We can be the helpers

A message from SecureFutures President and CEO Brenda Campbell


It’s been a strange week. All of us, as individuals, families, organizations, and communities, have had to figure out how best to respond to an unprecedented situation with wisdom and compassion.

After the initial burst of planning and logistics to make sure we were moving forward in a responsible manner—cancelling our programs, postponing our major annual fundraiser, ensuring the health of our employees is protected by enabling them to work from home—we’ve now settled into a new routine. I’ve had some time to think and consider the role SecureFutures can play in meeting the needs that lie ahead.

We won’t know the full social and economic ramifications of this crisis for a long time. One thing we know, however, is that those who were already underserved and vulnerable to financial insecurity will be hardest hit. Our mission, to equip teens with the knowledge and tools to take ownership of their finances, will be more important than ever. We’ll need to get creative, and work closely with our school and community partners, to figure out what resources and support will be most helpful to those struggling.

You’ve all probably heard the quote from Fred Rogers that’s been going around on social media: “When I was a boy and would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’”

I’ve seen many examples of people stepping up to be helpers in this crisis. One that has particularly moved me is what’s been going on with one of the Money Coach alumni who was a student panelist at our recent Your Two Cents event. This young man, whose name I’ll keep private, started his freshman year of college in the fall, but had to leave school this semester to care for a family member experiencing a medical crisis. In the short term, he needed a job to support himself and his family. In the long term, he needed a path back to his educational goals.

At our event, with his permission, I shared his story with the attendees, a group of successful and well-connected business professionals. I asked them to consider job prospects that might exist at their companies or other ways they could put their resources to work to offer him the opportunity to succeed.

This week, even amid the stress and uncertainty that everyone was experiencing, several of those attendees have been in touch to offer concrete support to this young man. It makes me so proud and grateful to be part of the SecureFutures community. You set an example for how we can continue to offer support and advocacy to those in our community who need it most.

Take care of yourselves and each other, and let’s work together in the coming weeks to be the helpers!

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