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Archive for February, 2016

A Diamond Opportunity

Thursday, February 25th, 2016

Ride for Missing Children Bike riders This is First Source’s 7th year of involvement with the Ride For Missing Children, and we’re making a bigger commitment than ever before.

This year, the Ride For Missing Children-CNY (“The Ride”) celebrates 20 years of raising awareness, hope, and bringing missing children home to safety. From a few dedicated riders 20 years ago to an event with hundreds of riders, thousands of schoolchildren, countless family and friends cheering along the route, and thousands of financial supporters, The Ride has become a seminal event in our community.

Recent abductions in the news make the mission of the Ride even more poignant: we can’t rest in our efforts to keep our children safe. To that end, this year, First Source is the Corporate Diamond Sponsor of The Ride. In addition to financial support, we currently have 11 Riders and 9 Volunteers participating, and encourage volunteerism and donations in all our branches. Our employees are generous with their time; they also helped staff the donation processing committee, implemented a new registration database, headed all marketing and public relations, helped with food/provisions and gear bag loading/unloading, and chaired the finance and bulletin committees.

So much of our mission is built around education, and The Ride’s educational programs year round affect children, teens, students, educators, parents, law enforcement, and first responders. Along with its messages about abduction prevention, recovery, hope, and healing, the organization teaches people in the community about personal and bike safety. We’re proud to support all these efforts.

If you support their mission, please help in any way you can. Ride, pledge, volunteer, cheer, add your voice. Anything you can do helps the cause, and makes our community stronger.

To learn more or register to ride or volunteer, please visit TheRideForMissingChildren.com.

 

Yes, It’s That Season: Tips for Tax Time

Friday, February 19th, 2016

As tax season rolls along, remember that as a First Source Member, you can file with Turbo Tax for free if you go through our website, since we are a Turbo Tax preferred partner. There are two versions of the software—a free version, and a paid version—and as a Member, you can also get $5 off the paid version price. If you choose to have your refund directly deposited into your account, we have a few helpful tips.

Every year some people’s tax returns end up in others’ accounts, due to errors in submitted account numbers. Should this happen, you’ll have to call the IRS at 800-829-1040, and have them file an IRS form 3911 to trace the check. To minimize problems, follow the easy steps below:

  1. Use caution when setting up the direct deposit of your tax refunds. Refunds are deposited solely based on account number, not by name.
  2. Make sure you use your full 9-digit routing number and 14-digit account number.
  3. Make sure you submit an active checking or savings account.
  4. Do not add or delete any zeros.
  5. Double- and triple-check all information and numbers before submitting your account information.

Of course, the best way to plan for tax season every year is to build your own savings year round! If you have a good-sized buffer in your checking account, consider earning more with a Money Market account or Term Share Certificate. Call or make an appointment online, and we can help you make a plan.

We wish you a stress-free tax experience!

Dancing the Night Away for a Good Cause

Tuesday, February 9th, 2016

Amy_Demetri_Dance_picsAs part of her support for community causes, our own Amy DeMetri, First Source Vice President of Member Services, has been a big part of “Dancing the Night Away”, an annual fundraiser for The Good News Center in Utica. The photo above is Amy burning up the dance floor as a “celebrity” dancer five years ago. In the fall of 2009, she was invited by Mike Buckley, Executive Director of the Good News Center, to participate in the dance event. After that experience, she joined the board, and has been a board member since, helping promote the event and the Center’s work.

“When I read their mission statement, I saw the First Source mission all over it,” Amy says of her decision to join the board of The Good News Center. “We shared so many of the same values and goals for our community. It was a match!”

The Good News Center focuses on healing and strengthening marriages and families, providing support for those who have lost a loved one, and helping individuals who are separated or going through the pain of divorce.

“Like the Good News Center, at First Source it’s also our mission to improve the quality of life of people in the communities we serve,” Amy adds. “We do that by providing solutions to improve our Members’ financial lives, and the greatest support is often required because of the loss of a loved one, divorce, or similar circumstances.

“I’ve enjoyed my involvement with The Good News Center, the staff and volunteers, and being a part of the impact it has had on our community. It’s a great organization!”

In addition to Amy’s service on the board, First Source has sponsored The Good News Center for the last five years, and purchased tickets for each year’s event.

The 10th annual gala takes place Saturday, February 13th, and includes dinner, dancing, a Sweetheart raffle, and local celebrity dance contest as part of the festivities. All proceeds benefit the Center’s programs for marriage and relationship counseling, in addition to other support programs.

The Good News Center is a non-profit organization, offering their programs at low or no cost to participants. They provide a variety of peer mentoring programs, including a number of programs at no charge, including Grief Survivors, The Third Option, and Separated and Divorce Support. The proceeds from events like Dancing the Night Away allow them to defray the costs of these programs for those who need or want to make use of them. The Center also offers marriage and relationship retreats to strengthen marriages and families.

The Good News Foundation, the funding arm of the organization, was honored as Business of the Year for Non-profits (under 50 employees) by the Greater Utica Chamber of Commerce in 2014. The Foundation was honored for its commitment to the community, longevity, and involvement with the Chamber.

Through her support for the organization, Amy has helped raise the profile of the Center and its activities, and spread the word among the First Source staff and membership families. We join her in wishing good luck to all of this year’s dancers and participants!

Want to support their work? Learn more on their website at thegoodnewscenter.org.

Go Red: Making Heart Health a Priority

Thursday, February 4th, 2016

GoRed_w200Join us to support Go Red for Women!

Each of us knows at least one person whose life has been affected by heart disease. Go Red for Women is a campaign with a simple goal: to help everyone, especially women, build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. How? By paying attention to your body, and learning to recognize the warning signs of disease before the worst occurs. What great goals!

Learning the signs and risks of heart disease is the first step to living healthier, but it also affects how you care for your family, as you learn how to make healthier decisions for them, too.

Learn the warning signs

Heart Attack Symptoms:

  • Sweating
  • Uncomfortable pressure squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back
  • Pain/discomfort in one/both arms
  • Back pain
  • Neck pain
  • Jaw pain
  • Stomach pain
  • Nausea
  • Shortness of breath, with or without chest discomfort
  • Lightheadedness

Stroke Symptoms:

  • Sweating
  • Chest tightening as though your heart were in a vice
  • Trouble seeing, blurred vision in one or both eyes
  • Unable to lift your arm
  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause

Give yourself a quick screening with the easy web-based health tool, My Life Check.

Impress your friends with more statistics and progress on the movement.

Remember these important dates and plan to join us:

February 5th – National Wear Red Day; Rome Go Red for Women Luncheon at the Beeches

March 4th – Heart Run and Walk Expo

March 5th – America’s Greatest Heart Run and Walk Event

May 4th – Utica Go Red for Women Luncheon at Daniele’s Banquet Specialists

What else can you do? Start by helping yourself today with:

  • Exercise
  • Good diet
  • Stress management
  • Work-life balance
  • Regular check-ups: Know your numbers.
  • Pay attention to your body: Know the warning signs

In addition to financial support, we help support this cause with education and community awareness efforts, and our staff and Members are proud volunteers in their many programs. Money raised at events like the Go Red For Women Luncheon goes toward lifesaving research, advocacy, and education programs.

Please join us over the next several months by wearing red on February 5th (National Wear Red Day), attending the Rome Go Red for Women Luncheon, also on February 5th, and supporting upcoming awareness and fundraising events.

Learn more at the Go Red for Women website.

Thanks for doing your part to stay healthy!

First Source and Utica College: A Growing Partnership

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016

First Source Utica College Trading Room

Utica College is a first-class institution, and its continuing initiatives are putting the college, and Utica, on the national map. Since our credit union roots are also based in education—we started as Utica Teachers Federal Credit Union in 1938—much of our community outreach efforts include educating our Members and community on how to improve their lives financially. We also give special love to organizations that use education for the same goal.

We support programs and facilities there that align with our mission, and with our Members’ interests, including:

  • UC Athletics partnership – Our financial support provides benefits to the whole department, most importantly the student-athletes. With these funds, they have purchased new sound equipment for their sports dome, put new lighting in the gymnasium, upgraded fields and scoreboards, purchased new video equipment so home games for all sports teams can be streamed in HD, purchased new software for sports information to quickly assemble non-video highlight packages on student-athletes directly following a game, put a new parking area at the dome (so students can now drive and park at the dome instead of walk), and purchased senior blankets for graduating student-athletes (of whom there are 128 this year).
  • Trading Room naming – First Source helped pay for the Utica College Trading Room (see our photos above). The trading room is a state-of-the-art learning center featuring curved-glass floor-to-ceiling exterior walls, dual-screen computer workstations with specialized financial and investment software, video walls, and smart boards for professors to display real-time stock data, videos, and other financial information. Surrounding the perimeter is a 65-foot long, real-time stock ticker that runs up-to-minute stock data in full color. Located on the first floor of Hubbard Hall, the First Source FCU Trading Room will host business, economics, and investment classes.
  • First Source staff participate in UC’s annual fundraising golf tournament, proceeds from which go to the UC campus, and athletics program.
  • UC Young Scholars Program – We are currently sponsoring the Young Scholars Grow Big Dreams Celebration Dinner, and are working to increase our involvement with the organization in the future, through job shadowing and financial literacy assistance. See our earlier blog post for more details on this wonderful program.
  • First Source management hold 2 board seats at UC. Mike Parsons is a trustee on the UC board, and Kristy Nole is a board member of the UC Athletic Association.

All of our partnerships with Utica College have been rewarding and beneficial to our community and the college’s students. We look forward to sharing stories about more of their great work, and our continuing involvement, in the future!

 








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