FFB employees double donation to United Way

The Nolan County United Way (NCUW) is committed to serving local entities with a yearly campaign. This year's focus is "Give Where You Live".This year, one company has done just that. First Financial Bank recently gave a large donation to Nolan County United Way, more than doubling last year's donation made by the bank, according to Nolan County United Way Executive Director Wendy Smartt.According to FFB President and CEO Kirby Andrews, the donations made are completely employee-driven. "We have a really caring bunch of employees."According to Andrews, employees volunteer to have so much of their payroll check deducted each month. "It just goes to show how good our people are," said Andrews. "It is why our bank has been so successful. We have been blessed with good people and they show it by the way they give back to their community. Our employees live, work and raise their children in this community and want to be sure to give back. I think they realize how important giving is — how a few dollars a month can make a difference in someone's else's life."Each year, FFB has agencies served by the local United Way chapter give presentations at the bank. This year, Gateway Family Services and the West Texas Children's Advocacy Center gave the bank their presentations on their organizations."The presentations show how important these services are to people who could be your neighbor or even a family member," said Andrews. "What would we do without these agencies in our community? They all fill a need. We are fortunate enough to have had forefathers that started the United Way fund locally. What a blessing it is that United Way can provide funds for the many organizations they serve."The NCUW is a local organization that runs solely on pledges, led by a board of volunteers throughout the community who desire to impact the caring power of the community."First Financial Bank has and continues to be one of our biggest supporters of NCUW," said Smartt. "They are quick to help with promoting our campaign, with sponsoring events and they even allow NCUW to have a drop off box for convenient pledging at their reception desk. This year the employees at FFB have gone above and beyond with their annual employee drive and have raised more than double the amount they raised last year. We cannot thank them enough for their loyalty and commitment to supporting our nine local agencies and the thousands of people their pledges impact in Nolan County." The nine local agencies supported by NCUW are the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, SNAP (Senior Nutrition Activities Program), Cancer Services Network, Gateway Family Services, Sweetwater BackPack Buddies, the West Texas Children's Advocacy Center (WTCAC), the Big Country Medical Reserve Corps and the Women's Resource Center.The groups must undergo an annual interview process and meet a variety of guidelines in order to receive assistance from the NCUW. Over the course of a year, the agencies receive support on three different occasions.Nolan County United Way has now reached 35 percent of their goal of $85,000. "The board is working hard to plan for their upcoming raffle at the Rattlesnake Round-Up and memorial golf tournament this Spring, honoring longtime board member, Charles Roberson," said Smartt.Donors to the Nolan County United Way can give a one-time donation through a payroll deduction or a quarterly basis, which allows the organization to impact thousands within the community through the nine agencies supported. For more information on how you can support NCUW, email  nolancountyuw@yahoo.com, call 325-235-9522, or get pledge cards and/or make a direct pledge at FFB's reception desk.