since 1935 | #justbeyourself

Volume 5 | Issue 2 | February 2022
Our Mission: Providing financial solutions for every stage of life.

State of the Credit Union

A letter from our CEO, John Hirabayashi

John H. Siganture
John Hirabayashi

Dear Valued Members,

When our Community First financial advisors talk to members about their goals and aspirations, they discover that what most people truly want isn’t extravagant wealth, it’s financial security. They may have different ideas about what that entails, but for the majority of Americans, building a financially secure future starts in the same place — with saving.

Saving is essential for achieving all types of life goals, from enjoying a comfortable retirement to buying a new car to making it through difficult times with the help of a rainy day fund. Finding the money to set aside for these important objectives isn’t always easy, but the best time to get started is always right now.

It also helps that “right now” happens to coincide with America Saves Week, which takes place from Feb. 21-25 with a focus on helping individuals and families become more financially resilient. America Saves Week highlights daily themes that encourage individuals to get a clear view of their finances, set savings goals and create a plan to achieve them.

The week begins with a recommendation to make saving a habit. One of the best ways to accomplish that is to set up automatic deposits from paychecks or other income. The amount might be small for people who are just starting out, but the key is to establish a habit that can grow stronger over time. The importance of having an emergency fund has been underscored during the pandemic, but America Saves Week emphasizes that your reserve can also be viewed in a positive light, as a source of ready cash to take advantage of opportunities.

Among the most-effective ways to increase your financial resilience is to look for opportunities to reduce interest payments and redirect those savings into your “opportunity fund.” You could focus on paying off high-interest debt, refinancing larger loans, or consolidating multiple credit card balances onto a single card with the lowest interest rate. You could also make a commitment now to use a significant portion of any tax refund that might come your way to reduce debt or move directly into savings.

And don’t be afraid to think outside the box — literally, in some cases. When you’re doing your spring cleaning this year, think about selling stored or other unused items that are just taking up space. You could also sign up for the Community First Save My Change program, which automatically rounds up debit card purchases to the next dollar and deposits the difference into savings.

If you need a little inspiration to get started, consider the experience Chloe Christie, one of Community First’s many members who have taken advantage of our programs to learn more about saving successfully. Chloe says she was reluctant at first to ask for help, but she’s glad she did.

With Community First’s help, I learned so much about the importance of saving,” she says. “Having enough in my savings account for an emergency makes me feel much more comfortable day-to-day, knowing I wouldn't go into debt if something unexpected happened.”

We assist members like Chloe in a variety of ways. I encourage you to take advantage of our moveUP Financial Wellness program, which offers a variety of short courses to help you build financial resilience through healthy financial habits, budgeting and, of course, saving.

We can also help you get motivated by entering our Save to Win challenge, which runs through the end of March and will award cash prizes to three winners chosen by a random drawing in early April. Although you could win up to $1,000, the best part of the challenge is that you’ll get complimentary tips to help you save more.

Helping our members become financially resilient and achieve financial security is an important part of our mission at Community First. In recent weeks, we’ve been reviewing our credit union’s 2021 performance, and we would love to have you attend this year’s annual meeting so we can share our results with you, either in person or virtually.

Take a minute to save the date of March 10 and stay tuned for more information about how to participate. In the meantime, keep saving! 

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Save the Date for the 2021 Annual Meeting

You're invited! Our Board of Directors and leadership team will highlight and discuss the successes and accomplishments of 2021.

As a member, you are a cooperative owner of the credit union. This is your chance to hear about the credit union’s growth and improvements to serve your daily and lifelong financial needs, as well as our efforts to build a stronger community.

Mark your calendar for March 10, 2022.

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Community First Seawalk Music Festival

The Community First Seawalk Music Festival is back for it's tenth year!

Come join us for a FREE, family-friendly event here at Jax Beach. With great food, local vendors, and an amazing band lineup, it's set to be a fantastic weekend!

The festival is set for February 26 & 27, 2022. VIP tickets are also available for purchase.

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Raymond A. Vinson Scholarship

Don't forget to apply for the Raymond A. Vinson Scholarship!
Community First annually awards $8,000 ($2,000 annually per student) in scholarships to five college freshman. The scholarship can be renewed by the student for up to four years giving the student a total award of $8,000!
Please fill out and return the scholarship application to the nearest branch location by March 1, 2022.
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My First Account Virtual Event

We're inviting teens (ages 13-17) to join us Saturday, February 26th from 11:00 A.M. - 12:00 P.M. for our ‘My First Account’ virtual event!
During this free and interactive webinar, teens will learn how to manage their Community First Checking and Savings accounts, navigate Online and Mobile Banking, develop smart money habits, and get tips on how to budget and save.
Plus, everyone who attends will receive a $10 gift card*!

Did we recently help save you money? Did our Mortgage Champions help you finance your dream home? Did you get a sweet new ride with one of our auto loans? We’d love to hear YOUR stories. Share your feedback and get featured on our social media pages 



*Up to 100% financing of purchase price at or below $250,000. Maximum loan amount is $250,000. Closing costs are paid by the borrower. No Private Mortgage Insurance required. Other exclusions and restrictions apply. All mortgage loans subject to credit approval.


P.O. Box 2600
Jacksonville, FL 32232


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