The First County Bank Foundation, celebrating its 10th anniversary, is in the process of distributing $75,698 in grants to 10, Norwalk-based nonprofit organizations that focus on family services, community support and education 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,” said Rey Giallongo, president of First County Bank and its foundation. “First County Bank is very much a part of the Norwalk community, with three of our branches located here, numerous employees residing in town, and many volunteering their time and effort to the city’s community organizations.”
“There remains a critical need in Fairfield County and elsewhere for the ongoing donation of money and volunteer services to help those in need. Programs like these seek to fill the gap in peoples’ lives,” said First County Bank Foundation Vice President Katherine Harris. “What a privilege it is for our foundation to give back to local organizations that directly contribute to family support services and summer youth employment.”
Since 2003, Family & Children’s Agency and the Norwalk Summer Youth Employment program have each received a total of $85,000 in grants from the foundation.
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, 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 forms are available at http://www.firstcountybank.com/application-process-0.
A list of Norwalk-based organizations scheduled to receive First County Bank Foundation grants this year is available at http://www.firstcountybank.com/press-releases/0