– CEF members, advocates, and staff enjoying Financial Independence Day!
By: Katie Wiley
Traveling alone, the climb toward financial independence can seem longer and higher, with brambles lining the curves of the gravel roads. Building credit and savings takes both time and persistence, as well as the grit to continuously set and work toward new goals, knowing that no step is insignificant. Yet, one does not need to seek this independence alone. Instead, members and advocates of the Community Empowerment Fund have chosen to recognize the strength in each other and in their relationships with one another through Financial Independence Day. On the evening of Friday, July 10th, 2015, the CEF community came together once again to celebrate each other. Under the cool shade of the trees at Chapel Hill Community Center, folks enjoyed tangy cole slaw, flawlessly charred hot dogs, brownies and other sweet treats at the picnic tables.
Whether cheering on the fierce competition at the corn holes, dribbling around on the basketball courts barefooted, or jamming to the summertime music playlist, everyone had the opportunity to step away from busy weeks to simply appreciate time with one another. A talent show also featured several artists, including a guitar solo, the reenactment of classic Power Rangers poses, and some joyful singing.
After tasting all of the food, everyone gathered for the Savings Raffle, in which CEF Savers were celebrated for their efforts in the CEF Safe Savings program and working toward their own financial independence. Everyone who had made a deposit in his or her account over the past month was recognized, receiving a prize from local Chapel Hill and Durham businesses.
Financial independence can mean different things for everyone. For Dorothy, financial independence is a car that allows her to drive wherever she hopes to go—whereas for Sharon, it is paying back her school loans. For others, it might be to save for a housing deposit, to declare independence from an unjust financial system, to pay back past hospital bills. It might be to get a laptop, to start a new business, or to save for a rainy day. Each of us may have different goals, but together as a community, we will continue to support each other as we climb.
Happy FID everyone!