Outreach Efforts in the Washington, DC Metropolitan Area

Financial Education Outreach Efforts Handouts - English

Financial Education Outreach Efforts Handouts - Spanish

Alexandria Red Cross Waterfront Festival June 20-21, 2009Alexandria Red Cross Waterfront Festival June 20-21, 2009

Our first event of the season began with a bang, literally, as thunderstorms evacuated all of the exhibitors from the Alexandria pier for a few hours.  However, we hid from the rain under an umbrella lent to us by the generous volunteers at the Wilson Parrot Foundation.  Needless to say, turnout was not very high on Saturday because of the weather.  However, the sunshine and celebration of Father’s Day brought out the crowds on Sunday.  We spoke to over 200 people about saving for retirement and other life events!  Each individual received a Choose to Save® bag containing helpful financial information from ASEC partners, content which focused on avoiding investment fraud, paying down credit card debt, avoiding home foreclosure, financial tips for surviving job dislocation, and other pertinent ‘hot topics.’  It was great to engage with the community, listen to people’s stories, and discuss the importance of a secure financial future!   Special thanks also go out to Lori Schock of FINRA Investor Education Foundation (an ASEC partner) for stopping by the table to chat with some folks!  

Safeway National Barbecue Battle June 27-28, 2009Safeway National Barbecue Battle June 27-28, 2009

Turnout at the 2009 Safeway National Barbecue Battle was HUGE as a result of two glorious DC days.  Over the two day festival we handed out packets and spoke to over 400 people!  We originally had only 200 informational bags with us, but after we ran out of EVERYTHING on Saturday afternoon, we scrambled back to the office to put together 200 additional packets.  These bags contained brochures, calculators, and even a few knickknacks from ASEC partners on a plethora of topics, such as saving for retirement, job dislocation, and how to get smart about money.  A great time was had by all as we hobnobbed with both tourists and residents in the midst of barbecue insanity!  A special shout out goes to the staff of the American Diabetes Association and Family Matters of Greater Washington for making the event even more enjoyable---and for helping to spread the word about the importance of Choosing to Save!

Fauquier County Fair July 16-19, 2009Fauquier County Fair July 16-19, 2009

Early one Saturday morning in July, two members of the ASEC team hopped into the only sedan and headed out to Fauquier County for the first (of many) financial education outreach events outside of the immediate Washington, DC area.  Not knowing what to expect, as one of us had never been to a county fair, while the other had not attended one since childhood, we braved the rocky parking lot heat & humidity so that we could have a grand time talking to more than 100 residents of Fauquier County.  Among the subjects discussed were avoiding home foreclosure, why and how to open a bank account, saving for retirement, and other ‘hot topics.’  Once again, we handed out bags stuffed with financial information, such as brochures, bookmarks, pens, and calculators, on those subjects.  A special thank you goes out to Beth at the Fauquier County Sheriff’s Office for rescuing the Choose to Save table and tablecloth from the summer storms!  We look forward to our next county fair endeavor, Prince George’s County Fair, in September. 

 "Surviving the Recession" Wealthy Lifestyle Radio Live Town Hall Event August 4, 2009“Surviving the Recession” Wealthy Lifestyle Radio Live Town Hall Event August 4, 2009

Hosted by Wealthy Lifestyle Radio’s Deborah Owens and ABC2 Baltimore Anchor Terry Owens, “Surviving the Recession’s” Town Hall Event presented audience members with an opportunity to ask questions to a panel of financial experts.  As an exhibitor, we answered attendees’ questions while handing them Choose to Save bags full of helpful tips on the three most stressed-over topics of the night: identity theft, credit, and foreclosure.  During the two hour event, over 100 individuals stopped by our table in the middle of the mall Food Court.  Other non-profits (including a few ASEC partners) were also there to answer questions and dole out informative financial tools.  Each exhibitor helped to promote the efforts of the other organizations at the table.  Special shoutouts go out to Jennifer Matthews of Creating Financial Literacy, LLC, Joan Lok of FDIC, and Lesley Mason of the Richmond, VA branch of the Federal Reserve Bank!  From energized children, to worried workers, to happy retirees eager to pass along their retirement savings tips, the Town Hall event was a success because of the people we spoke with and worked alongside.  We look forward to the next Town Hall event! 

Prince Georges County Fair, Upper Marlboro, MD September 10-13, 2009

Our experience at Prince George’s County Fair in Maryland was quite different from that earlier in the summer at Fauquier County Fair in Virginia.  Instead of sitting in the summer sunshine, we were seated near the entrance of the huge arena, drawing the entry crowd upon arrival.  Alongside our friends from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and Social Security Administration, we conversed with county residents from rural and urban settings.  Out of the hundreds of stories we hear from fair patrons as they picked up financial education packets was from a middle-aged woman who decided to take action to improve her finances and create a better life for herself and her family.  She created a spreadsheet containing her expenses/debt, then set about creating a plan to pay down all of her credit card debt and lower her monthly mortgage payment.  Three years later, she was free of credit card debt and continuing to ‘contribute the max to get the max’ to/out of her retirement fund—a poster child for financial education, for sure!  As is evident from the photos, our fellow event exhibitors also joined in on the financial education fun!  Special thanks to David at Social Security Administration for helping to spread the financial education mission!

Adams Morgan Day, Adams Morgan Neighborhood, Washington, DC September 13, 2009

Adams Morgan Day proved to be just as diverse, dynamic, and rewarding as the other DC-based summer event, the Safeway National Barbecue Battle.  Thousands of visitors flocked to the Choose to Save® table; within the first hour or so, all of the Hispanic outreach materials and a large chunk of the English outreach materials were depleted.  Having significantly underestimated the number in attendance on that gorgeous Sunday, we quickly handed out a couple hundred packets of financial education information, as well as extra copies of our financial calculators and the Ballpark E$timate Worksheet.  With fantastic music as a background, we interacted with the massive crowds as they stopped by our table to share their financial success stories (zero credit card debt, saving for retirement, creating a budget), seek advice on how to remedy their current economic problems (late mortgage payments, investment scams, too much debt) to create a secure financial future, and find solace in a world of confusion.  We very much look forward to next year, when we will most certainly distribute triple the amount of information in English and Spanish.  Come and join us!

NBC 4 Health & Fitness Expo, Washington, DC, January 16-17, 2010

We were beyond excited for our first financial empowerment & capability event of the year, the NBC4 Health and Fitness Expo, held January 16-17, 2010 in the Washington, DC Convention Center.  Both days we ran out of helpful tips and tools in English and Spanish.  In fact, we gave out over 500 packets of English language content on a variety of topics such as paying down debt, saving for retirement, budgeting, talking to children about finances, new credit card rules/regulations, and dozens of other subjects!  An additional 50 or so packets in Spanish were also distributed.  Many thanks to our friends at the Federal Trade Commission (http://www.ftc.gov), Federal Reserve Board (http://www.federalreserve.gov), and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (http://www.occ.gov) for their help at the Expo!  Together, we spoke to over 1,000 adults and children over the weekend.  We had attended the Expo in previous years, but the current economic situation propelled thousands more to attend this year’s event.  We most definitely look forward to the 2011 Expo!  What a great kickoff to our 2010 Outreach season!