Why I am a Champion for this Cause
I have worked at Alternatives for 31 rewarding years. I have seen many, many lives changed from the great work we do in our community. These changes have happened because of the many different services we offer in addition to regular transactional and loan products. Alternatives has a Community Programs department that offers free financial counseling, matched savings accounts for homeownership, business and education expenses, a Youth Credit Union that is in all of the Ithaca public elementary schools, small business development classes and support and free tax preparation.
One of the most moving experiences I have had was working with a family from Africa whose teenage son was interning at the Credit Union. I told him about the IDA program which is a matched savings program for education expenses. If he saved $1000, the program would add $2000 to his account. He had to ask his mother for permission to join the program and she immediately did not trust the “free money”. She would not allow him to enroll at first but was reassured after we had a few conversations. Ultimately she enrolled in the homeownership IDA program, she bought a house, he went to college with $3000 and their lives were forever changed.
It would mean the world to me if you would support this campaign which will provide support for the good work Alternatives does.