First Financial giving back

We know that many of our clients love to support their community and that they engage in different philanthropic activities.

This is also true for the First Financial team!

Our wonderful staff have been actively involved in some fantastic incentives this financial year and today we want to revisit their successes.

Give A Dog A Home

Give A Dog A Home

For our 2018 Christmas party, we decided to do something a little different… an event that created a positive outcome for a local not for profit organisation. Katie Stevens, Office Manager, Executive Assistant and our charity event organiser, explains why we chose this specific event.

“I think it’s nice to participate in some charitable activity at Christmas… where we give something back to the community, instead just having a lunch or holiday celebration… I think the staff really enjoy it, too.

In the past we’ve organised activities that have helped children and the elderly, so this time we wanted to help animals.”

A team building exercise was chosen where we were separated into six groups of seven people and assigned the task of building dog kennels. It was a fun, interactive session as we collected all our materials and got stuck into building through a series of team challenges that were designed to test our leadership, communication, delegation and problem-solving skills.

We also had our creativity tested. Not only did we build our kennels, we decorated them and even had to make a convincing pitch as to why our ‘plush pooch pad’ should be deemed the winner!

At the end of the event, the winners were announced and we had a surprise visit from Pawfect Pals Animal Rescue.

A representative from the animal rescue joined us, along with a furry four-legged friend to make the whole event even more meaningful. Our kennel masterpieces were donated directly to the organisation to help shelter rescue pups.

Many of the First Financial team have pets themselves and almost everyone has a soft spot for companion animals, so it was definitely a cause we felt proud supporting.

We were also extremely proud of the fact that much of the cost of the event was covered by our weekly Friday night drink donations. We chip in a gold coin for a beverage of choice and over the year continue to increase the kitty. It was great to see our funds go towards helping such a wonderful charity.

UNICEF – The Red Zone crisis

UNICEF – The Red Zone crisis

Another organisation that we have supported this year is UNICEF. Many of our team members have young children and this particular appeal resonated with them. The crisis across Yemen, Afghanistan, Somalia and Liberia is impacting one and a half million children. UNICEF says that in Yemen, one child dies every ten minutes and in Liberia one in three children is malnourished.

These staggering statistics are hard to ignore, and we chose to make a financial donation from our remaining staff collection to support the aid organisation.

They provide important nutritional treatments to help bring children back to a safe weight and educate families on health and nutrition to minimise the possibility of relapse.

The UNICEF website states,
“An incredible 92 per cent of malnourished children make a full recovery once they receive the proper treatment.

So far, UNICEF has helped 346,000 children in Yemen and aims to treat another 360,000 children suffering from severe malnutrition in Yemen alone.”

Bionics Institute

Bionics Institute

We are also closely connected to the Bionics Institute in Melbourne. The research and development undertaken by the institute offers hope to people who suffer from chronic and debilitating conditions, including epilepsy.

Chris White, Managing Director, understands how important ground-breaking technologies can be, as his niece has suffered from epilepsy for 20 years.

A cranial implant sensor that is being developed by the Bionics Institute could help predict the occurrence of a seizure and perhaps even apply a therapeutic stimulus to prevent the seizure from taking place.

At a BT Conference in May, Chris nominated the institute for the advisory council donation. And we were ecstatic to hear that they were selected. They raised in excess of $15,000 for the organisation and that will go directly towards combating the effects of epilepsy. Chris says,

“The most amazing thing for me was the number of people that came up and told me they had been directly affected by epilepsy… through either a brother, sister or friend having it. So, it brought home how incredibly devastating the illness is and what an extremely valuable role the Bionics Institute plays.”

We look forward to continuing our philanthropic efforts in the year ahead.

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