Here at the WCA, we offer a financial literacy program to teach our clients the skills necessary to gain economic independence in a safety-centered setting. Deborah DeSousa, our Financial Literacy Educator, is expanding the program to teach youth and teens these important skills and is able to do this with the help of community members.
We want to continue promoting simple saving activities with our families. Children from our shelter have started to participate in the Idaho Piggy Bank Beauty Contest hosted by the Idaho Financial Literacy Coalition. Each child decorated his/her own piggy bank and entered it in the contest in February. They also made piggy banks again in April to help promote April as Financial Literacy Month.
What is even more significant though is how the generosity of one community member has enabled for each child participating in the event to receive a book about saving and his/her own individually designed piggy bank. This comes from the inspiring donation of banks and books by Susan Taylor, of First Federal Savings Bank. Susan shared her reflections on this donation with us and her words continue to inspire us here at the WCA. We cannot express our gratitude to Susan enough and we hope her words motivate each of you to continue to be the change in our community.
Please describe your donation
When I was told that the Women’s and Children’s Alliance is expanding its Financial Literacy Program to include the children, I jumped at the chance to help with my own personal financial donation to purchase materials for the program! Children are little sponges; they absorb everything around them, good and bad.
As responsible citizens, we must help to educate our future leaders to be financially responsible on a personal level, as well as in business. So many times we see adults who are held as “financial hostages’,” they are unable to get out of unhealthy and abusive relationships because they financially can’t, they don’t have the means, or the know-how. A healthy, vibrant community depends on the education we provide to our youth, we can’t wait until tomorrow, we must start today!
Why did you choose to support the WCA?
Many of us have not been in an unhealthy, abusive relationship and many of us have. My strength comes from my mother. She was in an abusive marriage (physically and mentally) with my biological father, they had three children and we lived in California at the time. My mother’s family (my grandparents) were here in Idaho. My mother was held as a “financial hostage,” she could never be part of a financial conversation and was given very little cash to buy food for the family. My biological father said he would kill her if she ever tried to leave and he would kill “the kids,” too. He beat her up one day, and started going after us kids. My mother had one, and only one, very good friend in California. She asked my mother if she wanted to live like this for the rest of her life, my mom said “No.” My mother got the courage that day to leave him. My mom’s only friend bought bus tickets for us kids to travel to Idaho to our grandparents home and help my mother through the divorce. With one person’s help, our life, my life was changed forever and for that, I am eternally grateful.
Why do you think giving back to the community is important?
We live in an absolutely WONDERFUL community! In order for our community to be healthy, safe, and supportive to our families, we must take ownership! That might be in the form of volunteerism, financial support, becoming an advocate for those in need, and the list goes on. “Pay it Forward”, we hear that phrase so often, now I challenge you “Pay it Forward” in your community. Without your support, our community will not remain a healthy, safe, and supportive place to raise our families.
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