Dec. 7, 2006 – At the Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours, FirstBank honored 15 local organizations with funding through their annual Neighborhood Grant Program.
FirstBank accepted applications from local non-profits and community organizations through October of this year for its annual program and awarded grants from $2,000 to $10,000.
The primary focus of the program is to fund organizations that promote or sustain economic development or assist in revitalizing or stabilizing low and moderate-income communities. Applications were accepted for programs centered on affordable housing, small business development, youth development, care for the homeless, financial literacy, job training, day care operations, health services, domestic violence prevention and addiction recovery.
This year, three special purpose grants will also be awarded:
Dollar Days Grant: up to $2,000 will be awarded to a high school teacher to conduct a three-session financial education classroom project including budgeting/money allocation, understanding credit and fundamentals of investing combined with a practical, hands-on activity allowing for demonstration of learned financial skills. FirstBank is willing to participate in the classroom project.
Community Connection Grant: up to $2,000 will be awarded to a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization on behalf of an employee/volunteer who demonstrates unmatched enthusiasm and dedication to living out the mission of the organization. The grant application must be accompanied by a typewritten success story of not less than 200 words about a community, family or individual who was significantly helped by the featured person's efforts. The success story submission must include: the name of the organization, program and featured staff person or volunteer; the time frame involved; and the specific benefit that was achieved.
First In Service Grant: up to $1,000 will be awarded to be shared by a Virgin Islands student and the community-based organization for which he or she has been a volunteer for at least one year. The student must be between the ages of 10 and 18. The grant funding will be awarded $500 to the community organization and $500 to the student.
Recipients of FirstBank's Neighborhood Grant Program
Dollar Days Grant
Sts. Peter and Paul School
Financial principles for financial decision making includes development of a board game in which a model family's lifestyle is affected by rising oil prices. Program includes presentations from FirstBank and UVI and a visit to the Hovensa Oil Refinery.
Community Connection Grant
Women's Coalition of St. Croix
Unnamed volunteer who was a domestic violence victim is now a Board member for the Domestic Violence Spanish Group.
First In Service Grant
St. Thomas: Beige Aradou on behalf of KAR Productions
KAR Productions focuses on the empowerment of young people through using their talents to launch careers and fulfill their life purpose. Ms. Aradou is a CAHS student and volunteers by teaching and supporting other program participants.
Primary Focus Grants St. Thomas:
Methodist Training and Outreach Center
Community awareness and education to support services for the homeless including intake and referral services as well as permanent housing.
We Grow Food
Support for 10th annual Bordeaux Farmers Agriculture and Culture Fair Youth Activity Center. The Fair provides a platform for local farmers to showcase their methods and sell their produce.
Helping Others in a Positive Environment Inc.
HOPE will utilize its mobile health unit to partner with community based organizations for a mini health fair to target HIV information and screenings to women ages 18-44.
St. Andrew's Episcopal Church
To provide community health screening for high blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes and referral to a health care provider if necessary.
Ministerio Evangelistico El Es Inc.
Support for outreach to Hispanic youth on issues such as sexuality, abstinence, navigating relationships, peer pressure, STDs and drug and alcohol abuse.
Passing on the Torch Quadrille and Quelbe
Support for cultural program to public housing and foster care children to perform at Reichhold Center in January 2007.
Academics Enhanced Inc. School
Enhancement of teaching tools to Hispanic students including Spanish/English video/DVD and workbooks.
School of Visual Arts and Careers
Programs provide exposure to students from 7th-12th grade to careers in creative arts and related professions while building self-esteem and encouraging a drug-free and a crime-free life.
Funding provided to assist in small business development programs.
Primary Focus Grants St. John:
Friends of the V.I. National Park
Funding for Eco-Camps, which provide a hands-on natural science program targeted to 8-14 year olds. The Eco-Camps explore the terrestrial and marine eco-systems with emphasis on awareness and preservation.
St. John Animal Care Center
General support for the programs of the center which help to alleviate suffering of stray animals by providing temporary shelter and care as well as reuniting lost animals to their rightful owners.
Episcopal Diocese of the Virgin Islands
Support for St. Ursula's Senior Citizens Multi-Purpose Center, which provides home delivered meals and other support services for elderly and indigent.
Graffiti Street is a televised teen talk show for youth to express their views on issues that have an impact on our society. FirstBank funded Graffiti Street earlier this year for a special project: The cast traveled to the Bahamas to learn about the similarities of culture to the VI as well as the rich heritage and ecological beauty of the country.
The Neighborhood Grants are part of FirstBank's continuing commitment to be an outstanding corporate citizen to the V.I. Through its Community Reinvestment program, the bank not only provides funding support but also partners with organizations territory-wide to deliver financial education to all segments of the community with primary focus on low-and moderate-income households.