Community First Cares Foundation is Launched

Only foundation of its kind in Jacksonville will support projects to improve quality of life on the First Coast

Community First Cares Foundation is LaunchedOnly foundation of its kind in Jacksonville will support projects to improve quality of life on the First Coast

Jacksonville, FL – Community First Credit Union has founded the Community First Cares Foundation, the only non-profit foundation administered by a credit union in the region and one of only a few in Florida. The charitable foundation will grant donations and grants to non-profit organizations in the seven county region and serves to fund projects that improve financial literacy, education systems, health and wellness and underserved needs.

“We recognize our responsibility to not only our members but to the community where we live and work,” said John Hirabayashi, president and CEO of Community First Credit Union. “We wanted to solidify our commitment to a better life in North Florida. The Community First Cares Foundation gives us many more opportunities to support and fund projects and efforts that are important to a strong and healthy community.”

Community First Cares has already funded two projects. Teach for America received a grant and the upcoming Generation Wow event, a new initiative by Donna Orender’s Generation W organization, also received funding.

“Community First Cares has ensured Generation Wow can extend leadership to the next generation of girls in North Florida,” said Orender, founder of Generation W and CEO of Orender Unlimited. “The vision of Generation Wow is shared by the community and we’re honored Community First supports youth education, health and wellness. These funds are an investment in mentoring our future leaders.”

The Community First Cares Foundation will house all the credit union’s charitable giving, hundreds of thousands of which have already been granted to our community over the years. The foundation also creates the ability to fundraise specifically for the foundation and its projects, something that could not be done in the past, giving the foundation an opportunity to multiply and magnify the charitable donations of the institution. Community First Cares has filed its application to become a 501(c) 3 organization. Donation requests of any size can be made online any time of year at

The foundation will initially be led by a board of directors, employees of the credit union appointed by the credit union’s board of directors. Officers of the board are: Roger Rassman, chair; Mike Tomko, vice chair; Sam Inman, treasurer; and Susan Verbeck, secretary. Hirabayashi will serve as a member on the board and Missy Peters will serve as the executive director.

The Community First Cares Foundation, founded by Community First Credit Union, is a non-profit community foundation that grants funds to improve the quality of life in North Florida. The foundation supports activities to improve financial literacy, enhance the quality of our educational system, upgrade the health and welfare of our community and help underserved citizens. The Community First Cares Foundation makes contributions to non-profit organizations that serve the communities on the First Coast. For more information, visit or call (904) 371-8090. For more information about Community First Credit Union, visit or call (904) 354-8537.

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