WICHITA, Kan., Friday, April 9, 2021 — Recognizing that smart financial decisions about student loans, credit cards, housing and retirement are critical for stabilizing families and communities, April has been designated by the U.S. Congress as National Financial Literacy Month.
“Financial stability is one of the three important building blocks United Way of the Plains focuses on to improve quality of life and build a stronger community.” United Way President and CEO Pete Najera said, “More than 65,000 of our neighbors in Sedgwick County and surrounding counties live in poverty. The economic uncertainties caused by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) have further affected their current budgets as well as their financial futures. We are fighting to put every person, in every community, on a path toward financial empowerment and financial literacy is part of that cause.”
United Way Board member Ginger Farney with Ernst & Young agrees. “The worldwide pandemic has created additional financial strains that imperil our at-risk populations, including children and veterans. Personal income is about much more than a weekly or monthly paycheck. Rising above the poverty line and then staying there requires tools and education. Access to credit counseling and money management programs are essential so that area families have the knowledge and skills to ensure long-lasting financial wellbeing.”
United Way envisions a more equitable and stronger community through financial stability and supports a number of programs and agencies that affect area families. Read more on the website at unitedwayplains.org/income.
How can you help?
- Encourage those who need credit counseling to call 2-1-1 to locate organizations who can assist them.
- Donate to United Way of the Plains at unitedwayplains.org/donate to increase the reach of programs designed to improve financial stability.
- Volunteer at United Way’s Free Shred Event by contacting United Way Volunteer Center Manager Becky Springer at (316) 267-1321.
UNITED WAY ACTIVITIES IN APRIL
Free Tax Filing Assistance – through Monday, May 17
United Way volunteers continue to provide free income tax filing services through Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) to help area residents reclaim their earned income. Those who make less than $58,000 per year should call 2-1-1 to make an appointment before the new filing deadline of May 17. MyFreeTaxes.com provides free online federal and state tax preparation and filing assistance for qualifying individuals and families.
Free Shred Event – Saturday, April 24
In partnership with Wichita Shredding, United Way is offering a free day for ensuring identity protection through safe disposal of sensitive and confidential financial documents. Participants may bring up to five boxes of paper materials. Volunteers will be on hand to carry the boxes to the shred truck for free shredding. Patrons will not need to leave their cars. The drive-through service will be offered (rain or shine) from 10 a.m. to noon in the United Way parking lot at 245 N. Water St. on Saturday, April 24. See unitedwayplains.org for more details. Call United Way Volunteer Manager Becky Springer at (316) 267-1321 to volunteer at the event.
INCOME AND FINANCIAL STATS
- 12.6% of Sedgwick County residents live below the poverty line.
- $31,006 is the average amount of student loan debt each Kansas borrower owes.
- $137,063 is the average debt the typical American household carries.
RESOURCES AND NATIONAL OBSERVANCES RELATED TO FINANCIAL STABILITY
• April 1-30: National Financial Literacy Month – mymoney.gov
• April 15: National Tax Day (extended to May 17 this year due to COVID)
• April 10-17: Money Smart Week (virtual and in-person library events that focus on first-time home buying, personal spending plans, property tax appeal process, etc.) – moneysmartweek.org
• April 22: Take Your Kids to Work Day (virtual and in-person events to expose children to career opportunities and the education and experience required for various roles) – daughtersandsonstowork.org
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MEDIA CONTACT: Angie Prather, Vice President of Marketing and Chief Community Engagement Officer, (316) 267-1321, firstname.lastname@example.org
United Way of the Plains is a nonprofit and for-impact organization that focuses on health, education and financial stability – the building blocks for a good quality of life and a strong community. Our mission is to improve lives by harnessing the caring power of our community to advance the common good in south central Kansas. Follow us on these social media channels: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.