Urban League Receives Grant From 1st Financial

IMG_3536Ferguson, MO – 1st Financial Federal Credit Union’s Hazelwood branch awarded $500 to the Urban League’s Save Our Sons program in December as part of their Helping People 1st Grant.

Save Our Sons provides education and job training to men who live in Ferguson and surrounding St. Louis County communities. The program’s goal is to develop career-skills and a strong work ethic to become successful in today’s workforce. Since its inception in 2014, they have helped more than 300 men find jobs.

“This program isn’t for everyone, but it is for anyone who a propensity to believe in themselves. Save Our Sons is a program like no other which has been custom-designed to save those who are willing to be saved. In the nearly century old tradition of the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis, we aim to economically, educationally, politically, and socially empower all participants who receive our services,” said Jamie Dennis, Director of Save Our Sons.

“The Hazelwood branch was honored to bring awareness to our members about Urban League: Save our Sons. This is an organization right in our very own community helping people find opportunities to improve their quality of life,” stated Tanya Forsythe, Hazelwood Branch Manager.

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

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About 1st Financial Federal Credit Union

Like all credit unions, 1st Financial is a member-owned, financial cooperative. 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. Today, with over 34,000 members and $215 million in assets, 1st Financial is a St. Louis metro area financial institution dedicated to helping members achieve their financial dreams. 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 lower rates on loans and higher savings yields. The cooperative nature of credit unions enables 1st Financial to provide products and services at very reasonable rates.

1st Financial Federal Credit Union serves those who live, work, worship, attend school, or regularly conduct business in St. Louis City, St. Louis County, and St. Charles County, Missouri and a wide array of companies throughout the St. Louis metropolitan area. 1st Financial is a member-owned, not-for-profit financial organization committed to providing quality services to the membership while demonstrating safe and sound business practices. Deposits are federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), an agency of the U.S. Government.


1st Financial and Bruce Franks Empower Local Youth

bruce1St. Louis, MO – “There are so many challenges and barriers in the world; it’s going to take unity to better our environment,” said Bruce Franks, Missouri State Representative.

1st Financial Federal Credit Union, a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), awarded their quarterly community grant to 1st Financial member, Bruce Franks, to support his efforts to strengthen the community through youth empowerment and economic growth through 28 to Life.

“28 to Life is dedicated to bringing out the Super Hero in everyone, especially our youth,” said Franks. “Super Heroes do two things: they save those who don’t want to be saved, and they often save those who didn’t know they needed to be saved.”

In 2015, 28 to Life started as a gun-violence prevention organization. Today, the organization has shifted focus to mentoring, job development, education, and the financial empowerment. The organization has helped over 2,000 young people in St. Louis.

With the $500 Community Grant, Franks plans to use the money to host their first teen summit in 2017. This summit is a series that will bring together youth, local law enforcement, community partners, and community leaders.

“The Summit serves as a tool to bridge gaps between the youth and law enforcement, as well as activist and politics,” said Franks.

“Our community grant empowers our members with a financial investment to use toward their good work. Bruce is undertaking work that truly embodies the Credit Union philosophy of people helping people! Bruce’s efforts as the founder of 28 to Life and 1st Financial’s community development activities intersect often so I can appreciate first-hand the impact the grant money will make,” said Tracy Verner, Community Development Manager at 1st Financial Federal Credit Union.

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

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About 1st Financial Federal Credit Union

Like all credit unions, 1st Financial is a member-owned, financial cooperative. 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. Today, with over 34,000 members and $215 million in assets, 1st Financial is a St. Louis metro area financial institution dedicated to helping members achieve their financial dreams. 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 lower rates on loans and higher savings yields. The cooperative nature of credit unions enables 1st Financial to provide products and services at very reasonable rates.

1st Financial Federal Credit Union serves those who live, work, worship, attend school, or regularly conduct business in St. Louis City, St. Louis County, and St. Charles County, Missouri and a wide array of companies throughout the St. Louis metropolitan area. 1st Financial is a member-owned, not-for-profit financial organization committed to providing quality services to the membership while demonstrating safe and sound business practices. Deposits are federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), an agency of the U.S. Government.


1st Financial Federal Credit Union Wins Community Credit Union of the Year

Tracy, Carol, & Laura. Wentzville, MO – 1st Financial Federal Credit Union was awarded the 2016 Community Credit Union of the Year Award of Community Development Credit Unions by CUNA in Dallas, TX.

1st Financial a $222 Million Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) credit union, operates four branches in Missouri: Wentzville and St. Charles in St. Charles County, Hazelwood in St. Louis County and Washington Ave, in the heart of the City of St. Louis.

CDFI’s are known for their investments made within the community. One of the many goals of a certified CDFI is to have a mission to guide economic opportunity and renew local neighborhoods. With only 1,000 CDFI’s existing, 1st Financial Federal Credit Union is proud to be a part of that number.

Todd Spiczenski, CUNA Chief Products and Services Officer, said, “They, along with all of our 2016 entrants, show how Credit Unions that are fully devoted to the principle of People Helping People can make a difference in the financial lives of, not only, individuals, but also their communities as a whole.”

While it is improving, St. Louis is known as one of the most unbanked cities in the nation. Financial institutions, like 1st Financial Federal Credit Union, work to give members of the community access to financial products and services, while establishing strong partnerships for a more strategic and sustainable outcome.

St. Louis City Treasurer, Tishaura Jones and 1st Financial Federal Credit Union have strategically partnered to implement programs that work on job training and education in St. Louis City.

“My office has made a commitment to invest in the future by providing college savings accounts for every kindergartener in a public school throughout the City of St. Louis,” said Jones. “Our partnership with 1st Financial Federal Credit Union allows parents and family members to make deposits into the savings accounts at any shared branch location. Together, we are eliminating barriers to college access one savings account at a time.”

Statistics show that children with balances as low as $1 in a dedicated savings account are 2.5 times more likely to enroll in and graduate from college than students with no previous savings. 1st Financial has opened over 2,800 college savings accounts for kindergartners in St. Louis City public and charter schools.

Through the STL Youth Jobs program, 1st Financial has provided financial education and checking accounts for over 1,400 young adults between the ages of 16 and 24.

Strengthening the community is in the DNA of 1st Financial Federal Credit Union. 1st Financial created the Helping People 1st monthly grant program with the purpose of making a positive impact on the communities they serve. Each month, 1st Financial awards a $500 grant to a nonprofit focused on sustainable housing, job training, and education.

Since 2014, 1st Financial has given over $30,000 or 1.9% of net income, in grant money to local nonprofit organizations, such as Gateway 180, Urban League, Beyond Housing, KidSmart- Tools for Learning, Mission St. Louis, Junior Achievement, and Habitat for Humanity. Additionally, employees of 1st Financial are encouraged to volunteer with the nonprofits each month. Since the launch of Helping People 1st program, 1st Financial has given over 1,100 volunteer hours.

“1st Financial is humbled to receive this award and proud to be making an impact in our communities we serve,” said Carol Minges, CEO of 1st Financial Federal Credit Union. “At 1st Financial, we want you to know that when you invest your money in one of our checking accounts or auto loans, you have done more than give yourself a low cost banking product. You have also invested into the future success and continued change in the communities you love.”

For more information about 1st Financial Federal Credit Union, visit www.thebetterwaytobank.org

About 1st Financial Federal Credit Union

Like all credit unions, 1st Financial is a member-owned, financial cooperative. 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. Today, with over 30,000 members and over $220 million in assets, 1st Financial is a St. Louis metro area financial institution dedicated to helping members achieve their financial dreams. 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 lower rates on loans and higher savings yields. The cooperative nature of credit unions enables 1st Financial to provide products and services at very reasonable rates.

1st Financial Federal Credit Union serves those who live, work, worship, attend school, or regularly conduct business in St. Louis City, St. Louis County, and St. Charles County, Missouri and a wide array of companies throughout the St. Louis metropolitan area. 1st Financial is a member-owned, not-for-profit financial organization committed to providing quality services to the membership while demonstrating safe and sound business practices. Deposits are federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), an agency of the U.S. Government.