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First Niagara teammates give generously of their time and talent because they care about the health and vitality of our communities. Whether they’re mentoring a young student, teaching financial literacy or just lending a hand for a good cause, our 5,800+ employees give thousands of volunteer hours through service to hundreds of nonprofit partners across our footprint.
First Niagara's Employee Volunteer Council (EVC) encourages employees to volunteer at a variety of not-for-profit organizations. The EVC not only helps raise money and awareness for charities, it also unifies employees around the importance of giving back.
If you are looking for volunteer support for your organization, please contact us.
Team members in our technology department helped prepare local residents for the winter season at Bundle Up Buffalo, a winter outerwear drive hosted by Jericho Road Community Health Center. More than 500 coats were distributed to clients, some of whom have yet to experience a WNY winter. Jericho Road helps improve the lives of refugees and low-income families in the Queen City.
Each summer First Niagara team members from Western New York spend several weeks mentoring neighborhood youth through a partnership program with Seneca Street Community Development Corporation. Now in its sixth year, the program provides job readiness skills to local at-risk teens. Participants are assisted with job applications, interview skills, goal setting, job search skills, college applications, financial literacy and dressing for success.
Our Rochester region supports the United Way of Greater Rochester with both corporate funding and employee volunteer support. A group of 15 team members was on hand for the 2013 Day of Caring to help out another First Niagara community partner — PathStone Corp., a not-for-profit community development and human service organization providing services to low-income families and economically depressed communities. First Niagara teammates assisted with outdoor cleanup and other tasks.
Rochester team members pitched in to collect workplace appropriate clothing for the Volunteers of America’sWorking Wardrobe project. The organization provides free business attire as well as counseling on interview skills to assist individuals as they conduct job searches and move into the workforce.
More than 30 First Niagara team members assisted an elderly resident in Vestal, NY, with cleanup and home restoration projects through Rebuilding Together of Broome County. In addition to donating time, First Niagara provided a grant to support Rebuilding Together, which consists of 200 chapters across the U.S., with a mission of bringing volunteers and communities together to improve the homes and lives of low-income homeowners.
Central New York team members partnered with Junior Achievement of Central Upstate New York as volunteer “Challenge Mentors.” Through two events, the Great Teamwork Experiment and the Networking Challenge, nearly 200 students learned key collaboration skills and innovation techniques while honing important networking skills. First Niagara supports Junior Achievement chapters across our footprint with both financial resources and employee volunteers.
CNY team members participated in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk events. Binghamton, Syracuse and Utica each organized participating teams to raise funds and awareness for this worthy cause.
Each fall Eastern New York team members participate in a food drive for the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York. Collection sites include our 50 Eastern NY retail branches and our regional headquarters in Albany. The organization provides emergency food support to nearly a quarter of a million people each year and reaches far and wide through 1,000 member agencies.
First Niagara supports YouthBuild Schenectady, a nine-month program engaging at-risk, low-income young adults seeking to complete their high school education and receive career training. A program of Northeast Child & Parent Society, an affiliate of Northern Rivers Family Services, the initiative guides young people in transforming their lives and communities through training, community service and sustainable wage jobs. To help participants hone their ever-important networking skills, 25 First Niagara team members worked with the program’s clients at a “speed mentoring” event.
In partnership with Junior Achievement (JA), 30 of our New England team members served as volunteer teachers to nearly 1,000 students in Hartford, Norwalk and New Haven, CT, through a “JA in a Day.” This specially designated day provides school students with important lessons about entrepreneurship, financial literacy and the local economy. Additionally, First Niagara Foundation provides financial support toward JA programming across the state of Connecticut.
First Niagara proudly supports leading mentoring programs, such as the Mass Mentoring Partnership in Western Massachusetts, through our Mentoring MattersSM grant program. In addition, our team members provide further assistance to programs throughout the year. Recent efforts include those of retail teammates distributing gift cards to “matches” for local restaurants and attractions, ensuring that mentor and mentee pairs can share meaningful time together.
The American Heart Association is an organization that our Norwalk, CT, office has actively supported over the past five years, a special tribute to a former team member who passed away due to a heart condition. The FNFG team recently participated in National Wear Red Day by holding a bake sale, which raised over $1,500. The volunteer group also supports the American Heart Association’s annual walk.
Tri-State team members partnered with Habitat for Humanity of Putnam County on a home rebuilding project for a local family. They performed a variety of tasks, including installing insulation, trim and siding, and completing framing work. In addition, the First Niagara Foundation provided a grant to help support the revitalization project.
In 2013, Western Pennsylvania team members pulled together to capture First Niagara’s Community Cup, the award given to the region with the highest participation in our United Way Employee Giving Campaign. The WPA region set a record high participation rate, establishing a new standard of engagement. Our campaign raised more than $800,000 for nonprofit partners throughout our footprint.
First Niagara sponsors monthly events for the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh. In May, a Cinco de Mayo-themed party complete with sombreros was the talk of the hospital. First Niagara team members assisted children and their families with crafts, served snacks and delivered party packets to patients unable partake in the festivities directly. The night ended with a dance party led by our spirited employees.
Our Eastern PA team members volunteered at the Philadelphia Zoo’s “Boo at the Zoo” event this October. With their help, area kids enjoyed a fun and safe trick-or-treating event while experiencing the wonders of Philadelphia’s leading family attraction, including the First Niagara Big Cat Falls.
In Eastern PA, First Niagara mobilized a Help First Niagara Feed Philly campaign in support of a local radio station Camp Out for Hunger event. All funds benefited Philabundance, the region’s largest hunger relief organization. Nearly 50 FNFG team members were on hand at the event to help collect food contributions. The collective efforts of our EPA team members, branches and the First Niagara Foundation will enable Philabundance to provide 70,000 meals to people in need.
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