Rent One Region 7 presented a $5000 check to Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library in Jackson, Tennessee in part its 2017 Charity of Choice campaign.

St. Louis-based Rent One launched its sixth annual Great Expectations Charity of Choice campaign, providing much-needed donations to charities in all of the company’s 10 regions located across the Midwest. Voluntary payroll deductions from Rent One employees were at the heart of the charity drive, with those pooled funds matched by corporate participation as well as contributions from Rent One’s Larry and Sharon Carrico. This Great Expectations Charity of Choice campaign totaled more than $71,000 in 2017.

The charities were selected by each region’s district and store managers, and many of the causes that received Rent One donations focus on the needs of children such as education, spiritual values and youth wellness. In addition to the charities of choice, the company also donated more than $33,000 to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of St. Louis and $16,000 to the United Way Worldwide. This year, Rent One has made a change from donating to the United Way Worldwide to the Feeding America nationwide network of food banks.

This week, Rent One Region 7 presented a $5000 check to Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library in Jackson, Tennessee. The Imagination Library is a book gifting program that mails free, high-quality books to children from birth until they begin school. To donate or find out more information about this organization, click here.

Stay tuned for future coverage as Rent One continues to distribute checks throughout the next few months.

Aaron’s, Inc. participated in surprising single mother of two Catherine Echols as part of its partnership with Warrick Dunn Charities Homes for the Holiday program. The program assists single parents as they become first-time homeowners while Aaron’s helps transform the house into a fully furnished home including furniture, food and all the amenities associated with being settled in a personal home.

“It was quite moving to watch the surprise, tears, and joy shown by Catherine as it began to settle in that this house had been transformed into a move-in ready home,” shares Aaron’s Division Lead Counsel Heather A. Calhoun. “I overheard her 5-year-old daughter, Destini, whisper to herself as she walked into her new pink bedroom, “This is the best day of my whole life.””

Also in attendance of the home reveal was Aaron’s Sales and Lease Ownership President Douglas Lindsay who spoke on behalf of the company and Aaron’s Social Media Manager Chris Dennison who shared the reveal on Facebook Live feed. The community outreach project was recognized by local television station WSB.

Click here to view the Facebook Live feed.

Click here to view the WSB news story.

 

Aaron’s Inc. partners with Warrick Dunn Charities to furnish single mother India Williams’ new home.

Aaron’s Inc. surprised two single-parent families in Tallahassee, Florida by furnishing their entire new home as part of its partnership with Warrick Dunn CharitiesHomes for the Holidays program sponsored by former NFL star Warrick Dunn. The program assists single parents as they become first-time homeowners.

Warrick Dunn Charities, in partnership with Aaron’s and Habitat for Humanity affiliates, helps transform the house into a fully furnished home including furniture, food and all the amenities associated with being settled in a personal home. Referred to as a “hand up” and not a hand-out, these families have successfully completed the homeownership requirements specified by Habitat for Humanity and required by Warrick Dunn Charities.

“Aaron’s is thrilled to once again partner with Warrick Dunn and Habitat for Humanity and present beautiful new homes to these women who have worked so hard to achieve home ownership,” says John Robinson, chief executive officer of Aaron’s, Inc. “I’m inspired by these single mothers, who deserve safe and comfortable homes to raise their children. We are so happy that they can begin the holiday season in such a wonderful way and enjoy their new homes with their families.”

To date, Homes for Holidays have rewarded 157 single parents and more than 400 children and dependents with first-time homeownership in 15 cities across the nation. The latest two homes were presented to India Williams, a mother of four and a clinical support specialist at Big Bend Hospice in Tallahassee, Florida and Maria Wright, a mother of three children whose primary job is to provide nursing care for medically fragile children who are too sick to enroll in traditional daycare at Pediatria Healthcare.

Aaron’s has been a longtime supporter of Warrick Dunn Charities initiatives and has been contributing home furnishings, appliances and electronics to the Homes for the Holidays program since 1997.

Rent-A-Center is gearing up for the holidays with customers in mind. The company has launched its “Make Magic Happen” campaign granting wishes to 60 people November 30 to December 14. The products being gifted include Sony Playstations, Dell 17-inch laptops, Ashley sofa and loveseats, Samsung 55-inch TVs and more.

“Our customers care most about making the holidays special for the people they love and we want to help them make holiday wishes come true for their friends and family,” says Jason Wall, vice president of marketing and sales of Rent-A-Center. “We created this campaign to give back to our customers and to help them make magic happen this holiday.”

Rent-A-Center customers can participate online by visiting the campaign’s website and completing the online form. The associates of the company are also encouraged to participate by nominating deserving customers in which wish list items will be personally delivered.

“This allows us to build closer relationships with our customers and the communities in which they live,” says Gina Hethcock, senior manager public and community relations of Rent-A-Center. “We’re helping to spread the magic of the holiday season, and we’re letting our customers know we care.”

Chris Trotter of USO Missouri; Glenn Killbreath of NRTO; Kathy O’Connell of USO Missouri; Dan Cole, Gerald Harris and Tom Moore of NRTO.

Members of the Missouri Rental Dealers Association met last week to provide community service and financial contributions as part of their third annual charity tour. Associates from National Rent-To-Own (NRTO) volunteered their time and presented a $1000 check on behalf of the association’s board as well as an additional $2500 donation made by Dan Cole, MRDA board member and founder and president of NRTO, to the USO of Missouri.

The USO of Missouri serves 300,000 military members and their families each year. The organization is not federally funded depends solely on donations and volunteers to maintain operations 24-hours a day, 365 days a year. In addition to the two facilities located at the Lambert Airport in Missouri, there is also a USO at Ft. Leonard Wood and a USO Mobile covering the entire state of Missouri as well as the four joining counties in Illinois.

“This will be one of the USO’s busiest weeks of the year as recruits in basic training from places like Ft. Leonard Wood travel home for the holidays including additional personnel from all over the country with layovers in St. Louis,” shares MRDA board member Tom Moore. “They can handle as many as 6000 troops per day during the holidays.”

Click here to read more about the USO of Missouri.

Click here to see more photos of the Missouri Rental Dealers Association 2017 Annual Charity Tour.

 

Mike’s Rent-to-Own Owners Mike Strong and Angela Strong-McCool with Randy McKay (center) of Country 102.9.

Mike Strong and Angela Strong-McCool owners of Mike Strong Inc., dba Mike’s TV-Furniture & Appliances (Mike’s Rent-to-Own) participated in the Food Bank of Reno County’s “Stuff the Trucks” event on Saturday, November 11 in Hutchinson, Kansas. They, along with additional sponsors, collected $3200 in cash donations—$400 donated on behalf of Mike’s Rent-to-Own—and 5900 lbs. of food for those in need.

The Strong’s have volunteered for the local food bank’s “Stuff the Trucks” for the past 6 years, an event which the entire community of Hutchinson, Kansas is encouraged to participate in. Additional sponsors included Midwest Ford & Toyota who provided the trucks for the community to fill at the local Walmart with food items for those in need this holiday season as well as local radio stations, Country 102.9 and My 93.1 who held live remotes during the event.

Those still wanting to help can drop donations off at The Salvation Army located at 700 N. Walnut, Hutchinson, Kansas.

Missouri Rental Dealers lend a helping hand at The Convoy of Hope in Springfield, Missouri.

Members of the Missouri Rental Dealers Association met last week to provide community service and financial contributions as part of their third annual charity tour. Rent-to-own associates from All American Rental and Sales and National TV Sales & Rental volunteered their time and donated a $1,000 check to The Convoy of Hope in Springfield, Missouri.

MRDA participated in preparing meals for children in need as well as assembling disaster relief packages for several areas affected by the recent natural disasters around the world. In the past 20 years, Convoy of Hope has been active in 48 states by providing disaster response, conducting community outreach events, directing nutritional programs and sustainability projects. The organization has also brought help and hope to more than 114 countries.

“We had a great time with our teams.” says All American Rental’s Chief Operating Officer Macy Mitchell. “It was a pleasure to spend time contributing to the betterment of those in need.”

Click here to read more about The Convoy of Hope.

Click here to read more about the Missouri Dealers Association 2017 Annual Charity Tour.

Click here to see more photos of the Missouri Dealers Association 2017 Annual Charity Tour.

Meet Debriel Williams, an employee in the rent-to-own industry and recipient of aid from the RTO Employee Disaster Relief Fund.

Meet Debriel Williams, an employee in the rent-to-own industry and recipient of aid from the RTO Employee Disaster Relief Fund. Hurricane Harvey made landfall on August 28 as one of the most intense hurricanes in U.S. history, spawning as many as 50 tornado warnings in the Houston area. The torrential rainfall caused record flooding. Williams’ home, where she, her family of 7, and their 2 dogs resided, was along Harvey’s destructive path.

Williams and her family initially decided to wait out what she thought was a heavy storm until she identified several rescue boats in the distance and was informed that the neighborhood would then be closed off due to rising water levels. At the time, she recalls the road outside their home had accumulated about two feet of water while it had reached waist-level in some parts of the neighborhood. Luckily, her parents, who live just outside of Houston, were able to pick up the children and get them to safety. Williams, on the other hand, had growing concerns about her pets and looters, so she, her partner, and oldest son stayed behind. “You hear about the crazy things people do during times like these and I just couldn’t leave my dogs,” says Williams. “They’re family too and we didn’t know what the outcome of Harvey was going to be.”

Williams and her family went nearly 10 days without electricity and lost of a lot of personal items including clothing, bedding, furniture, and electronics. Hurricane Harvey also happened to hit on the same day as Williams’ son’s birthday. “He was pretty affected by it,” shares Williams. “Honestly, we didn’t think it was going to be that bad. We thought maybe the lights would flicker on and off for a day at most, but it was totally opposite of what I expected. I’ve never experienced something like this.”

Williams and her family have relocated to an apartment and are currently on the road to recovery. “It’s a work in progress. Slowly but surely, we’re getting back to normalcy,” says Williams. “Working in rent-to-own, I’ve heard a lot of stories from our customers who have lost a great deal—I am blessed that I didn’t lose any family members to the hurricane. I really do greatly appreciate the help…I would not be where I am now, in my apartment, without the help of APRO members.”

For Debriel and others, the RTO Employee Disaster Relief Fund is a bit of hope in a difficult situation. Join APRO in giving back by donating! Click here to donate online, or contact us at 800/204-2776, ext. 111

Regional managers from Aaron’s Inc. met this week to provide community service and financial contributions to the O’Donnell Heights Boys & Girls Club in Baltimore, Maryland. The company donated $28,000 worth of upgrades for the organization’s teen room along with volunteering time to patch up and paint the space.

“Just to see the kids smile is enough,” says Billy Hardison, regional manager of Aaron’s Baltimore. “To give high-risk youths the opportunity to come to a safe place to relax, have fun and just be a kid is the greatest reward.”

The O’Donnell Heights Boys & Girls Club services 50 to 60 kids on a daily basis and the teen room renovations will help bring more kids into the organization. “We had some couches and televisions, but now thanks to Aaron’s, kids will want to come spend time here,” says Matthew Death, vice president of corporate and business partnerships of the Boys & Girls Club of Metropolitan Baltimore. “This is a complete wish list—a dream of what our youths want.”

The event marked the 24th refresh by Aaron’s in communities across the United States. Aaron’s community outreach project was recognized by local television station WJZ.

Click here to view the WJZ news story.

Tiger Cleek, John Cleek, Jr. and members of MRDA present $1,000 to The Food Bank for Central & Northeast Missouri.

Missouri Rental Dealers Association (MRDA) members met last week to provide community service and financial contributions as part of their third annual charity tour. Rent-to-own associates from Cleek’s Inc. dba Aaron’s Sales & Lease and Rent One volunteered their time and donated a $1,000 check to The Food Bank for Central & Northeast Missouri in Columbia, Missouri.

MRDA participated in The Food Bank’s Buddy Pack program that is designed to provide nutritious food over the weekend to children who rely on free or reduced-price lunches during the school year. Buddy Packs typically contain two ready-to-eat entrees, a fruit cup, cereal, shelf-stable milk and a nutritional bar. During the school year, the Buddy Pack program distributes food to 7,500 children in more than 150 schools each week.

“It’s always rewarding to give back to the community and help those in need,” says MRDA President John Cleek, Jr. “This is a great team building service project for our association and a chance to work together with associates from other companies.”

A member of Feeding America, The Food Bank is able to work with manufacturers, wholesalers, processors, growers, retailers and restaurants to secure donations and food at reduced costs. Because of these partnerships, they are able to turn every dollar into $21 worth of groceries. With the $1000 donation presented to The Food Bank for Central & Northeast Missouri they will be able to purchase $21,000 worth of groceries that will help feed thousands of those in need. 

Click here to read more about The Food Bank for Central & Northeast Missouri.

Click here to read more about the Missouri Dealers Association 2017 Annual Charity Tour.

Click here to see more photos of the Missouri Dealers Association 2017 Annual Charity Tour.