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Protect your account while holiday shopping

December 15th, 2014

presents

Remember to be vigilant this holiday shopping season. Check your statements and transaction history often to ensure all the purchases are valid. Shopping from the comfort of home on Cyber Monday? Make sure you’re on a secure site. The url should start with “https”. The “s” is for “secure”. When it’s time to process the online payment, make sure there’s a security icon on the page; most often it appears as an image of a lock. But rest assured, as a First Source card holder, you are not liable for fraudulent purchases on your First Source credit or debit cards.

Taking a Stand Against Bullying: Michele Grider

November 18th, 2014

IMG_2819There are some staggering NYS bullying statistics I’d like to share with you today. During the 2009-2010 school year, 23% of U.S. schools reported that bullying occurred among students on a daily or weekly basis. In 2011, 28% of students aged 12 to 18 years reported being bullied at school. The most common form of bullying was based on physical appearance. 66% reported that students were harassed at least sometimes because of their looks or body size.

That’s the bad news.

The good news is New York State’s Response – The Dignity for All Students Act (DASA)

DASA was born out of legislative concern to prevent bullying in our schools. Media coverage of egregious cases brought more attention to the severity of the situation and something needed to be done. The Act was signed into law by Gov. Patterson on September 8, 2010 and became effective July 1, 2012.

The Purpose of this Act is to foster civility in public schools by way of prevention and prohibition of bullying, discrimination, and harassment on school property and at school functions. It also adds additional “protected classes” to the federal protected classes.

DASA states: At its core…No student shall be subjected to bullying, discrimination and/or harassment by employees or students on school property or at a school function.

Schools are taking this very seriously now. It is no longer, “someone else’s problem”. Every school in New York State must have a Dignity Act Coordinator (DAC) and bullying protocols in place.

As proactive steps are taken in our schools check with your children. Do they know who the DAC is in their school? Do they feel that their school offers a safe environment to learn? If not, do they know where to turn, who to talk to? NYS will not tolerate harassment in our schools. Our kids need to know it’s okay to speak up.

-Michele Grider, NYS Dignity Act/Bullying Prevention Coordinator
Oneida Herkimer Madison BOCES

The Fight Against Bullying: Wendy Fical

November 13th, 2014

WendyRide2014First Source is proud to be a part of the fight against bullying. We love to share stories like this one from Wendy Fical, Program Director of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children-NY/MY Office.

I have the wonderful opportunity to visit many schools, educating on many different safety topics throughout our community. I spend a lot of time with grades Pre-K through 12. When it comes to (cyber)bullying, I cannot help but notice the inner genuine and caring nature that all students exhibit when they watch a video about someone else getting bullied, or when they hear one of my real-life stories about someone getting picked on. They are so sad for that student. They don’t think its right for that child to be sad, to feel worthless, for their grades to be poor due to the constant teasing they’ve received. I especially notice when asking them if a student is picked on for something that they cannot control; like their size, their clothing, whether or not their hair looks perfect that day, etc. They respond, “NO, that it is not right!”

Then the most amazing thing happens. During the presentation, I ask each student to imagine a 5 year old child (especially one that might be dear to them). I ask them if they would come right out and bully that innocent 5 year old. 100% of the time, the answer is “NO WAY”. So then I ask them to remember, that while we all have grown up through the years, we all (adults included) still have feelings. There are many people that no matter their age when they are bullied, can feel very hurt just like a younger child that is being picked on. Remembering that we all have feelings, if you wouldn’t bully a 5 year old, why do we allow ourselves to bully someone else? It doesn’t make it right, just because the person is older than 5. It doesn’t mean that because they are older they are numb to the hurt.

I’ve also observed that our children really do want to help other students in bad situations, but sometimes just don’t know how. Being the “upstander”, instead of the “bystander”, when it comes to bullying is working and with time, I anticipate it to be “the thing to do” among peers.

In the meantime, while the evolution of that change continues, the students have begun to show that instead of picking on a student themselves if someone else is, they prefer to “not to join in”, “not to make the hurtful comments”…. And “not to laugh at the student getting picked on”. The upstander role will continue to grow.

As parents of these internet savvy and genuinely caring children, let’s help them to ask themselves these questions……

Would I pick on this student if they were only 5?
Would I make fun of this student if I knew what type of home life they really had or didn’t have?
Could I make a difference by not joining in, not laughing at them, showing others that it is ok to help someone else that is being bullied?

Yes, our children are our future, I hope that one day when I am in a nursing home, it is one of these genuine and caring students that are helping to take care of me. J

-Wendy Fical
Program Director
National Center for Missing & Exploited Children

Imagine More Free Time

November 5th, 2014

Your time is valuable, and saving a few errands a week can free you up for so much more. Deposit your checks from anywhere with your smartphone, tablet, or PC using memberDEPOSIT from First Source. Not a Member yet? Get started below.

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Download the free First Source app from your smartphone or tablet to get started. iOS users can find it in the App Store, and Android users can find in on Google Play.
 
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Local Dreamers Dream Big

September 24th, 2014

We all have dreams, big and small, that keep us moving forward and working to make our lives better and more fulfilling. We’re proud to present these inspirational local people who are living their dreams, making a name for themselves, and representing our region in big ways. Each of them has shown how hard work, a positive attitude, and tremendous support from family, friends and community, have helped them along the way. They remind us that we can build a better community by supporting dreamers everywhere. What’s Your Dream?

Dreaming Big: Erin Hamlin | USA Olympic Luge Medalist

Erin Hamlin is a world-class Luger and winter games medalist, and has followed her dreams to the world stage. She talks about growing up with the support of her family, friends and community, her competitive drive, and the long road to making history in 2014. Erin’s rise from small-town athlete to international fame through hard work and dedication remind us that we can bring a community together by supporting dreamers everywhere.

Dreaming Big: Jimmy Joseph (AKA Jimmy Jam)

“Jimmy Jam” Joseph inspires people all around the world as he chases his dream of a Paralympic medal. This Paralympic Curler shares just a little of the philosophy that has taken him from victim of a tragic accident to international competitor. His positive attitude and relentless pursuit of his dreams make Jimmy a great example of the best of which we are capable.

Dreaming Big: Dreaming Big: Leon Etienne

Local celebrity and professional illusionist Leon Etienne is a true inspiration, and a great example of vision, perseverance, and hard work. His notoriety on America’s Got Talent, and through his amazing performances around the world, have earned him bigger rewards every year, and allowed him to reach for even bigger dreams.

Join us at this year’s Wiggle Waggle Walk-a-thon

September 9th, 2014

Join Team First Source at the Wiggle Waggle Walk-a-thon this Sunday at 11:00 a.m. at Sherrillbrook Park in New Hartford. Bring your own dog along or walk one from the shelter. It’s a wonderful event. Don’t just take our word for it – read about how Paul Grimes met Ragz at the Wiggle Waggle, in his own words.

ragz2

If you’ve never been to the Stevens-Swan Humane Society’s Wiggle-Waggle Walk-a-thon, I encourage you to go. Granted I am an animal-lover at heart, but still, I had no idea what I was in for and how much it would end up meaning to me.

Last year my wife who works at First Source had volunteered to walk a shelter dog at the event. My daughter was going to go along and walk her Dachshund, Louie. She was unable to go, so I took her place.

At the event I met Ragz, a 210 lb. Neapolitan Mastiff. A giant ball of drool and love. We spent some time together and when I got up to leave he kept putting his huge paw on my hand as if to say, “please don’t go.” And I knew I was not going home without him. It sounds silly but it’s like we found each other that day. We needed each other and I was so happy to be able to provide a loving home for an older dog. Everybody wants the puppies and the older dogs get left behind.

Ragz is part of the family now. He’s more than my best friend. He’s the third child. He’s doing well for a 7 year old, slowing down a bit. And don’t let his size fool you. He’s a big baby, especially when it comes to taking his vitamins. Ha ha .

We’re going to the Wiggle Waggle Walk-a-thon again this year and I’m excited to bring Ragz back. It will be a like a reunion for him and it’s a great place for me to share our story. I hope I inspire others to adopt a pet as well. Ragz may not have a lot of years left but I’m glad that the years he does have are with someone who loves him and will take care of him. Even for a short period in their lives we can offer so much love to these animals.

I don’t know if I’ll bring another one home this year… but you never know.”
– Paul Grimes

Join us on Sunday and walk as part of Team First Source. Just download the pledge form.


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