RISE Foundation, Inc.

RISE's mission is to help people become self-sufficient by building and sustaining human and financial assets.
Sep 29, 2015

Saving Up While Helping Others

Xylina  learned about the RISE Foundation’s Save Up Program through a friend and entered the program on July 3, 2014. Her goal is to be able to purchase a vehicle. Because of her large family, whenever they attend an event, they need to travel in two vehicles. Her dream is to purchase a vehicle large enough to accommodate herself, her mother, and four children.

She stays busy raising her four children and taking care of her elderly mother, who has dementia. However, she has found the time to complete a Food and Beverage Degree from Southwest Tennessee Community College (SWTCC) and is currently at  working towards a degree in Speech and Theatre. Xylina has been a Memphian for 12 years but when she lived in New York, she enjoyed participating in off Broadway productions. A natural leader with a bubbly personality has enabled Xylina to participate in the Ambassador’s Program, recruiting students for enrollment at Southwest Tennessee Community College. She also completed the Southwest Tennessee Community College Leadership Institute.

While being helped by RISE, Xylina is still willing to help others.  When the RISE Save Up staff was asked to present information about the Save Up program to a group of Hispanic families, Xylina translated the flyers into spanish and volunteered to accompany them to the event in order to make sure that those present would be able to hear in their language the importance of financial literacy and how Save Up could really help them to make better choices with their financial resources.  She even shared a few ponters herself based on what she learned in the class.  So as Xylina is being helped, she also understands the need to cascade the tools and techniques that she has learned to others in the community like her, who want to improve their family situations.      

Xylina has learned a lot about budgeting and managing her credit through the Save Up Program. She says “I have learned what my worth is financially and have learned how to properly allocate my resources, to recognize my financial limitations and act accordingly.” She says “I am not going to lie, it has been difficult to resist making impulse purchases, but I have managed to stay focused and on target with my spending plan. I know that life has its challenges, but you just have to push through it and make things happen and never give up.” She is well on her way to making her vehicle purchase and plans to do so by February 2016.

As Xylina has been helped through your donations, other families are in need of the services of RISE through the Save Up program.  Your continued support will make it possible for RISE to expand it's reach further in the community.  As you can see by the smile on Xylina's face, being able to not only "make ends" meet but to "make ends overlap" with savings for a specific family need,  is something to smile about.   

Jul 31, 2015

Common Cents = Good Financial Choices

A Common Cents Smile
A Common Cents Smile

As in most urban communities, Memphis and Shelby County has its share of families not able to provide for the basic needs of their families.  With one of the highest poverty rates in the country (28+ %) RISE has concentrated on helping families with tools and techniques that can maximized their income while minimizing their expenditures.  Individuals who come to the Common Cents classes always ask, "How is that possible, when I don't have enough income to meet my needs?"

Well, the next discussion involves the difference between a want and a need.  Too often families have succumbed to the desires of their heart by purchasing items that exceed their value because it is the "stylish" thing to do.  For example, does a growing teenager really need to have a tennis shoe that cost $250.00 but will be too little to wear before the end of the school year?  Are those shoes really a "need" or a "want"?  This may be a simple question to most people but far too often families, in an effort to satisfy their children's desires, aren't sitting down with them to clearly explain the impact of these type of purchases on the family’s financial well-being.

Well that's not the case for Ms. Brooks and her family since she has gone through the Common Cents program and learned not only how to develop a spending plan, but how to pay off high interest credit cards and positives of cash only transactions.  This has actually helped the Brooks family have more money available to the family for their basic needs, to save, and have a special family activity each month.

Now that the Brooks children are involved in spending plan decisions, the children are also learning sound money management tips that they will have for the rest of their lives.  You see, it's all about a little common sense that all came from the RISE Common Cents class.

In an effort to bring this facilitated training to more families in the community, RISE plans to conduct training classes for other nonprofit organizations so that “Common Cents” can become contagious.  The more people who use it and share it with others, the reach of RISE will spread like "wild fire", with more smiling faces like Ms. Brooks.  Your support has, and will make this happen.  RISE appreciates every dollar that comes to support families to make better financial choises. Who knows, your support might just help reduce the rate of poverty in this community or at least for one family.

Jun 19, 2015

It' time to move from a house to a home!

Keisha - A Save Up Mother
Keisha - A Save Up Mother

Keisha was a self-referral to the Save Up program because she had never met anyone who had gone through it or been served by any agency in the community that told her how her life could change and that of her children, if she would enroll in the program.  Keisha heard about Save Up after dropping by RISE to deliver some material from her employer to another RISE staff person.  The first thing that caught her eye was the "Wall of Homes" displayed in the office, where others in the same economic situation as she was in (living pay check to pay check and sometimes making poor money management decisions) had purchase some beautiful homes.  She always wanted a home for her family but thought that it would be way in the future, after the kids graduated from high school. 

When she saw the homes the first thing she asked was, "What are all of these pictures of homes for?"  The Administrative Assistant who greeted her at the door, shared with her that the homes were purchased by Save Up families and that they were all low income families who either qualified for the Earned Income Tax Credit, lived in public housing, or had Section 8 housing vouchers.  This little piece of information was enough to wet her appetite to learn more about the Save Up program. Keisha immediately signed up for the next orientation class.

Well, Keisha did qualify and the rest is history.  She has completed her Financial Literacy group meetings and now is in the savings portion of Save Up.  Keisha attends all of the quarterly "Savers Club" meetings and has learned more from her peers in Save Up, by attending the Annual Save Up Family Reunion, as well as other events sponsored by RISE.  She keeps the "Dream Board" that she developed while in class in front of her constantly. This has helped her to stay focused not only on her dream of homeownership, but other things that she hopes to accomplish in her life.

Keisha is just one of the 125 families that are currently enrolled in Save Up and we have more waiting to join her.  Your contribution, and the contributions of others, can make that happen for these families who are on the waiting list wanting to improve their lives financially and make some of their dreams come true.  Please support Save Up because every dollar given is a positive investment to move families from tax benefit receivers to tax payers!  That's what Save Up is all about.

 
   

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