HAMILTON, NJ - First Bank has announced that it donated a record amount of time, talent and money during the 2019 calendar year.
The growing community bank, which offers 18 full-service branches throughout New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania, gave back $368,000, which includes volunteering nearly 2,000 hours of from its 200-plus employees.
“Giving is living,” said First Bank President and CEO Patrick L. Ryan. “We believe in building our communities and that begins with helping our neighbors.”
Helping the Heart of Trenton
The Rescue Mission of Trenton operates a thrift store at 100 Carroll Street which “is a vibrant part of the community,” according to Mary Gay Abbott-Young, CEO of the nonprofit. “And it works on three important levels. For those who donate, it provides a wonderful sense of giving. For those who shop here, it provides a very affordable way to find some great values. And for the residents of The Mission, it provides diversified job training.”
When Emilio Cooper, Executive Vice President and Chief Deposits Officer of First Bank, first visited The Mission, he was moved: “This is where people can come when they are in desperate need and most vulnerable. It is where they can get another chance. And it is done with such compassion, dignity and honor.”
Sensing his deep commitment, Abbott-Young asked Cooper to consider joining the board of directors. As a new board member, one of the first things Emilio did was oversee a $20,000 donation of office furniture, which helped many individuals and families in need.
Abbot-Young added, “My heart is always lifted knowing that we are connected to compassionate and generous individuals like Emilio and organizations like First Bank, who want to make a real difference.”
Supporting Young Children in Northern Jersey
When First Bank heard about Preschool Advantage’s mission to provide early education to young children, employees decided to participate in the nonprofit’s 24th annual golf outing at the Morris County Golf Club.
First Bank—which sponsored a foursome that included the community bank’s Northern New Jersey Regional President David DiStefano and Relationship Manager Thomas Bay—helped Preschool Advantage break the fundraising record set in 2018, funding more than 22 scholarships for children in need of help securing a great start at a quality preschool. Preschool Advantage has paid more than 1,500 tuitions throughout its history and assisted 102 children in 2019. (The organization is currently accepting applications for the 2020-2021 academic year. )
“Getting these children into one of our 28 partner schools allows them to begin to interact better with others and develop like other children whose families don’t have economic constraints,” said Preschool Advantage Executive Director Molly Dunn. “We are pleased to have First Bank join us in our efforts to make a difference, one child at a time.”
Assisting Students in Need
In 2019, First Bank donated more than $60,000 to the West Chester, Pa., community through numerous organizations.
When First Bank employees heard about the West Chester University Foundation’s fight against homelessness among college students, they wanted to make a difference.
“We heard about the homeless students that we were completely unaware of,” said Ed Caporellie, the West Chester Branch Manager and an 18-year Downingtown, Pa., resident. “How can a student go to school and be homeless? We didn’t know that this large problem existed, and we decided to help.”
Joseph R. Calabro, who is the Pennsylvania Regional President at First Bank’s West Chester branch and a 21-year West Chester resident, said the bank plans to continue supporting West Chester University’s Promise Program that includes Resource Pantry, which provides food for hungry college students, and Fund to Finish, which provides emergency financial aid.
What First Bank Brings to Communities
There are several reasons why First Bank is one of the fastest-growing community banks in the nation.
For example, the bank believes in local decision-making. In other words, clients have access to First Bank’s decision-makers. The bank’s market executives have lending authority—and use it. For larger clients, customers can expect to talk to the bank’s CEO, who plays a pivotal role in helping to foster lasting business relationships.
Most importantly, the community bank views itself as a solution-provider, where everything begins with a conversation. First Bank’s employees listen intently and ask smart questions, so they can provide the best answer.
In addition, First Bank operates with a long-term mindset. It recognizes that its reputation is its most valuable asset. To preserve its good name, First Bank keenly focuses on delivering the best long-term results. By providing great recommendations and following through on its promises, the community bank continues to build its reputation and base of happy customers.
The community bank’s branches offer the bank’s full range of financial solutions for families and businesses, including:
- Personal deposit accounts
- Business deposit accounts
- Certificates of deposits
- Retirement accounts
- Cash management services
- Commercial lending
- Lines of credit
- Term loans
- Real estate loans
The bank offers traditional deposit and loan banking services for individuals, families and commercial clients. The bank has approximately 210 employees working throughout New Jersey in Burlington, Gloucester, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Somerset and Morris counties, as well as Bucks and Chester counties in Pennsylvania.