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Innovative Connections
Resource Toolkit for February 2011
In This Issue
Tip of the Month: Catch Your Spending Leaks
Upcoming Financial Education
Health Highlight: The Portland Wellness Tour
Embrace the Break: Activities and Ideas for Kids
April 2-9 is Money Smart Week!
For Our Borrowers
Quick Links
Upcoming Events
Saving, Investing and Risk Management Seminar

*
Wednesday, March 7th from 4:30-6pm at the Lloyd Center, 3rd floor (near the Nordstrom's side of the building).

Call/email Talia to register today: 503-943-5620, talia@innovativechanges.org

 Financial Household Stability Workshops

*Day 1: Saturday, April 16  

 Part 1: Making Ends Meet, 10am-12pm

 Part 2: Budgeting and Saving, 12:30pm-2:30pm                 

*Day 2: Saturday, April 23 

Part 3: Hands-On Banking, 10am-12pm   

Part 4: Building, Repairing and Protecting Credit, 12:30pm-2:30pm

 

3rd Floor of the Lloyd Center Mall (near Nordstroms), 2011 Lloyd Center, Portland

 

*For more info or to register go here

 

Portland Wellness Tour, March 18-26

 *Wellness Tour Kick Off, Pioneer Square, 701 SW 6th Ave. Portland, March 18th - 10-5pm

*Triple Grip on Your Mind Body and Soul - Diabetes Awareness Day, Portland Community College Cascade Campus, 705 N Killingsworth St. Portland , March 19th - 11-5pm

 

* Community Health Awareness Day, Highland Christian Church, 7600 NE Glisan St. Portland, March 20th - 1-7pm

  

*Senior's Health Day, Urban League Multicultural Senior Center, March 22nd - 9-3pm, 5325 NE M.L. King Jr. Blvd Portland.  

 

 *Women's Health Day, Walgreens Drug Store, March 25th - 11-5pm, 6116 NE ML King Jr. Blvd Portland.

  

*Men's Health Project Health Fair, Rosa Parks School, March  26th - 10-4pm

8960 N Woolsey Ave Portland

 

 For more info visit here

 

Tax Season Continues!  

 

* Visit CASH Oregon to find a site near you!

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Greetings!

Spring is almost here and even if the good weather doesn't surface, spring break will. This means kids with lots of time on their hands. In this issue of Innovative Connections, we bring you ideas and resources for keeping kids engaged and busy. Although spring break may not be the most relaxing time, we urge you to think of it as a check point: am I taking care of myself? In addition to looking after kids (or if you don't have any) take time to invest in your own health. Health and financial stability are inextricably linked. Learn about some opportunities to look after your own wellness-financial and health-wise- in the sections below.

 

Also, we're happy to announce that we've officially moved into a new satellite office on the third floor of the Lloyd Center Mall. We'll still be at our New Columbia Opportunity Center offices three days a week, so if you would like to come see us, check in with Sarah, Carmina or Talia to meet with them at the location that is most convenient to you! 

Happy reading,

Innovative Changes

Tip of the Month: Catch Your Spending Leaks

 

leak* Send us your tips! Each month we will collect your innovative money management tips -- these could be about resourceful ways you've saved money, thrifty activities you enjoy, helpful insights into living on a tight budget, etc. We will enter these tips into a pool and if selected, your tip will be featured in the next Innovative Connections and you will win a $20.00 Fred Meyer gift card.*
 

A cup of coffee here, an on the road candy bar there, you run out of cash and need to stop by an ATM to take out money but must pay the $2.25 fee, and suddenly your expenses for the month have surpassed what you planned for. These expenses, or spending leaks, usually seem minor at the time (what difference will a quick snack make?), but they can really add up over the month. Especially during spring break, when schedules are less predictable, it's easy to spend more than you normally would have. Although gratifying in the short term, spending leaks can significantly cut into money that would have otherwise gone towards basic expenses, savings or meeting your future goals. Here are a few tips to avoid the temptation to spend unnecessary money:

 

 1.     Track your leaks. Pick a week and try to keep track of all the random expenses you incur that you wouldn't normally think about. Write them down in a notebook, save your receipts or tally them in whatever way works for you.

  

2.     Plan ahead: When you go to the grocery store or shopping, make a list and stick to it.

 

3.     Before you leave your house, visualize your day in your head and think of anything you might need: lunch, snacks, an extra sweater. Try to carry what you need with you.

 

4.     Take efficient routes when driving; do errands all at once to cut down on gas.

 

5.     Treat yourself, but deliberately. If you find yourself buying a Frapaccino as a reward for yourself, pick certain days that you limit this to (once a week on Fridays).

 

6.     Find cheaper substitutes to your spending temptations- whether that's making it yourself or scaling down to a smaller size.

 

Upcoming Financial Education:seminar 

 

We can hardly believe it, but it's time again for another round of our Financial Household Stability classes! This April, we'll be condensing the four part series into two days. Participants can still take the workshops individually or as a series. With 3 seminars under our belt, we are excited to announce our April, Saving, Investing and Risk Management seminar.

 

Our spring financial education schedule is as follows:

 

appleFinancial Household Stability Workshops: 

 

Day 1: Saturday, April 16  

Part 1: Making Ends Meet, 10am-12pm

Part 2: Budgeting and Saving, 12:30pm-2:30pm  

               

 Day 2: Saturday, April 23 

Part 3: Hands-On Banking, 10am-12pm   

Part 4: Building, Repairing and Protecting Credit, 12:30pm-2:30pm

* For more information on our class series or to register, visit our website.

  

Saving, Investing and Risk Management Seminar:

 

Invest Image
Wednesday,
April 6th, 4:30-6pm

This month we'll be joined by Chris Kiichle, a financial advisor at Pacific Capital Resource Inc. Investing can be intimidating if you don't have enough information, but with time, it can be very rewarding This seminar is for those who have taken some steps to create a longer term budget and are interested in leveraging their money to make the most out of their savings. Chris will give us insight on how to save and invest in a sound and informed way. Participants will leave equipped with tools to plan ahead for a successful financial future.

 

*This seminar is part of our ongoing monthly seminar series covering special topics of interest to our clients. If you would like to suggest or teach a future seminar or find out more information about our education programs, contact Talia (information below).  

 

Our classes and seminar will be held at our new location:  

3rd Floor of the Lloyd Center Mall (near Nordstroms), 2011 Lloyd Center, Portland

 

To Register: call or email Talia at (503)-943-5620/talia@innovativechanges.org.

  

The classes and the seminar are $5 each and $15 for all four classes. Fee waivers are available for those who qualify. Seminars are open to all.   

 

Health Highlight: The Portland Wellness Tour 

 wellness tour banner
It's important to take care of your health even when there's nothing wrong-preventative care can catch problems before they start, keep you healthier longer and decrease medical costs. Just like finances, it's not always easy to stay on top of your health, however, this year's Portland Wellness Tour
 is trying to make it easy.

 

The Portland Wellness Tour, beginning on March 15th, will make 9 stops in Portland over 11 days with a fully equipped health education and screening vehicle.  Health professionals will provide individuals with free screenings for cholesterol levels, blood pressure, glucose, bone density, body mass index and waist circumference. These screenings are designed for detection and prevention of diseases such as high-blood pressure, stroke, diabetes and obesity.  The tour, hosted by Urban League of Portland, the National Urban League and Walgreens, is meant to bring health services to populations in need.


Wellness Tour events include:

 

          Wellness Tour Kick Off event March 18th - 10-5pm 

at Pioneer Square, 701 SW 6th Ave. Portland. 

 Guest Speakers, Planned Parenthood, Oregon Lions Club, Delta Sigma Theta, Walgreens Vehicle,*  and Lions Club Vehicle** 

 

         Triple Grip on Your Mind Body and Soul - Diabetes Awareness Day, March 19th - 11-5pm, at Portland Community College Cascade Campus, 705 N Killingsworth St. Portland.

Music, Guest Speakers, In honor of Barry Hampton, Cornerstone Church, Planned Parenthoodand the Walgreens Vehicle  

 

         Community Health Awareness Day, March 20th - 1-7pm at Highland Christian Church, 7600 NE Glisan St. Portland.

Steve Baker Colorectal Cancer Alliance and the Walgreens Vehicle.

 

         Senior's Health Day, March 22nd - 9-3pm,at the Urban League Multicultural Senior Center,  5325 NE M.L. King Jr. Blvd Portland.

Providence Home Health and Walgreens Vehicle.

 

         Women's Health Day, March 25th - 11-5pm at Walgreens Drug Store, 6116 NE ML King Jr. Blvd Portland.

Walgreens Vehicle

         Men's Health Project Health Fair, March  26th - 10-4pm at the Rosa Parks School, 8960 N Woolsey Ave Portland

The Men's Health Project is partnering with the Urban League of Portland other community members and organizations to present a health fair to reach males and females of all ages in an effort to raise awareness of health disparities and inequities. The fair will include:

Urban League/Walgreens Vehicle, Healthy food samples, Health career information, Resources and involvement opportunities to improve the health of our community and, prevent underage and irresponsible drinking, Booths with health information and community resources

 wellness tour 2010

* The Walgreens Vehicle has Free Screening for: Cholesterol Levels, Blood Pressure, Glucose level, Bone density, Body Mass Index, and Waist Circumference.

 

**The Lions Club Vehicle has free screening for: Vision Acuity, Glaucoma, and Hearing

 

 For a full itinerary, map and details of events at each of the location, check out the Wellness Tour webpage.

 

For more information contact Ty Schwoeffermann at 503-280-2600 ext. 634 or at tyschw@ulpdx.org.

Embrace the Break: Activities and Ideas for Kids 

 

We're lucky to live in an area that has a multitude of programs for youth of all ages during and out of school time. It can be stressful to have your kids off school with nothing to do. Here are some ideas we've come across. If you have any more, feel free to let us know!                

spring kids

 Take advantage of free/discounted days:

  

         Home Depot Kids Workshops These workshops designed for kids ages 5 - 12 are held the first Saturday of each month between 9am - 12pm. 

          Music For All: 12 of Portland's classical music groups are offering $5.00 concert tickets for select performances, now through July 2011 to anyone who receives food stamps (SNAP) and has the Oregon Trail Card.

          OMSI: $2 admission on the first Sunday of each month

          Oregon History Museum: Two children admitted free per one paying adult on the third Saturday of each month

         Oregon Zoo: $4 admission on the second Tuesday of each month

         Portland Art Museum: Free admission on the fourth Friday of each month from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm. Free Pass available from both the Multnomah County LIbrary branches and Washington Country Library branches. 

         Portland Children's Museum: Free admission on the first Friday of each month from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm

         Portland Concert Coop: For a listing of free concerts around town check out Portland concert Coops online calendar

         Posies Cafe in North Portland for parents and kids has  free children's music on Monday and Thursday mornings, along with storytime activities throughout the week. 

         World Forestry Center: $2 admission on the first Wednesday of each month

          Other free Cultural Passes are available from the Washington Country Library branches. Your family can visit the Pittock Mansion, the Portland Art Museum, the Japanese Garden, Rice NW Museum for Rocks & Minerals, and A.C. Gilbert's Discovery Village, as well as the Washington County Museum and Chinese Garden mentioned above. 

         There are an abundance of storytime activities in the Portland area that are always free. See this related Storytime in Portland and surrounding areas article in the Examiner for more details. 

 

Other places to check out:

 

         Your local SUN School and Community Centers have active programming during spring break. Check out the Teen Force program, or SUN school and community center offerings here and here. Community Centers have subsidized membership based on income.

 

crafts         These websites also have listings of economical kid friendly activities:

-         Portland Urban Mamas

-          PDX Kids Calendar

-         20 activities to do with your kids at home

-         Make Stuff: Easy projects, crafts and activities for kids

 

And it's never too early to start thinking about summer. Here are a few programs we caught wind of:

 

         Camp Fire USA is running 4 road trips in the months of July & August, 2011. The 12-

day trips will be filled with fun adventure activities and service projects around Oregon. Financial aid available! To apply visit: http://portlandcampfire.org/our-programs/xploregon. The deadline to apply is May 13th.

 

         The Pangea Project engages teenagers from underserved neighborhoods in local and international service-learning projects in Portland, Thailand and Ecaudor. It promotes the development of leadership skills, increases global awareness, and fosters a commitment to work towards social change, profoundly transforming both the participants and their communities.Registration for the Spring 2011 World CLASS will be happening between now and the end of the year, so have your child sign up if he/she is interested in having developing as a leader, learning about local and global social justice issues, and having the opportunity to travel abroad! If your child attends: Mt. Scott High School, Open Meadow High School or Portland YouthBuilders he/she is eligible to apply.

 

         The Sun Schools have summer school programs with a wealth of acitivities for kids of all ages.

 

         And, the YMCA has summer day camps, adventure camps and specialty camps for kids of all ages.

 

 Enjoy the break! 

 

April 2-9 is Money Smart Week! 

 

Oregon is participating in its first ever Money Smart Week this coming April. Events will take place across the state and cover topics from learning how to apply for a mortgage to teaching young people about credit. Get informed, get in the spirit and attend a free Money Smart Week event! More information available here.

For Our Borrowers

Money treeAre You Receiving Your Payment Reminders?

If you chose to receive your payment reminders by email, make sure that they are coming to your inbox and not your junk mail. If you would like to change the way that you receive reminders (by mail, by email, or by phone call) let us know! Call Talia at 503.943.5620 or Carmina at 503.943.5645.

How to Make Your Loan Payment
  • You can mail your payment by check or money order to: o Innovative Changes, 4610 N. Trenton St., Portland, OR 97203
  • You can drop off your payment (check, money order or cash) at the New Columbia Opportunity Center Front Desk- Mon- Fri, 8am-5pm 
    • Please note the building is closed to the public during the lunch hour (12pm-1pm) and is occasionally closed on Fridays for State furlough days.
       
    • The front desk person has envelopes and is authorized to collect payments on our behalf if we are not in. If you are paying in cash and need change, you must contact Sarah (503.943.5670), Carmina (503.943.5645) or Talia (503.943.5620) in advance to arrange a meeting time. 
       
  • Carmina can accept payments at our Gresham locationby appointment only on Fridays. Gresham Village Square Community Room, 1625 SE Roberts Dr. Gresham, OR 97080. Call Carmina at 503.449.6299 to set up an appointment.             

We Are Here to Help!  

 

Are you having trouble making your payment this month, or afraid that it might be a little late? Let us know! We understand that unexpected events and expenses can make it hard to keep your finances on track, and Innovative Changes wants to be there for you in such cases. Innovative Changes is flexible and willing to work with our borrowers to satisfy loan obligations, and in return we ask for honest and timely communication. Remember, if you know your payment is going to be late, let us know ahead of time and we might be able to avoid charging a late fee, or sending out a late notice.