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Freedom First Credit Union

Grants & Community Investments

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Helping People Prosper — Helping Communities Thrive

Our award-winning Community Grants program supports projects that give special consideration to working families of modest means.

Freedom First supports the work being done by community organizations to break down barriers, enable people to fully participate as local citizens, and help families achieve economic success and a better quality of life. For 2021, Freedom First will provide additional grant funding to support community organizations who demonstrate a direct response to COVID-19 relief efforts.

Our Focus Areas

Community and Household Economy

Activities, programs, and initiatives designed to improve the economic well-being of our local community and its citizens. Examples include poverty reduction, affordable housing, and financial education.

Health and Human Services

Activities, programs, and initiatives that contribute to an individual’s functioning in the local community addresses or prevents the onset of social, psychological, or physical problems or disabilities; or extends an individual’s ability to be independent or productive in our local community.

Arts and Culture

Activities, programs, and initiatives that increase access to and promotion of the arts and the development and enhancement of cultural identities in the local community. Examples include arts programs, diversity initiatives, and cultural events.

For more information, contact our Community Development Team below.

In 2018-2019, Freedom First awarded $561,442 in Community Investment Grants, scholarships, and event sponsorships.

2019 Winners

Freedom First awarded $35,000 in annual Community Grants in 2019 to support the vital programs offered by eight local nonprofit agencies.

Nonprofit Amount Awarded
Supporting Program
Blue Ridge Literacy $3,000 Grant funds will be used to support their Citizenship Classes in order to achieve a 100% pass rate for learners scheduled to take the citizenship test in 2020. Blue Ridge Literacy will achieve their goal of 100% pass rate by conducting pre- and post-reading assessments to ensure that 100% of learners have a reading level of High Beginning, the minimum level required to understand the test, or higher by the time they take their test.
Boys and Girls Club of SWVA $5,000

Grant funds will be used to support the Project Learn Program. Project Learn gives Boys and Girls Club members the opportunity for academic success by presenting academic programming at the club to compliment what they are learning in the classroom.

LovABLE Services $5,000 Grant funding will go towards supporting Chris’s Coffee & Custard, a job training site that will serve the needs of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities by creating opportunities to enhance life, social, communication and vocational skills that will lead to gainful and meaningful employment.
Franklin County Public School Educational Foundation $5,000

Grant funds will be used to support the Life Check Program, a simulation program to give students an opportunity to look into their future as consumers. For the last 3 years, the Foundation has used Life Check as a culminating activity for economic and finance classes in the Spring. The students in these classes are provide with the necessary knowledge and skills to function effectively as consumers, workers, savers, investors, and entrepreneurs.

Live, Work, Eat, Gather, Inc.–Millstone Kitchen $5,000

The mission of Live, Work, Eat, Gather, Inc. is to cultivate and nourish community through the support of local food and farms, the creation and growth of jobs, the security of a home, and the gathering of friends and neighbors. Grant funding will support Millstone Kitchen, a shared use commercial kitchen located in the old school center of the Prices Fork Elementary School. Half of the old kindergarten space has been converted into kitchen space rentable hourly by food business entrepreneurs, such as caterers, bakers, value-added farmers and food trucks.

Roanoke Children's Theatre $2,000 Roanoke Children’s Theatre launched RCT4TEENS in 2010 as an ongoing health education program using educational theatre to help young people change risky behavior and learn healthy behaviors through issue-based plays that address important health and social concerns. RCT has commissioned THE FAKES, an original play addressing internet safety and addiction and staying safe from online predators and human trafficking. Funding will support educational health outreach for approximately 2,500 – 3,500 middle and high school students who participate in post-show interactive prevention talkbacks with agency professional while identifying resources for ongoing support.
Roanoke Hospitality House $5,000 The Roanoke Hospitality House will provide adult patients and caregivers traveling to Roanoke for healthcare a compassionate, comfortable alternative to a hospital waiting room or expensive lodging. While away from home and receiving care at Roanoke-area hospitals, patients will be able to focus on healing from illness without the added stress of financial burden. Roanoke Hospitality will use their grant funding to support start-up operational expenses.
Total Action for Progress (TAP) $5,000

Grant funding will go towards supporting TAP Sabrina's Place, the region's only secure supervised visitation and safe exchange program. It serves families affected by domestic violence and/or sexual assault by providing a secure facility staffed by off-duty Roanoke City Police Department officers and trained visitation monitors.

Learn about our Community Investment Grants from Tim Cerebe.
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