In 2008, Itawamba County joined the other CREATE community affiliates in the mission of building local endowments. Throughout 2008, the local Steering Committee of the FIRST Foundation (Friends of Itawamba Responding to Secure Tomorrow) focused on making their communities aware of the giving opportunities that the new foundation provided.
FIRST is a local charitable community foundation through which individuals, families, organizations, and businesses can invest in the future well-being of Itawamba County. FIRST uses income from the endowment to support local initiatives to improve the quality of life for all Itawamba County residents. It is structured to keep pace with the changing times and to make sure that this foundation fund continues to grow and support the community into the future. Having a local affiliate helps donors target charitable giving at home by building an endowment or community savings account.
The FIRST Foundation exists to seek workable solutions to unmet community needs in order to build a stronger bond within their communities. FIRST is currently engaged in the tuition guarantee program for graduating seniors in Itawamba County to attend Itawamba Community College tuition free. In addition, in the coming five years they hope to improve recreation, fine arts, after school tutoring programs, transportation for elderly, and food banks in all the communities in Itawamba County.
What Projects Are Currently The Focus For FIRST?
1. Education- Along with other education projects, FIRST is a proud supporter of the Itawamba Community College Tuition Guarantee Program for graduates of high schools in Itawamba County.
2. Family Aid- Proud supporters of the Fulton Food Bank and the United Methodist Food Pantry-West.
3. Fine Arts- Broadening the horizons of our students and our community.
4. Public Recreational Facilities- New and enhanced public playgrounds for our community.
5. Transportation For The Elderly- Goal is to initiate solutions to meet the critical transportation needs for our elderly
FIRST Foundation provides an opportunity for individuals and businesses to give back to their community and to ensure that their gifts will benefit future generations in Itawamba County. Interested donors or for additional information and questions, contact Vaunita Martin at (662) 862-4571.
Board of Directors:
Chair- Laken Osbirn
Vice Chair- Vince Chamblee
Treasurer- Michele Jones
Secretary- Mike Ellis