What started with a nugget of an idea has profoundly changed our Bank. In 2001, our Board of Directors created the First County Bank Foundation – which this past week celebrated 15 years of giving back to the community! And some 15 years later, our Foundation continues to grow and build on its success – recently achieving an important milestone – that is, distributing more than $7.5Million in charitable donations to hundreds of local nonprofits since its inception.
So, what do these dollars and numbers really mean? To name a few, we’ve:
- Funded numerous first time home-buyer programs;
- Sustained a healthy snack program at the Greenwich YMCA;
- Provided seed capital for a Small Business Education Center and a Maker’s Space Program at the Ferguson Library in Stamford;
- Supported infrastructure upgrades at our local shelters;
- Provided tuition enabling thousands of children to attend summer camps.
To commemorate this milestone, we created the FirstClass Grant Program for K-6 public school teachers looking to fund imaginative programs and projects in their classrooms. This new grant program went from concept to accepting applications in 4 months and should sustain itself for many, many years to come.
One of our primary focuses has been education and the importance of teaching the principles of Financial Literacy to young people. Our newly opened student-run branch at AITE high school in Stamford is off to a great start, providing in-class and one-on-one training to the students while teaching them job skills in banking and finance.
This commitment to community has a prominent place in the Core Values of the Bank and impacts our employees on a daily basis. Our giving and relationships with our nonprofit partners have profoundly changed the Bank and how we do business. We started the Foundation 15 years ago as a nice thing to do, but since then it’s become the cornerstone of everything we do.