• In the past year, MakingChange made significant strides in advancing its mission of empowering individuals and families to achieve financial stability. It greatly increased the number of people being served and saw tangible results of its work. It strengthened its partnerships through collaborative efforts to encourage greater self-sufficiency of people who find themselves in need of financial assistance and other support. It became more accessible and more relevant.
• MakingChange got the word out about its services and programs by participating in a number of community events and activities this past year. It was an exhibitor at the annual North Laurel Community Fair, the Howard County Office of Workforce Development’s Youth Job Fair and at the Howard County Office of Military Affairs’ Veteran Resource Fair. In addition, Executive Director Mike Couch served on a number of county boards and task forces and was a guest speaker at civic organizations’ meetings.
• In an effort to expand its community education focus, MakingChange combined its popular Youth Finance (Y-Fi) event with the Money Matters Fair previously hosted by the Howard County Library System. The re-imagined Money Matters Fair included more financial education opportunities for all members of the family. It was a success, attracting over 250 attendees of all ages.
Information on college funding options, achieving a financial goal and caring for aging parents was featured, as well as activities for children ages 12-18. Pro bono financial planners were available for consultation. Over 30 exhibitors provided information about local financial resources.
The next Money Matters Fair is already in the planning stages. It is set for April 24, 2016, at Wilde Lake High School. You’ll be hearing more about it in the future.