First Financial Bank supports Hamilton groups with $200K in donations

Credit: pROVIDED

Credit: pROVIDED

First Financial Bank and the First Financial Foundation have given more than $200,000 in grants to organizations in Butler County.

In celebration of the bank’s 160th anniversary, the First Financial Foundation donated $160,000 to the Hamilton Community Foundation to commemorate.

An additional $42,500 was provided to local nonprofits through the First Financial Annual Grant Campaign to create positive change in the areas of workforce development and education, and neighborhood development, with a particular emphasis on low-income communities.

“Our work to help communities thrive and grow often takes the form of collaboration with strong local organizations and projects such as these, and I’m confident that our work together will deliver a powerful lift to the neighborhoods, towns and cities we serve,” said First Financial Chief Corporate Responsibility Officer Roddell McCullough.

First Financial has provided funds throughout Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky and Illinois this past year to 66 organizations.

First Financial Bank celebrated its 160th anniversary in business in August, being founded as the First National Bank of Hamilton, Ohio. It was granted its charter on Aug. 10, 1863, under the National Bank Act, and opened for business on High Street on Aug. 15, 1863. It’s had some name changes over the years, but the bank became First Financial Bancorp in 1983, and today is one of the largest banking institutions in Greater Cincinnati.

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

The $160,000 donation to the Hamilton Community Foundation will be awarded to local nonprofit organizations around the city of Hamilton over the next four years.

“We are really pleased to be collaborating with First Financial Bank to provide grants for local organizations,” said Hamilton Community Foundation President and CEO John Guidugli. “We are always looking for ways to put more money back into the community, and this boosts our granting capacity over the next four years.”

Additional grants in Butler County are for Community Building Institute Middletown, Junior Achievement of Middletown Area, Support to Encourage Low-Income Families, and Serve City.

“First Financial plays a vital role in ensuring our success that goes beyond serving as our financial institution,” said Serve City Executive Director Tammi Ector. “Our First Financial team partners with us to enhance our ability to provide our participants and community with the best services.”

This is the First Financial Foundation’s largest grant campaign to date. First Financial is achieving greater impact by including external funding from CREA, a low-income housing tax credit organization, in addition to funding from the bank’s Foundation.

Over the past six years, First Financial has seen nearly $3.3 billion in various aspects of lending, as well as investments, philanthropy and marketing, according to its Community Benefits Agreement. In 2022, First Financial Bank and the First Financial Foundation provided more than $4 million in community donations around its market.

In April, First Financial Bank donated $4,500 to three Hamilton organizations when it opened its relocated branch on South Erie Boulevard.

“It is the way we show our commitment to the organizations that really are having a positive impact in our community,” McCollough said at the spring ribbon cutting in the Hamilton Crossings Plaza.

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