Keosha, an Assistant Manager at the Internal Revenue Service, and single mother of three children, first found out about Greater Memphis Financial Empowerment Center (GMFEC) from a community partner. GMFEC is a program of RISE Memphis and the Shelby County Trustee’s Office, which provides free one-on-one financial counseling to Shelby County residents, regardless of income. Before entering the program, Keosha wanted to become a homeowner, but had not thought much about her spending and saving habits. Now that she is working with a financial counselor, she has focused more on budgeting and saving. Keosha says, “My financial counselor has been great! She has motivated me to stay focused and continue to work on my plan to pay down debt. First, I started paying off the smaller debts, then worked my way up to paying off larger debts. In addition, my financial counselor has connected me to other resources and services in the community, which has been extremely helpful.” Keosha’s dream of becoming a homeowner finally came true in July 2023. Her family now has a place that they can call home, where the children can play, grow, and build memories in a safe environment. Although Keosha has realized her dream of homeownership, she plans to continue to use the financial tools that she has learned as a client of GMFEC to stay financially fit.
Eddie, a retired military veteran since 2015, found out about the Greater Memphis Financial Empowerment Center (GMFEC) when he had a conversation with a financial counselor at his local utility office. Eddie came to GMFEC because he wanted to learn how to better manage his retirement income. He said “I was spending money without considering what I had coming in, and most times, had more month than money. I thought that working with a financial counselor would help keep me accountable in creating a better financial structure.”
Since coming to GMFEC, his financial counselor worked with him to put together a spending plan and spoke to him about the importance of legacy planning. Having the conversation prompted him to take action to ensure that he had the proper beneficiaries for his bank accounts, locating the title on all the vehicles that he owns, and keeping them in a central, secure location. His concern for being prepared for emergency situations prompted him to use the financial checklist provided by his financial counselor to help him understand what he must do personally to be prepared. The discussion motivated him to begin to work on gathering his important life documents to keep in one place and becoming more organized to make it easier for him to go to the next level of his legacy planning journey when he is ready to do so. In addition, the documents will be easily accessible in the event of a natural disaster or other emergency. He now has a level of comfort in knowing what he must do to protect his financial legacy.
With so much going on in the news these days, viewers welcome a “Bright Spot” moment when they get one. Thanks to WREG TV3, Memphis gets a chance to get some good news into the holiday mix with this segment. RISE was recently featured on this program, thanks to Shay Simon and her crew.
President and CEO Shelia Terrell along with Greater Memphis Financial Empowerment Center Operations Manager Karen Madlock, spoke with WREG about financial literacy and education for Memphians. The holidays tend to usher in both free spending and buyer’s remorse. RISE Memphis and its GMFEC partnership with the Shelby County Trustee Office, wish to help residents tackle spending head-on this season.
Common Cents offers area employers the opportunity to give hourly workers the gift of financial literacy and in doing so increase morale, decrease absenteeism, and create greater workforce productivity. Featured classes include banking, budgeting, spending strategies and debt management. GMFEC offers one-on-one financial counseling, focused on assisting citizens with debt reduction, improving credit scores, and increasing family savings. GMFEC services are free to any adult resident of Shelby County for up to 12 months.
Tackle any of your very merry mistakes by reaching out to RISE Memphis today and turn this year's holiday hoax into next year's holiday hopes.
The RISE Common Cents Program has seen a recent spike in requests for employee based financial literacy and education workshops and classes. Many employers have made these requests because of the financial setbacks faced by their employees caused by COVID-19 challenges and high loss of spousal income due to unemployment.
One benefit that employers are introducing into their employment packages is financial wellness seminars. RISE Memphis has received inquiries from local businesses trying to meet the demand of their workforce for ways to better manage their paychecks during these uncertain times. In past years requests would flow in from small businesses, non-profits or church organizations. The world looks much different now and this has accelerated the need to expand our programming in recent times to now include requests from hospitals, manufacturing companies, and labor unions. A desire to get ahead of a down turn in the economy has employees looking for proactive strategies and employers are meeting those demands by reaching out to proven and trusted resources.
RISE has successfully worked with over 4,000 employees over the years to help them make better financial choices through our Common Cents programming. Common Cents, is a workplace financial education program, launched in 2005 in response to broad based concern about poor credit and bankruptcy issues in the Memphis area.
Common Cents offers area employers the opportunity to give hourly workers the gift of financial literacy and in doing so increase productivity, decrease absenteeism, and create greater workforce productivity. The curriculum features topics such as banking, budgeting, and spending strategies and debt management. Memphis-based employees from over 70 companies/organizations have successfully completed the Common Cents curriculum. Your support of RISE programs like this are crucial to the betterment of communities in Memphis and the Mid-South. It produces stable neighborhoods, financially prepared citizens and less reliance on governement programs. An investment in RISE is an investment in Memphis.
The Common Cents program, is a workplace financial education program, launched in response to broad based concerns about poor credit and bankruptcy issues in the Memphis area. Common Cents offers area employers the opportunity to give hourly workers the gift of financial literacy and in doing so increase productivity, decrease absenteeism and create greater workforce productivity. The curriculum features topics such as banking, budgeting and spending strategies and debt management. More than 4,000 Memphis-based employees from 50 companies/organizations have successfully completed the curriculum.
For the next three months RISE will partner with Heubel Shaw Material Handling Company to help their employees become financially fit and financially stable in their lives. RISE will assist them by offering intensive financial literacy and education classes. These Common Cents participants will also be linked with community resources to help them build better financial habits.
Through the RISE Common Cents program, a series of in-person and virtual workshops will cover prudent financial budgeting and spending plan adaptations. For many clients, this will be their first time taking a deep dive into a critical analysis of their finances. Collaborating with the RISE Foundation was the perfect fit for Heubel Shaw because Common Cents is designed to meet people where they currently are in their financial struggle.
This is exactly why Heubel Shaw reached out to RISE both as a supporter of the organization and promoter of its programming. Heubel Shaw President, Mr. Cella knows first hand about offering a hand up and not a hand out. After realizing the mantras of his parents instilling the benefits of financial planning and goal setting, he worked tirelessly to support his own family through self-determination. He eventually created a successful business because he maintained the desire to achieve entrepreneurship, guided by a developed and focused spending plan and budget.
Please consider making a contribution to the RISE Foundation today and help bring the gift of financial literacy to more companies and their employees, large and small throughout Memphis and Shelby County.
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