First County Bank Foundation

First County Bank Foundation Donates $32,500 to Darien Nonprofits

The Tiny Miracles Foundation, the Town of Darien Firefighters’ Foundation, Person-to-Person Inc., Community Fund of Darien and the Darien YMCA were recently awarded grants from the First County Bank Foundation. 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.

“These organizations need the community’s financial support to help families and children. We do what we can to support organizations like these because we feel they are an essential part of the social fabric that makes up Darien and its surrounding areas,” said First County Bank Foundation Vice President Katherine Harris.

“The Darien YMCA came to us for the first time this year as it was looking for financial assistance for membership and programs,” explained Harris. “And the Community Fund of Darien benefits thousands of people in the area through its support of agencies to help build a stronger, healthier community. The foundation felt both of these nonprofits and the others deserved our financial support,” concluded Harris.

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.

To be eligible for First County Bank Foundation grants, organizations must have nonprofit tax exempt status under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code; be located in Stamford, Darien, Greenwich, New Canaan, Norwalk or Westport; have community support; address community needs; have measurable outcomes; and demonstrate fiscal and administrative responsibility. Special consideration is given to those agencies or programs benefiting low to moderate income populations.

Although the deadline for applying for First County Bank Foundation grants has passed, a new smaller grant application, called CommunityFirst, is available Jan. 1 until the end of the year. The CommunityFirst applications are for grants of $2,500 or less for those applicants who fit regular grant criteria, and $1,000 or less for those applicants that do not fit regular grant criteria. CommunityFirst Grant Program applications are available at http://www.firstcountybank.com/application-process-0.

A list of Darien-based organizations scheduled to receive First County Bank Foundation grants this year is available at http://www.firstcountybank.com/press-releases/0

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