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American Cancer Society Road to Recovery® Program

October 3, 2018

Providing Rides to Cancer Treatment

For many years, First Source has provided support to the American Cancer Society, from financial assistance to volunteers and fundraising participation. We recently learned of their Road to Recovery program. This invaluable service pairs cancer patients in need of transportation to their appointments with community volunteer drivers.


The Road to Recovery Program

Every day, there are cancer patients who need to get to treatment, but many don’t have a way to get there. The American Cancer Society’s Road To Recovery program provides transportation to and from treatment, for free. Rides are provided by volunteers like you.



How Does It Work?

Volunteers go to cancer.org or call 800.227.2345 to let the American Cancer Society know you would like to help. You provide your availability and what works best to fit your schedule. When they have a patient in your area in need they will reach out and see if you can accept the opportunity. They further coordinate with you from there.


Who Can Volunteer?

If you own or have regular access to a safe, reliable vehicle, then you’re already on the road to volunteering. You’ll also need:

  • A good driving record

  • A current, valid driver’s license

  • Proof of adequate automobile insurance

  • Completion of the simple American Cancer Society training course

  • Regular access to a cell phone, computer, laptop, or tablet computer, to receive notifications

  • Schedule availability, typically Monday-Saturday, as much or as little as you prefer


Why Volunteer to Drive?

For those patients who cannot drive themselves or have no other means of getting to their treatment, the Road To Recovery volunteers may be the only way for them to receive the treatment they need. It can literally be life-saving. Volunteer drivers say that they get as much from the experience as the patients do.


How Do You Get Started?

You need to submit some basic information to the American Cancer Society, after which a volunteer care specialist will contact you to discuss the program, your expectations, and what you hope to gain from the experience so they can ensure a good fit. Then you’ll take some required training, which is self-paced and takes around 90 minutes. From there you’ll complete a background check, and once approved, provide your schedule availability so you can begin being matched to patients needing transportation. You can offer as much or as little time as you prefer, provide rides one way or both ways, and change your schedule availability at any time.

Visit the American Cancer Society’s website to learn how you can get started. A little of your time can make all the difference in someone’s life.
 

Learn More About Road to Recovery
 

Financial Friday at the Children’s Museum

August 17, 2018

Young boy learning the importance of a dollar

It’s Never Too Early to Start Your Child’s Financial Education

On Friday August 24th at the Utica Children’s Museum, we will be hosting a fun filled financial event, where we’ll be teaching kids about the value of a dollar. This interactive financial literacy program is a great way to show children the importance of money, where it comes from and the value it holds. 

Kids will have the opportunity to speak with First Source representatives, ask questions, earn their own “paycheck” and decide how best to save, spend, and even donate their money to community causes in the First Source Kid’s Branch, located on the first floor of the museum. Two separate sessions are available for families that are interested in signing their children up for the event. 

We are proud to be able to partner with the Children’s Museum in educating our children about the importance of developing good financial habits.

Tom Neumann and the Ride for Missing Children

May 30, 2018

Thanks to Riders and Volunteers

Please join us in thanking our community for their involvement in, and support of, The Ride For Missing Children. Tomorrow, Friday, June 1st, is the 2018 Ride For Missing Children. Approximately 500 Riders and 150 Volunteers will hit the road starting early in the morning in Oneida, NY, and arrive in New Hartford that evening, reaching hundreds of school students along the way with a message of safety.

First Source President and CEO Tom Neumann shares why he rides and volunteers to support the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. He helps their work to educate people, support the families of missing children, and raise awareness and funds.



We are proud to be a part of this tremendous cause, and encourage you to support the Ride, and cheer the Riders along on their all-day journey.

Posted in: bike, charity, children, NCMEC, ride

Tiny’s Grill: A Community Pillar

March 6, 2018

Outside front view of Tiny’s Grill, using First Source Business Services, Players of Utica in background

Making Business Personal

Joanne “Jo” Gerace, Owner/Manager of Tiny’s Grill in Utica, has been a First Source Member for more than 25 years, and as a small business owner, knew that First Source was the perfect place to do her business banking.

Jo’s Story

Joanne Gerace smiling in front of sports memorabilia photos on wall inside Tiny’s Grill
 Joanne Gerace

Joanne Gerace has lived a fascinating and storied life, and many who know her only from Tiny’s Grill may be surprised by her many adventures. The Utica native is an avowed sports fanatic, has worked for the New York Yankees organization, helped the Utica Blue Sox become a successful and profitable business (as eventual General Manager), and then re-launched a local business, Tiny’s Grill, more than 27 years ago. It was something she had always wanted to do. Reviving an older, traditional business fit her well. Tiny’s Grill has been a Utica staple since 1931. The original site was at the Whitesboro circle (where the Utica Aud now stands). Tiny’s moved to the current State Street location—where the Oneida Grill once stood—and Joanne Gerace took over in 1990. 

“I had revived Jazz in Utica by bringing in local and world-class jazz musicians and artists,” says Gerace. “I was also very connected to local professional and amateur sports teams, so we sponsored and hosted them at the Grill. I have always been very community oriented, involved in many local community boards of directors and community projects, from the St. Patrick’s Day parade to downtown Utica projects.” Jo is a member of the Chamber of Commerce (Tiny’s Grill is a previous winner of the Business of the Year award), as well as a member of the auditorium authority since 1984, YWCA Woman of the Year, a Utica Sports Hall Of Fame founding member, a mentor to budding women entrepreneurs, and more. She has worked to make Tiny’s Grill a mainstay in the area. In addition to the iconic life-sized Blues Brothers statues flanking its sign outside, the restaurant is known for its sports and music memorabilia—with many photos signed by the pros—and its traditional Christmas display, including what she believes is the largest collection of nutcrackers in the state (and country)!

 

Tiny’s and First Source FCU

Jo knew she wanted to bank with someone that shared her love of community and embodied all of the wonderful gifts that Utica has to offer.

In her words: “I do both my personal and business banking with First Source, and have for as long as I can remember. They have always been wonderful with the service I receive and their generosity to the community. I have savings, checking, business savings, and business checking, as well as credit card merchant services. We are very happy with everything. The merchant services portion really makes my business run smoothly at the point of sale. It’s important to me to have those aspects of my business run smoothly so I can focus on my customers. First Source makes it easy.”

 

Gerace says she has stayed with First Source for many reasons, primary among them that she always receives personal attention, and good experiences with her banking and the staff. “There have been many people working with me over the years, and I have always had a good relationship with every one...great customer service!” She adds that, as a downtown business, she has easy access to the South Utica branch, including drive-up services. And now, she does the bulk of her banking online; it’s easy and convenient, letting her work around her unique schedule.

“First Source has made it a priority to help our business,” Jo says. “Great customer service, good rates, and many services for a business to take advantage of.” She has recently worked to update Tiny’s Grill, and hopes to use First Source Business Services to keep them running profitably for many years to come.

First Source Business Services

First Source provides a full suite of Business Services, including Merchant Services for POS with Central Payment, Human Resources Management and Scheduling with ADP, Accounting with Quickbooks, business checking and savings accounts, business credit cards and lines of credit, as well as a multitude of business lending options.

Live Smarter

Want to learn more about First Source Business Services? Make an appointment today to meet with one of our Business Services Representatives about managing your business smarter.

 

The ACS Wig Room

January 31, 2018

Attending the ribbon cutting on Friday, January 19th, pictured left to right: Stan Kocyba, First Source FCU Facilities Manager; Mike Parsons, First Source FCU Chief Executive Officer; Pamela Way, First Source FCU Community Relations Specialist; Ciara Parrish, American Cancer Society Coordinator of Community Support; Melanie Francis, Community Development Manager; Robert Elinskas, American Cancer Society Senior Community Manager.
 

Creating a Welcoming Space

As part of our community outreach and giving, we look to make a direct local impact. Recently we helped renovate a room at our local American Cancer Society. The Cancer Society has an area for those who have begun cancer treatment and are losing their hair, to try on wigs. We were pleased to be able to donate funds and volunteer our time and labor to give this room the attention it needed.

“The ‘wig room’, was in great need of a facelift,” said Ciara Parrish, Coordinator of Community Support for the American Cancer Society. “It’s really tough when reality sets in and you start losing your hair, and the area we had for wigs was not very inviting. This is a time that compassion and comfort is really needed. We are grateful to First Source Federal Credit Union for helping us make this a much warmer and inviting area.”

“Many are not aware of all of our services at the Cancer Society,” Parrish continued. “When patients come in for a wig appointment, we are able to give them one wig free of charge. This can not only be a big savings, it can also make the patient feel a little more like themselves again. Patients can call 1-800-227-2345 to schedule an appointment.”

“We’ve been involved with the American Cancer Society for many years,” said Pamela Way, First Source Community Relations Specialist. “We’ve had teams participate in their Relay for Life and Breast Cancer Walk fundraisers, but we wanted to change things up a bit, and really put our money and time into helping them right here at home, at the source. This renovation directly helps our community member diagnosed with cancer, at one of their most vulnerable times.”

Way added, “We’re fortunate to have a fantastic Facilities Manager at First Source who loves helping out on these kinds of projects. He has a great eye for renovations. We were really happy to be able to help them.”

Giving Smarter

Want to know more about how First Source gives back to our community? 

 

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