OUR PURPOSE:

To convene individuals and organizations with the desire to leverage their talent, resources, and passion to improve the prosperity of Florida’s families.

OUR VISION:

That ALL Floridians have equal opportunities to attain financial stability.

OUR MISSION:

To engage, through a statewide collaboration of organizations that are holistically focused, in providing life-enhancing services to Floridians.
 

A few success stories...

 

A Real$ense client’s journey from Tax Preparation to Employment

Ms. Jennifer Vuich moved from New York to Macclenny Fl. in May, 2012. A single parent with twins, she was struggling without transportation, and having a difficult time finding employment. At the Northeast Florida Community Action Agency in Baker County’s orientation for electric assistance, she found out about the Real$ense Prosperity Campaign. Ms. Vuich had not filed her taxes in the prior year due to moving and she did not have her appropriate W2(s). The Baker county NFCAA staff worked with her to call her prior employer and a W2 was sent. In addition to helping her receive her W2, the NFCCA team was able to provide additional assistance by filing her current and prior year tax returns. To her benefit, Ms. Vuich was eligible and received the Earned Income Credit. With the boost in her income, she was able to buy a car, and pay her childcare bill. A sense of financial freedom came upon Ms. Vuich and she was able to find stable employment. She is very greatful to NFCAA and Real$ense and now she and her family are on the road to financial stability. 

 


 
Joseph Murray is Money Smart
(A Real$ense Client)

Becoming “money smart” has made this a better year for Joseph Murray. Like many veterans, Joseph lives on a fixed income. Last spring, his V.A. caseworker encouraged him to enroll in the Money Smart financial classes to help him learn how to save and spend money wisely. “Although I thought I knew a lot about money and managing it,” says Joseph, “I found out I mostly knew how to spend it.”

The biggest change Joseph made was to actively save 10% of his income every month. Another was to use coupons, make a grocery list, and limit the amount of cash he carries when shopping. He also shifted his banking methods to using a teller at his local branch and saving fees he used to spend at other banks’ ATMs.

“I don’t care how smart you are,” Joseph says, “you have to learn to make good use of your money!”

 

Holly Bell Trains Her Children 
(A Train the Trainer Client)

“The money smart program was very informative and helpful to me and my family since it allowed me to be able to pass the budgeting information on to my college bound children. They are now able to purchase school supplies, groceries and clothing they need and to budget their funds and make sure they have money to last throughout the month.”  -- Holly Bell

 

Rokesha’s New Car 
(A South Florida Urban Ministries Client)

Rokesha Parrish is a single mom who works hard to provide for her children, a 13- year-old son and a 10-year-old daughter.  Her job at a non-profit housing counseling agency, where she helps her clients buy homes and prevent foreclosures. When she needed a car, she caught the bus and got rides from friends rather than go to a “Buy Here, Pay Here” lot. Then she learned about the South Florida Ways To Work program. She completed a Money Smart class, met with Michele Edwards-Collie, the Ways To Work loan coach, and was approved by the loan committee. Now that she has reliable transportation, Rokesha not only drives her children to school, but she also offers rides to her friends instead of asking for rides.

 


Chautauqua School 
Helps Northwest Florida VITA Sites

Even though the students at the Panama City Chautauqua Charter School, led by Cynthia McCauley,  have issues classified as disabilities, they prefer instead to celebrate their abilities by working in their community. In addition to their learning programs, they perform services that include reading stories to kindergartners, delivering meals to the elderly, and assisting with Bingo at nursing homes.

Ron Sharpe, Regional Resource Development Director at United Way of Northwest Florida recently partnered with the students to perform custodial services at United Way’s 2012 VITA sites.  Not only will these students perform meaningful work for which they will get paid, they will also perform a much needed community service.  It is definitely a win-win for both groups and the community.