activities each and every day.  Gross motor skills are defined as the abilities required in order to control the large muscles of the body for walking, running, sitting, crawling, and other activities,” said Huff. “In order to develop and strengthen those gross motor skills, equipment is needed to do so. Fred Rogers, beloved creator of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood and dedicated child advocate, poignantly said: Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood. I can personally attest to the value and worth of play in children’s learning.”

Since First Financial began with a group of Asbury Park schoolteachers back in 1936, the credit union has not forgotten its educational roots. That is why its Foundation offered current Monmouth and Ocean County educators six (6) classroom grants to use at their schools for the 2018-2019 school year.

“Education has and always will be a pivotal piece of our organization, and we’re delighted to be able to help our local educators enhance their classroom experience,” noted First Financial President & CEO, Issa Stephan.

Stephan also noted that the Foundation committee had a tough job of choosing just six winning teachers out of the numerous applications received this year. “We received dozens of heart warming essays and videos from educators hoping to use the grant money to implement or maintain a variety of creative programs in their schools such as flexible seating, virtual reality glasses, book stands and shelving, new classroom cabinets, and interactive books and games – to name a few,” said Stephan. “We wish we were able to reward each and every one of our participants, and after extremely careful consideration we selected the six classrooms in which we felt the grant money would have the largest impact.”

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

Small Business Spotlight: The Best Auto Reconditioning Center in Neptune

We are pleased to present a blog post which features one of our current businesses, how they got started, and how First Financial has helped them grow their business. If this inspires you to want to expand your business goals or see how First Financial can assist you further, feel free to reach out to us. Keep reading to learn more about our featured Business of the Month, Daryl Jackson: Owner of The Best Auto Reconditioning Center. 

Daryl Jackson: Owner of The Best Auto Reconditioning Center

Protect your investment with The Best! Owner Daryl Jackson has been in the car detailing business for over 40 years, and has owned The Best Auto Reconditioning Center since 2011. The Best Auto Reconditioning Center takes great pride in detailing, and recently received a five star rating on Google. Daryl’s shop on Route 35 in Neptune is friendly, knowledgeable, and always has unique smooth jazz playing in the background. Having your car washed and waxed regularly is one of the easiest ways to preserve its paint and keep it looking great! To learn more visit @BestDetailNJ on social media or 

Owner: Daryl Jackson

Years in Business: 40+ years – 8 owning The Best Auto Reconditioning Center.

What do you love most about the business?

The thing I love the most about my business is making people happy.

What has your biggest challenge been in business?

Trying to respect other detailers and looking out for my customers’ best interest, but also making them understand that I am going to do a great job.

What do you like most about banking with First Financial?

The thing I like the most about banking with First Financial, would probably be how simple it is to do business there.

What is your key to success?

LOVING what I do!

Ready to grow your business? Call the Business Development Department at 732.312.1500, email or stop by any branch location. Learn more about our Business Account products and services on our website.