Celina, OH – November 9, 2022 – First Financial Bank and the First Financial Foundation have awarded a $15,000 grant to Mercer County House of Hope in Celina, in a collaborative effort that aims to help people and communities in the area to thrive and grow. The 2022 Annual Grant Campaign from First Financial includes 59 organizations in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky and Illinois. 

Roddell McCullough, chief corporate responsibility officer for First Financial Bank

“First Financial and our associates are proud of our roles as neighbors, leaders and supporters in the communities we serve. By teaming up with these impressive local organizations, we advance our mission to positively impact our communities, and we are excited about the lives that will be touched along the way.”  

Grant awards in this year’s campaign are directed toward neighborhood development, workforce development and education, and culture and the arts, with a particular emphasis on low-income communities. 

In Northwest Ohio, First Financial also provided grants to the Walter C. Potts Entrepreneurial Development and Training Center in Lima and the Van Wert Area Performing Arts Foundation. 

Total funding from all sources for this campaign is $494,000, making it the largest campaign in First Financial history. First Financial has broadened the impact by adding funding from external sources to funding from the First Financial Foundation. External funding sources include CREA, a low-income housing tax credit organization, and the Ohio Capital Impact Corporation, which funds programs specifically directed to benefit residents and neighborhoods in areas with affordable housing.  

Grants for the campaign have pushed First Financial’s total amount of community donations to more than $18.3 million since 2018, far exceeding the goal of $8.5 million originally established in its Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) for 2018-2022. As further demonstration of its commitment to local communities, First Financial also earned the highest overall rating of Outstanding last year from the Federal Reserve Board for its performance under the Community Reinvestment Act, an evaluation that took into account its leadership position in providing an excellent level of qualified community development donations and investments.