Spring FIDA Program – The Gift of the White House

Categories: FIDA Program ($$ Management),News

Written By: Treatrous Jackson, FIDA Director

Tuesday night, our participants for Financial Peace University found their way into our renovated home. Our classes are usually held at a parks and recreations center, but on this night occurred in our newly improved “White House.” For all who don’t know, everyone refers to the house at 782 Prospect Ave as the “White House.”

We had 8 participants and 4 children that came to join us that night for family fun, fellowship, and a great financial lesson. Our first night was all about introductions and stories of why we were there, as well as what we had come to do with the lessons received. Tuesday’s lesson would be the foundation for all other lessons to come.

It was week two and a rainy Tuesday night and we were having a warm meal. Normally rainy nights would change the attendance, but not that night. Even with a change in location we still had 8 participants and 4 children. Our meeting was about “Relating with Money,” which focused on how we perpetuated lessons learned by our families, even if they were lessons that had led to our financial demise.

In our third week, I started my night by letting everyone know how grateful I was for their participation. We were back at the White House and were so grateful to have space. I was able to leave a TV, DVD player, and other supplies in the house instead of lugging supplies around from one location to the next. That night we had 7 attendees and 10 children! It was a blessing that we had enough space to accommodate everyone. Anne Brown, COO was doubling as our childcare coordinator; her exceptional support with keeping the children occupied made our participants feel at ease. Anne had the children work on crafts to pass the time.

As the weeks went by, we created a bond within our group. Many attended because a family member or friend had invited them to our meeting. Everyone had gotten more comfortable with one another, and the classes felt like they have gotten shorter and shorter. The White house has given us stability and a place to be at home.

Our last night together was bittersweet. I instructed everyone that we would play a game: “Debtpardy” – a take on Jeopardy. We were in our normal meeting space, at home at that White House. It just felt right. We converged in the living room for a game night with our family and friends. Blair was one of our most committed participants and was diligent in her commitment to all the meetings. Kevin stated that he was no match for her, and she did win all the prizes given for the night.

Our last meeting was fun and everyone was involved in the festivities. Our greatest prize was the gift of knowledge that all participants gained. For six weeks, our goal was that we would change the lives of the participants. We fulfilled our commitment to give them that knowledge for financial peace to strengthen the entire family. Being in the White House enabled us to do that.

Being at the White House for these classes made the participants feel at ease. We had enough space for all the participants and their children. In the FIDA classes, we provide meals and childcare for all participants. We didn’t have to turn anyone away and tried to accommodate everyone. Being at the White House allowed the participants to watch the financial lessons and have open discussions in the front room of the house while the children worked on crafts in the back room. The participants became very comfortable in the house, so much so, that they didn’t want to leave once the class was over. The renovations at the White House created an environment that was so welcoming and comfortable. We became a family, the financial family, of the White House on 782 Prospect Ave.