New Partners: 2016 Community First Recipients Named

At the start of each year, brainstorming begins to find three new Community First recipients. The campaign goal for 2016 is $55,000. After much research and an extensive vetting process, Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind Foundation, Autism Society of Alabama, and Red Mountain Park, have been selected to share the proceeds of 2016 campaign fundraising events. These charities provide services or impact economic development in America’s First Federal Credit Union’s field of membership.

Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind (AIDB), established in 1858, provides education and rehabilitation services for deaf and blind infants, children, adults, and seniors. The primary campus is in located in Talladega, Alabama, however the institution provides services in all 67 counties within the state. AIDB offers the nation’s most comprehensive education and service program for deaf, blind, and multi-disabled individuals. Through a consolidated administrative structure, the institution commands the best use of financial and human resources, expertise, facilities and specialized equipment to benefit individuals who are deaf and blind. AIDB also provides job training and employment opportunities for adults who use their services. The services are free to residents of Alabama.

The Autism Society of Alabama, ASA, strives to improve services for children and adults diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. ASA provides education for families, teachers, and health professionals who work with individuals with autism. The organization also provides counseling services and connects families with support groups. ASA also supports the families and individuals affected by advocating for their needs on a state level.

Red Mountain Park celebrates the city of Birmingham’s unique industrial heritage. The 1,400 acre mountain is covered with a distinct red dust, or iron ore, which helped Birmingham’s iron and steel production flourish. The economy thrived because of this unique natural resource. The land was mined from 1864 to 1962. After mining operations ended, the land remained untouched for over 50 years. Red Mountain Park was formed in 2009 to preserve the lands heritage, while offering residents hiking trails, zip lining, and beautiful green spaces filled with historical artifacts.

America’s First Federal Credit Union, formerly Iron and Steelworkers Credit Union, has a unique connection to Red Mountain Park. Iron and steel workers were the credit unions’ first specific employee group. Preservation of Red Mountain Park also celebrates America’s First’s unique connection to the iron and steel industry.

Last week, America’s First employees kicked off donations by contributing more than $2,000 to the campaign during a silent auction at the America’s First Employee Engagement Conference, formerly known as Employee Training Day. The 2016 Sporting Clays Tournament is planned for May 20th at Selwood Farms in Alpine, Alabama. America’s First employees are excited to raise money and volunteer their time to these amazing organizations. 

Fundraising season is off to a great start. We look forward to sharing more information about each of the charities and their connections to our members and employees. Fundraising activities will take place from February until September. Each charity will receive their donations at the October manager’s meeting. Stay tuned!

Jimese Harkley