Contact: Christy McFarland
COUNTRY Financial awards nearly $300,000 in grants
for financial literacy programs
Most recent grants bring program’s total to $775,000
Feb. 10, 2014, Bloomington, IL— COUNTRY Financial® has awarded nearly $300,000 in grants through its Count on COUNTRY Financial community grant program. Funds were awarded to fifteen organizations across Chicago, Atlanta, Portland and Minneapolis.
The grant program awards organizations that provide educational opportunities and resources to help single parents and their children achieve financial security. Since 2008, COUNTRY Financial has awarded nearly $775,000 to nonprofit organizations with programs that are improving the financial security of families. This was the first year the program expanded to include deserving nonprofits in Atlanta and Portland.
“We believe strong families lead to strong communities. By helping single-parent households achieve financial security, we’re contributing to the overall strength and success of the community in which they live,” said Mike Fisher, COUNTRY Financial agency field executive – new market development. “Our goal at COUNTRY is to make sure that all families, along with the neighborhoods they reside in, have a financially-secure future.”
This year’s grant recipients include:
Chicago: Fathers for the Future, Heartland Human Care Services, Instituto del Progreso Latino, Jane Addams Resource Corporation, North Lawndale Employment Network, Northwest Side Housing Center, Spanish Coalition for Housing
St. Paul/Minneapolis: The Boys and Girls Club of the Twin Cities, Emerge Community Development, Jeremiah Program
Portland: Financial Beginnings
Atlanta: 100 Black Men of Atlanta, HomeStretch Transitional Housing Program, Urban Asset Builders, Warrick Dunn Charities
“Receiving this grant for the second year in a row has allowed us to keep our program’s momentum going as we continue to support Latina women, many of which are single-parent heads of households, achieve economic independence and self-sufficiency,” said Jessi Perez, Program Manager, Instituto del Progreso Latino, a two-year grant recipient. “The generous contribution from COUNTRY will aid in the growth of our Women Advancing: Path to Success program. This year, we seek to enroll 50 new participants, in addition to the 70 participants who will be returning from last year.”
A recent COUNTRY Financial Security Index found nearly 82 percent of single parents have had to cut back on spending to make ends meet due to the overall state of the economy. This reinforces the need for a grant program, such as the Count on COUNTRY Financial grant program, that is geared specifically to supporting nonprofit organizations that help single parents and their children achieve financial security.
Following is an overview of each of the Chicago programs that will be supported by funding from the Count on COUNTRY grant program.
2013 Chicago Grant Recipients
Fathers for the Future
Serving low-to-moderate-income fathers, Fathers for the Future provides resource management skills to help fathers financially manage their households and protect their assets. This Chicago nonprofit organization seeks to promote family economic security and upward mobility.
Heartland Human Care Services
The grant funds Heartland’s IDEA Initiative (“Imagine, Dedicate, Earn, Achieve”), an asset building and financial literacy program for low-wage working adults in Chicago.
Instituto del Progreso Latino
Instituto del Progreso Latino’s Mujer Avanzando: Camino al Éxito (Woman Advancing: Path to Success) program is designed to help Latina women in Chicago. Many of these women are single parent heads of households, who aim to achieve economic independence and self-sufficiency.
Jane Addams Resource Corporation
The Center for Working Families (CWF) program and Careers in Manufacturing Programs (CMP) is a Chicago-based Center with programs which provide low-income individuals with access to the best practical sectorial job skills training and support services to help them achieve financial self-sufficiency.
North Lawndale Employment Network
Based in Chicago, NLEN’s Center for Working Families (CWF) program provides long-term financial planning to low-incomes individuals, the majority of which are single parents.
Northwest Side Housing Center
The Northwest Side Housing Center runs a comprehensive financial education program focused on financial recovery, homeownership, financial literacy for older adults and youth/parent financial security to better the lives of families.
Spanish Coalition for Housing
This Chicago organization provides single parents with financial literacy, education, asset development and individual financial counseling. The Spanish Coalition for Housing (SCH) provides financial stability workshops highlighting topics including: budgeting, savings, checking accounts, credit cards and net worth.
For a complete overview of the grant recipients, please visit http://www.countoncountryfinancial.com.
About COUNTRY Financial
COUNTRY Financial® (http://www.countryfinancial.com) serves about one million households and businesses throughout the United States. It offers a full range of financial products and services from auto, home and life insurance to retirement planning services, investment management and annuities.
Many of the men in the Fathers, Families and Healthy Communities Demonstration Project have at one time been the type of people they wouldn’t have wanted their own children associating with.
But now, on Monday nights, they come to a conference room in the Dawson Technical Institute on the South Side to learn the least technical of things: how to be better men, better fathers and better nurturers — so they can have a relationship with their children.
G. Sequane (pronounced SAY-kwan) Lawrence is the director of the project, which opened the doors to its first class in October 2011. The men who participate are considered “members” and are noncustodial fathers. Lawrence said it’s important to note that they come of their own free will.
“The stereotype is that low-income fathers don’t care and they’re recalcitrant,” Lawrence said. “But that’s not what we’re finding. They haven’t been coerced to be here, and they’re not here by court order.”
He said some were gang-affiliated and have done time in prison… Read the full Chicago Tribune Article Here