The First County Bank Foundation, celebrating its 10th anniversary, is in the process of distributing $127,500 in grants to 12, Stamford-based nonprofits that focus on housing, economic development and community support programs. 2011 is a special year for the First County Bank Foundation. It marks the 10th year this organization has been donating money to very worthy causes throughout lower Fairfield County. This year also marks the 160th anniversary for the bank.
“We’re especially proud of our partnership with CTE and Housing Development Fund, two nonprofits that have received grants from the foundation every year since 2001,” said Rey Giallongo, president of First County Bank and its foundation. “Our partnership with these nonprofits and others is a great illustration of the positive impact private companies and their employees have combining funding and volunteer support.”
“First County Bank’s forward thinking in establishing a community foundation 10 years ago has resulted in untold economic and community benefit to the numerous nonprofits it has supported over the years,” said Joan Carty, president and CEO of Housing Development Fund. “The foundation has demonstrated a real commitment to affordable housing and financial literacy, and other programs that work with premature infants, job training for the unemployed and numerous other community initiatives. This commitment is evidence of both First County’s awareness of its community and also its seriousness of purpose. We are very grateful for that.”
Established in 2001 in honor of the bank’s 150th anniversary, the First County Bank Foundation was created to distribute funds annually to nonprofit organizations that support community and economic development for children and families. As a mutual bank with no shareholders, First County Bank considers contributions made by the foundation a means of paying dividends back to the local communities it serves. Through 2010, the foundation has been able to award 426 grants totaling more than $4 million to various community organizations.
“What a privilege it is for our foundation to give back to local organizations that directly contribute to after-school enrichment for K-12 students, and help people find, build and afford housing,” said First County Bank Foundation Vice President Katherine Harris. Since 2001, the First County Bank Foundation has awarded CTE a total of $151,526 in grants, and Housing Development Fund has received a total of $200,000 in grants.
“First County Bank Foundation’s ongoing generous support of CTE has provided us with resources to provide quality academically focused, afterschool programming each year for 70 youths from low-income families,” said E. Phillip McKain, president and CEO of CTE Inc. “The work we have been able to do thanks to First County Bank Foundation’s funding has helped to significantly improve the reading and math skills of our participants. Also, the foundation’s early contribution to our Individual Development Account program provided initial funding to help launch this asset-building program for low-income families.”
“Since its inception,” McKain explained, “Eighty-five IDA participants have purchased first homes; 46 have been able to pay for post-secondary education; and 34 have started a small business. The value of these investments to the community and to the participant families exceeds $19 million.”