“The family that prays together, stays and can save together”, that’s the sentiment Toshuna shared as she spoke about the fact that her brother and mother are also SAVE Up participants. In fact, Toshuna was first introduced to the program by her cousin Tameka who successfully purchased an asset through RISE’s SAVE Up program. Now it is Toshuna who is coming to the office to receive her check so that she can pay off her car. More importantly, her entire family (brother, mother and cousin and even those who have not gone through the program) now considers themselves a “Saving Family”. What could be more powerful than that?
"The road hasn’t been easy but it has been a determined and focused effort" that allowed Toshuna to pay off her car early and save money on the interest she would have paid. This mother of two, who works at a local government hospital as a nursing assistant, has indeed sacrificed for the freedoms she now has. The freedom is the product of investing both her 2014 and 2015 income tax returns into lump sum payments toward the balance of her car. Toshuna says that she and her family can now ride in comfort, free of the burden of a car note. She says that the money she would have paid monthly for her car, will now be used as money toward her daughter’s college fund.
Toshuna is an avid swimmer, who enjoys spending what free time she has writing poetry and reading. She says she enjoyed the six weeks of classes at the RISE Foundation office. According Toshuna the helpful life lesson she took from the program was that there is no excuse for not saving money, no matter how small the amount. She says the major challenge for her was being determined to stick to the spending plan she developed in class. Through this process, she says that she has developed discipline and a willingness to sacrifice for her goals. Goals were a major aspect of the training. In fact, that is the jewel she shares with her fellow RISER’s. Toshuna says that "if you can see it, you can achieve it",which was a lesson learned through the creation of vision boards in class. She says that you should never stop working towards your goals. That is indeed a powerful lesson to live by!
Your contributions to RISE will help more families like Toshuna's to set goals for their families and continue to save a portion of their meager earnings to met their financial Goals. Remember families working together with sound financial tools and technquites can help each other to do more with less!
Ms. Verna maybe well over the age of 65 but she knows the importance of continuing to set financial goals and watching where your money goes. She attributes this to why she is able to keep a smile on her face and to live life. Ms. Verna talks about the instances where she has had some of her checks stolen from the mail box in front of the post office and then, somehow re-written to others for cash. She feels extremely fortunate to have tellers at her bank, who double check things when people they don’t know enter the bank to cash checks on other folks accounts. This saved her the possible loss of over $500.00 which could have been devastating for her to go through all of the process to get her money back.
Ms. Verna shares with others the importance of going through programs at RISE like ‘Common Cents’, to help them see the importance of using traditional banks and keeping up with their balances as well as reconciling their bank account on a monthly basis. She has talked to others who experienced the same fraudulent activity with money orders and cash transactions and some of them never recovered their money. According toMs. Verna, this can be a major set-back for someone on a fixed income, who already has trouble making ends meet any way.
So what does Ms. Verna do now? Well she keeps a brochure in her purse to tell others about RISE and the ‘Common Cents’ program. She also tells them that no matter what your age maybe, that setting aside a certain amount each month for savings is something that everyone should continue to do. If you aren’t worried about emergency household expenses because of your residentially living arrangements, then everyone should be saving for a vacation, giving to their church/charities and perhaps a little for the unexpected needs relating to the education of their grandchildren. She feels that everyone should go through a course like ‘Common Cents’ because common cents is still important for everyone to have , especially when it comes to financial security.
Your contribution to RISE that will support the Common Cents program, will allow others like Ms. Verna to have more joy in their life without having the stress of worrying about how they will pay needed expenses. As a matter of fact “Common Cents is a good Rx (prescription) with good side effects – peace of mind, possible joy and a little happiness”, according to Ms. Verna!
Thanks so much if you decide to support or will be providing continued support of RISE's Goal Card Program. The generosity of donors has helped us transform the lives of many low-income students. Lil’ Charles is a perfect example of how just a little encouragement transformed his life in a positive way after a tragic experience.
Just a few semesters ago, Lil’ Charles grandmother, who's raising him, expressed deep concern over his low academic performance. His grandmother asked the school for help but his teachers didn't think that he was capable of moving to the next grade last year. He was also threatened to be expelled from school because he fought other students who teased him about his family situation. The grandmother who knew about the Goal Card program, enrolled him inspite of the teacher’s prognosis. She also enrolled him in a neighborhood charter school and the rest of the story is history. Lil’ Charles got off to a super start this school year by displaying extraordinary academic progress in each of his classes -- so much that he has made the honor role for the past two nine-week grading periods. His grandmother proudly tells people that “he is not doomed to be on the short yellow bus but is now running and leaping to prepare himself to attend college in the future!"
Lil’ Charles has had to overcome some serious challenges. During his time of academic transition, his mother passed away and he suffered a period of tremendous grief. But he has since channeled his energy in a direction of scholastic aptitude and success in the classroom. We are immensely proud of Lil’ Charles' hard work and dedication. .
RISE can continue to help other students like Lil Charles with your generosity through GlobalGiving. Joins us and be a part of helping to encourage a child to be the best that he can be. Your financial support can make more stories like Lil Charles' have a Wonderful, Happy Ending!