1st Financial Federal Credit Union Honored Nationally For Community Service Programs

October 29, 2015– 1st Financial Federal Credit Union wins 1st place in Missouri for the Louise Herring Philosophy-in-Action Member Service Award and receives an honorable mention for the Dora Maxwell Responsibility Community Service Award, both of which recognize outstanding community development achievements in the credit union industry.

In September 2015, it was announced that 1st Financial Federal Credit Union was the recipient of two awards, given annually by the Credit Union National Association (CUNA). These awards were given in response to the extraordinary dedication of 1st Financial to the St. Louis and St. Charles communities through the STL Youth Jobs program and the Helping People 1st Grant program.

“I am so very proud of everyone’s efforts towards helping us make such a significant impact with both initiatives,” said Carol Minges, CEO of 1st Financial Federal Credit Union. “This is a testament to all of the work the team is doing to serve our community. Helping people is what we do and our employees are making a huge difference to the members we serve and to the St. Louis area. We would not have received the awards without our employee’s continued commitment to making a difference.”

The Louise Herring Philosophy-in-Action Member Service Award is given to a credit union for its practical application of credit union philosophy within the actual operation of the credit union. It is awarded for internal programs and services that benefit membership. 1st Financial was awarded a 1st Place recognition for the Louise Herring Philosophy-in-Action Member Service award due to the results of the STL Youth Jobs program, which has given access to over 1,100 free checking accounts to local at risk youth.  This program has also provided hundreds of hours of financial literacy for working young people in St. Louis city.  To date, these youth have saved over $40,000.

Louise Herring was an active supporter, organizer, and champion of credit unions. She was the Ohio delegate to the 1934 national credit union conference in Estes Park, CO where she signed the original constitution for a national credit union association.  Louise believed that credit unions should work in a practical manner to better people’s lives.  She saw the credit union as more than just a financial institution.  In her own words, “the purpose of the credit union is to reform the financial system, so that everyone can have his place in the sun.”

The Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Community Service Award is given to a credit union or chapter/multiple credit union group for its external social responsibility projects within the community. 1st Financial was awarded an honorable mention for the Dora Maxell Social Responsibility Award due to the results of the Helping People 1st Grant program, which has provided over $20,000 and hundreds of paid volunteer hours to local nonprofits in our communities.

Dora Maxwell was an early credit union pioneer, and was one of the original signers of CUNA’s constitutions at Estes Park in Colorado. She worked as an organizer for the movement’s trade association and held numerous volunteer positions at the local and national level.  In addition to organizing hundreds of credit unions, she developed volunteer organizer clubs and worked with organizations on behalf of the poor.

For more information about 1st Financial Federal Credit Union and the credit union difference, please visit www.1stfinancialfcu.org

About 1st Financial Federal Credit Union

Like many credit unions, 1st Financial is a member-owned, not-for-profit financial cooperative committed to providing quality services to the membership while demonstrating safe and sound business practices. 1st Financial Federal Credit Union was chartered on September 3, 1968 as District 837 Credit Union by the International Association of Machinist members employed by McDonnell Douglas.  For over 45 years, 1st Financial has provided members with a full line of dependable financial products and services which returns profits to the members in the form of reasonable rates on loans and higher savings yields.

Today, with over 30,000 members and $204 million in assets, 1st Financial is able to serve anyone who lives, works (regularly does business in), worships or attends school in the City of St. Louis, St. Louis County or St. Charles County. Deposits are federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), an agency of the U.S. Government.

Not a credit union member?  Visit www.TheBetterWayToBank.org for more information.


1st Financial Federal Credit Union Hires Financial Empowerment Specialist

Youth Build

October 7, 20151st Financial Federal Credit Union, a community development not for profit banking institution in St. Louis, MO, has hired a dedicated Financial Empowerment Specialist to work one on one with newly employed youth.

Created as a joint venture with the St. Louis Agency on Training and Education (SLATE), 1st Financial Federal Credit Union has hired Ted Thornton as a full time educator and one on one counselor for thousands of youth, served through the ongoing Summer Youth Jobs program.

Over the last two years, 1st Financial has provided free financial education, checking accounts and debit cards to thousands of youth throughout St. Louis, working together closely to meet the needs of the underserved through various Summer Youth Jobs programs. Since 2014, in partnership with Ms. Tishaura Jones, the St. Louis City Treasurer, the credit union was able to assist with the delivery of financial literacy and products for programs that served youth learning construction trades, creating financial magazines and entering the workforce after recently being released from the prison system. As the program has grown, so has the need for a dedicated Financial Empowerment Specialist to provide more thorough and comprehensive financial literacy training.

While participants have opened 1199 accounts and saved over $40,516.06, there are many more area youth that have not been able to take advantage of these programs.

Michael Holmes, Executive Director of SLATE recently said, “Financial Literacy is an integral part of saving the lives of our young people. When we talk about job stability, pathways to prosperity, and supporting our youth into adulthood; financial literacy is vital!” Holmes went on to say, “Young people deserve an opportunity to open a checking and savings account. Young people deserve an opportunity to build good credit, create banking relationships, and prosper financially. I am happy to partner with an institution that understands the importance and able to provide products and services to meet the needs of this population.”

Ted Thornton, who holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Special Education from Southern Illinois-Edwardsville, has seven years of teaching experience, most recently at Roosevelt High School as a TV and Radio teacher. Before he was hired at 1st Financial, Mr. Thornton worked as a Job Coach for the Urban League of Greater St. Louis.

Mentoring young adults at the Urban League helped Mr. Thornton develop a passion for serving the youth population of St. Louis. “Dealing with young people and speaking to them about financial empowerment is what drew me to this position,” said Mr. Thornton. “I know that young people don’t learn enough of this subject in their regular education and I feel that it is very important for their future success. The more we enlighten our children now, the easier it will be for them to create a better life for themselves.”

“Ted’s extensive background in Education and Community service makes him the perfect addition to our team,” said Tracy Verner, Community Development Manager at 1st Financial Federal Credit Union. “I have had the pleasure of watching Ted educate our Youth Build participants at MERS Goodwill as well as our youth at The Urban League through STL Youth Jobs. On both occasions he demonstrated the ability to successfully engage, educate, and build trust with the youth in our community.”

For more information about 1st Financial Federal Credit Union and the credit union difference, please visit www.1stfinancialfcu.org.

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About 1st Financial Federal Credit Union

Like many credit unions, 1st Financial is a member-owned, not-for-profit financial cooperative committed to providing quality services to the membership while demonstrating safe and sound business practices. 1st Financial Federal Credit Union was chartered on September 3, 1968 as District 837 Credit Union by the International Association of Machinist members employed by McDonnell Douglas. For over 45 years, 1st Financial has provided members with a full line of dependable financial products and services which returns profits to the members in the form of reasonable rates on loans and higher savings yields.

Today, with over 30,000 members and $204 million in assets, 1st Financial is able to serve anyone who lives, works (regularly does business in), worships or attends school in the City of St. Louis, St. Louis County or St. Charles County. Deposits are federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), an agency of the U.S. Government.

Not a credit union member? Visit www.TheBetterWayToBank.org for more information.


1st Financial Federal Credit Union Partners with KidSmart to Support St. Louis Students and Teachers

September 30th, 20151st Financial Federal Credit Union served KidSmart-Tools for Learning in August as part of the Helping People 1st Grant program by collecting schools supplies and raising donations.

1st Financial created the Helping People 1st Grant to support non-profit organizations who are focused on housing, financial literacy, job training, or education efforts in the St. Louis area. In August, the Hazelwood Branch continued this program by serving KidSmart- Tools for Learning.

KidSmart empowers kids in need to succeed in school by providing free, essential tools for learning and is the only free educational supply store in Missouri that invites certified classroom teachers to “shop” and individualize the needs for every child in their classroom. KidSmart has relationships with several national chain stores and is able to use monetary donations to purchase seven times more schools supplies for needy students. Since opening in 2002, KidSmart has distributed more than $27 million in school supplies to more than 102,100 economically disadvantaged children in the area.

“1st Financial Federal Credit Union enjoys supporting KidSmart because they are helping our youth receive the tools that are necessary for a positive educational experience,” said Tanya Forsythe, Hazelwood Branch Manager.   “We know that all donations we are able to collect will be a valuable resource to helping children in need be more confident in the classroom.”

The North County Branch of 1st Financial spent August promoting KidSmart to members within the branch and while also holding fundraising events. To raise donations, the branch held a bake sale, a plant sale, a gift card raffle, and a Cardinals ticket raffle sponsored by Liberty Mutual. Additionally, 1st Financial employees held a month long school supply drive where they collected 446 items. On Thursday, September 10th, Hazelwood Branch Manager Tanya Forsythe presented KidSmart with a check for $1712.72.

“KidSmart- Tools for Learning, is a not-for-profit that provides free school supplies to St. Louis children in need,” said Linda Kilwin, Programs Manager with KidSmart- Tools for Learning. “Last year, KidSmart collected nearly 500,000 individual school supplies for area children. As the demand for school supplies this year increases, this donation from 1st Financial Federal Credit Union will make a difference in the lives of many local children. This is a community issue and a community effort is needed to help each child succeed. Thank you for your generosity and for your continued support. ”

For more information about KidSmart- Tools for Learning, please visit http://www.kidsmartstl.org/.

For more information about 1st Financial Federal Credit Union and the credit union difference, please visit www.1stfinancialfcu.org.

Pictured from left to right: Tanya Forsythe, Branch Manager for 1st Financial Federal Credit Union; Linda Kilwin, Programs Manager with KidSmart- Tools for Learning; Matthew Deane, Lead Financial Service Representative for 1st Financial Federal Credit Union; and Pat Fennewald, Teller for 1st Financial Federal Credit Union.

kidsmart

About 1st Financial Federal Credit Union

Like many credit unions, 1st Financial is a member-owned, not-for-profit financial cooperative committed to providing quality services to the membership while demonstrating safe and sound business practices. 1st Financial Federal Credit Union was chartered on September 3, 1968 as District 837 Credit Union by the International Association of Machinist members employed by McDonnell Douglas. For over 45 years, 1st Financial has provided members with a full line of dependable financial products and services which returns profits to the members in the form of reasonable rates on loans and higher savings yields.

Today, with over 30,000 members and $204 million in assets, 1st Financial is able to serve anyone who lives, works (regularly does business in), worships or attends school in the City of St. Louis, St. Louis County or St. Charles County. Deposits are federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), an agency of the U.S. Government.

Not a credit union member? Visit www.TheBetterWayToBank.org for more information. ###