community-outreach

Share your Community Outreach and Good Deeds

Rent-to-Own professionals are committed to providing affordable options of household products while also keeping customers in their best interest by providing the highest level of customer service. Their commitments aren’t limited to just the RTO business but the community as well.

Many RTO professionals across the country work year around with various non-profit organizations and their communities in efforts to give back and make a difference. The content on this page is to ensure that their community service doesn’t go unnoticed. While those in the industry are busy, they are just as committed to reaching out and making a difference within their communities.

Is your company involved in a community outreach project? Is so, please share your story!

Please contact Valerie Villarreal by phone, (800) 204-2776, ext. 105, or email (vvillarreal@rtohq.org) with the following information:

  • Contact name
  • Event – name, reason, annual?
    • How often does your company collaborate/volunteer/donate with/to this organization?
    • What does the organization do?
    • Why did you select this organization?
    • Links to organizations
  • Date of event
  • Location
  • Attendance/Who participated
  • Agenda or schedule of events
  • Prizes/donation, if any
  • Highlights
  • Photos of events with names of those photographed
  • Media links of community outreach coverage, if any

Catie McDonal House FireRent One’s Store Manager Catie McDonald experienced a fire in her home last week that resulted in the loss of her house along with all of her possessions. Fortunately, there were no injuries however she and her family are faced with starting over. “Treasure what you have because it can be lost in minutes, literally,” shared Catie. “I’m trying my best to just hang in there. I even came into work the following day. What else can you do?”

Rent One worked quickly to help their colleague. “We have a tradition of rallying around our own in need and have found a way that has been successful over the years,” said APRO Treasurer and Rent One President Trent Agin. They shared the news with Rent One associates and allowed them to pledge a contribution through payroll deductions and as of Monday they had raised over to $4000 from over 140 associates along with a $1000 contribution from APRO Past President and Rent One Owner Larry Carrico. “People are kind. When they understand a need and we give them a channel to give they are quick to garner support.”

Catie’s oldest daughter created a gofundme account for her family’s loss with a goal of $1000.

The page reads: Tonight the house that my mom and little brother and sister live in burned down in Vincennes, Indiana due to a stove fire. Luckily both her and her boyfriend came out of it unharmed, and my brother and sister were at their dads. Unfortunately, they lost everything. The house is completely gone. Any little bit counts that anyone can donate. My entire family appreciates it from more than anyone can know. Thank you.

Help spread the word!

Click here to donate today.

Catie McDonald’s contact information:
812-882-5082
catiemcdonald@rocketmail.com

Sure, every kid needs nutritious food, decent clothes, medical care to get by. Add to that list a good night’s sleep. In fact, kids ages 5 to 10 should be spending 3,650 to 4,015 hours a year with their eyes shut tight, getting some quality zzzzzs in a comfortable bed.

Aarons Inc., The Sterling-Rock Falls Family YMCA, Candlelight Inn, and the Sauk Valley Area Chamber of Commerce plan to make that happen for dozens of area youngsters.

In collaboration with schools in Sterling, Rock Falls and Morrison, the partners will be giving away 80 twin beds and bedding to 80 area K-5 students who qualify for free or reduced food programs.

Mike Ceruzzi of Sterling is vice president of operations for Watershed Development Corp., which owns Sterling’s and several other Aaron’s franchises.

“This small idea has grown into a great collaboration with partners who understand there is a need in this community and are willing to take action to address it,” Ceruzzi said in a news release Friday. “We are pleased and excited to be a part of it.”

On March 4, the 80 children and their families will be invited to test out their new beds and pick their bed-in-a-bag bedding at a huge slumber party at the Y, complete with free food and fun activities. The next day, Aaron’s will deliver the beds, one per family, to their homes.

Beds might not be the first things that come to mind when you think of the basics some families need.

“Many times we can the take the simple things in life for granted,” YMCA CEO Andy Thornton said in the release. “Something as simple as a bed with sheets and a blanket are easy to underappreciate. A project like this helps you evaluate your own life and the things that really matter.”

“When we heard about this opportunity, we knew this was an effort we wanted to be part of,” Candlelight Inn owner Matt Prescott said in the release.

“Our kids and our community are a top priority in my eyes. Anything that Candlelight can do to help make our community a better place is simply the right thing to do.”

Source: Sauk Valley Media

United Way of Southern Illinois

Pictured L to R: Regional Manager Brandi Robison, Toni United Way of Southern Illinois and Marion Manager Michael Tripp.

Rent One continues their charitable donations covering more ground making behalf of their Charity of Choice Great Expectations campaign.

Region 2 presented the Charity of Choice check to The United Way of Southern Illinois. Regional Manager Brandi Robison and Marion Manager Michael Tripp presented the check to Toni with United Way of Southern Illinois.

Region 8 also presented a$1,268 check to the United Way of Erie County. Rent One Store 102 Manager Chris Paul, Rent One Store 101 Manager Tony Battaglia, Region 8 Manager Jim Guthrie presented the check to Joelyn Bush from the United Way.

Rent One United Way check presentation

Pictured from L to R: Rent One Store 102 Manager Chris Paul, Rent One Store 101 Manager Tony Battaglia, Region 8 Manager Jim Guthrie, Joelyn Bush from the United Way.

Stay tuned for Rent One’s next stop!

 Click here to read more about Rent One’s 2016 Great Expectations Charity of Choice campaign.

 

CEO CHECK Presentation

Drew Gray accepts a generous $3000 donation on behalf of the CEO class from Mike Ceruzzi, V.P. of Business Operations at Watershed Development Corporation and Illinois Rental Dealers Association board member. Senior Watershed representatives Scott Wallingford, Don Stutzke and Nick Pappocia were also present at the check presentation.

Watershed Development Corporation has contributed $3,000 to the Sterling, Illinois chapter of Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities (CEO).  CEO partners with a community’s businesses and local school systems to mentor high school juniors and seniors to become the next generation of entrepreneurs and business leaders.  Each CEO course spans an entire school year and is designed to utilize partnerships that provide an overview of business development and processes.  Students visit area businesses, learn from guest speakers, participate in a class business, write business plans, and start and operate their own businesses. Business concepts learned through the experiential CEO class are critical; the 21st century skills of problem-solving, teamwork, self-motivation, responsibility, higher-order thinking, communication, and inquiry are at the heart of a student’s development throughout the course.

Mike Ceruzzi, VP of Business Operation of Watershed Development and IRDA board member presented the $3000 check at the SVAAC annual dinner on January 27, 2017.  “We were all so surprised and also grateful for such kindness. I am so often humbled by the support we receive, financial, as well as in the form of tours, expertise, mentoring, and more” commented Le Andra Hartman, CEO Facilitator.

In addition to the financial gift Watershed will host the current crop of CEO students at its Sterling Aaron’s store on February 28, 2017 for a tour and business workshop at which the students will receive an inside look at the rent-to-own business.  Watershed, in conjunction with the Illinois Rental Dealers Association (IRDA) board of directors spent much of 2016 learning about CEO which was started in 2008 by The Midland Institute for Entrepreneurship.  “We are excited to partner with CEO in Sterling.  Business formation is the lifeblood of our economy and we are thrilled to be able to support and nurture our community’s future business owners and job creators,” stated Watershed Development’s President, Casey Pristou.  

About Watershed Development Corporation
Watershed owns and operates Aaron’s (NYSE – AAN) stores throughout Northern Illinois and Iowa. Aaron’s is a leading rent-to-own company with more than 2,000 company and franchise stores throughout North America. Watershed, a franchise operator since 2004, has earned the distinction of being an Aaron’s Top 5 Performing Franchise Operator multiple times since its inception and has been recognized as Aaron’s 2016 Franchise of the Year.

About IRDA
The Illinois Rental Dealers Association (IRDA) works closely with the Association of Progressive Rental Organizations (APRO) to provide membership and the general public with the latest information regarding legislative initiatives concerning the rent-to-own industry. The IRDA works to ensure a vital future for its industry through networking, education, political outreach and legislative vigilance.

Aaron’s, Inc. associates remodel the Keystone Teen Center Monday, Jan. 30, 2017 at the Parkview Boys & Girls Club of Huntington County, in Huntington, Ind., which will be revealed to the teens in a surprise unveiling on Wednesday, Jan. 30. Keystone is Boys & Girls Clubs of America's premier teen leadership program, helping teens develop their character and leadership skills in hopes of helping them reach their potential and creative positive change in their community. (AJ Mast /AP Images for Aaron’s, Inc.)Aaron’s, Inc. (NYSE: AAN), a leading omnichannel provider of lease-purchase solutions, and its divisions Aaron’s and Progressive Leasing, presented teens on Wednesday with a newly renovated Keystone Teen Center at the Parkview Boys & Girls Club of Huntington County in Indiana.

Through a partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) and input from the teen members, Aaron’s and Progressive Leasing associates and Club officials worked last Monday painting, updating a gym, and decorating and furnishing the Teen Club Café and Lounge. On Wednesday, local Aaron’s associates, Progressive Leasing associates and Club officials unveiled the newly-remodeled rooms now equipped with new technology, sectionals, tables and chairs, sound systems and fresh coats of paint. Teens chose the special Sherwin-Williams™ paint colors for the rooms: Deep Sea Blue; Lavish Lavender; Network Gray; and Chalkboard Paint.

“The Parkview Boys & Girls Club is committed to helping its teen members achieve academic success and provide opportunities to practice good citizenship, so it’s essential that they have a state-of-the-art environment to help facilitate those goals,” said John Robinson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Aaron’s, Inc. “Aaron’s is thrilled to make this Club a place that teens can be proud of and help inspire them to work hard and own their futures.”

Aaron’s, Inc. associates remodel the Keystone Teen Center Monday, Jan. 30, 2017 at the Parkview Boys & Girls Club of Huntington County, in Huntington, Ind., which will be revealed to the teens in a surprise unveiling on Wednesday, Jan. 30. Keystone is Boys & Girls Clubs of America's premier teen leadership program, helping teens develop their character and leadership skills in hopes of helping them reach their potential and creative positive change in their community. (AJ Mast /AP Images for Aaron’s, Inc.)Huntington Mayor Brooks Fetters attended the surprise unveiling and congratulated the teens. “I’ve spent most of my life in Huntington and the Club has always been a powerful resource for our community’s youth,” he said.  “With this renovation, Aaron’s and Progressive Leasing has helped improve this space and made it a location Huntington teens are excited to come to every single day.”

In 2015, the Aaron’s Foundation, Inc. announced a three-year, $5 million national partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s Keystone Program, helping teens develop their character and leadership skills in hopes of helping them reach their potential and creating positive change in the community. Keystone Club teen centers provide members ages 14-18 an environment to plan and participate in activities that focus on community service, academic success, career preparation and teen outreach.

The 16 previous Keystone Club makeovers have included Boys & Girls Clubs in cities across the nation such as Los Angeles, San Antonio, Nashville, Buffalo, Dallas and Miami. The makeover at the Parkview Boys & Girls Club of Huntington County includes an additional in-kind retail donation valued at $28,000.

“Teens who attend Boys & Girls Clubs are shown to have improvements in grades, graduation rates and much more,” said Mandy Reber, Executive Director of the Parkview Boys & Girls Club of Huntington County. “We serve hundreds of kids every day and thanks to Aaron’s we’re now well-equipped to provide them with a safe, modern space to help them become leaders in our community.”

Aaron’s partnership with BGCA’s Keystone Program inspires teens to “Own It” by taking ownership of their choices to build the lives they deserve. The Aaron’s and Keystone Club “Own Your Future” campaign supports three principles:

  • Own Your Path:  No matter where you come from, the future is yours to decide.
  • Own Your Decisions:  Making good choices opens more doors for your future.
  • Own Your Community:  Use your talents to make an impact in your community.

To see photos of the Keystone Club remodel at the Parkview Boys & Girls Clubs of Huntington, County, visit Aaron’s on Facebook (www.facebook.com/aaronsinc), on Twitter (www.twitter.com/AaronsInc) and at www.AaronsGives.com.

About Aaron’s, Inc.
Headquartered in Atlanta, Aaron’s, Inc. (NYSE: AAN), a leading omnichannel provider of lease-purchase solutions was founded in 1955, has been publicly traded since 1982, and owns the Aaron’s, Progressive Leasing and HELPcard brands. Aaron’s engages in the sales and lease ownership and specialty retailing of furniture, consumer electronics, home appliances and accessories through its more than 1,860 Company-operated and franchised stores in 47 states and Canada as well as its e-commerce platform Aarons.com. Progressive Leasing, a virtual lease-to-own company, provides lease-purchase solutions through approximately 19,000 retail locations in 46 states. Dent-A-Med, Inc., d/b/a the HELPcard®, provides a variety of second-look credit products that are originated through a federally insured bank.  For more information, visit investor.aarons.com, Aarons.com, ProgLeasing.com, and HELPcard.com.

About Boys & Girls Clubs of America
For more than 100 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America (GreatFutures.org) has enabled young people most in need to achieve great futures as productive, caring, responsible citizens. Today, more than 4,100 Clubs serve nearly 4 million young people through Club membership and community outreach. Clubs are located in cities, towns, public housing and on Native lands throughout the country, and serve military families in BGCA-affiliated Youth Centers on U.S. military installations worldwide. They provide a safe place, caring adult mentors, fun and friendship, and high-impact youth development programs on a daily basis during critical non-school hours. Club programs promote academic success, good character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyles. In a Harris Survey of alumni, 54 percent said the Club saved their lives. National headquarters are located in Atlanta. Learn more at www.facebook.com/bgca.clubs and https://twitter.com/BGCA_Clubs.

192502-simmons-recharge

Simmons executive Michelle Montgomery, third from left, back row, presents new Beautyrest sleep sets to Atlanta-area fire station officials.

Bedding major Simmons recently showed more support for metro Atlanta fire stations with a donation of Beautyrest mattresses through its Firehouse Recharge program.

The company said it completed a donation of 235 mattresses, made over a two-year period, to the DeKalb County fire stations.

Now in its fourth year, Firehouse Recharge is the Atlanta-based Beautyrest brand’s philanthropic initiative to provide fire departments in the metro-Atlanta area with new mattresses, so that firefighters get the restful, recharging sleep they need to keep communities safe, officials said.

“The Firehouse Recharge program is special because it gives us the opportunity to champion good sleep for those who need it most, while also giving us a platform to educate the public about the role quality sleep plays in optimal performance,” said Michelle Montgomery, Beautyrest’s vice president of marketing communications.

“With more than 100,000 yearly responses and one of the largest territories in Georgia,” she continued, “there is hardly a team more worthy of restful sleep than the DeKalb County Fire Rescue Department, and we hope our donation demonstrates our gratitude to these brave men and women.”

DeKalb County Fire Chief Darnell Fullum recently joined Beautyrest representatives and firefighters at Station 6 to celebrate the 2016 mattress donation, which included 85 mattress sets.

That donation, combined with an earlier donation of 150 mattresses, is enough to outfit all of the bunkrooms in the 26-station fire department, which serves 15 communities.

Fullum thanked Beautyrest officials for the donations.

“When firefighters are on-duty, they are on-call around the clock,” he said. “Consequently, it is essential that our fire-rescue personnel obtain the best sleep possible so they are ready to mobilize and save lives at a moment’s notice. Over the past two years, Beautyrest has been a wonderful partner to our department, and we are thankful for its commitment to DeKalb County and to the entire metro-Atlanta fire rescue community.”

Since the Firehouse Recharge program began in 2013, Beautyrest has donated more than 500 mattresses to local fire departments and plans to continue expanding its efforts to the greater metro area and beyond, officials said.

Source: Furniture Today

GreatExpectations_1-10-17

Pictured L to R: Mt. Vernon Regional Manager Terry McLean, Assistant Manager Derek Mocaby, United Way Executive Director Jen Miller, United Way Board Member Dr. Dee Ann Schnautz and United Way Administrative Assistant Kay Dorris

Rent One made three more stops last week as they distributed checks to charities  on behalf of their annual Charity of Choice Great Expectations Foundation. This is the fifth year that Rent One has provided much-needed donations to charities in all of the company’s 10 regions located across the Midwest.

Region 1 presented $4,200 to the United Way Dolly Parton Imagination Library. The Imagination Library program is a literacy initiative launched by Dolly Parton and her foundation in 1996. The United Way of South Central Illinois currently has 874 children enrolled in Jefferson County and 1,274 in all three counties. Click here to learn more about the United Way Dolly Parton Imagination Library.

Jefferson City Boys and Girls Club

Pictured L to R: Rent One Regional Manager David Leavengood, Store Manager Makayla Courtney Store Manager, Boys and Girls Club Executive Director Stephanie Johnson and Boys and Girls Club Director of Marketing Shauna Blanche.

Region 10 presented $5,000 to the Boys & Girls Club of the Capital City. “The Boys & Girls Club of Jefferson City is so grateful to Rent One for supporting its mission of changing the lives of youth. This grant will be used to purchase equipment for the Boys & Girls Club’s Learning Center in its new facility currently under construction,” shared Boys & Girls Club Executive Director Stephanie Johnson. “The Learning Center will benefit hundreds of elementary age children. Boys & Girls Club opens its doors free of cost to low income children in Jefferson City. Thank you Rent One for believing in the potential that exists in every child!”

Jonesboro City Youth Ministries

Pictured L to R: Rent One Regional Manager Brian Adams, Nettleton Store Manager Shanee Oost, City Youth Ministries Executive Director Denise Snider and Johnson Store Manager Amy Adams.

Region 6 presented $5,000 to City Youth Ministries. City Youth Ministries are committed to nurturing children both spiritually and academically. Click here to learn more about the organization.

Stay tuned for Rent One’s next stop!

 Click here to read more about Rent One’s 2016 Great Expectations Charity of Choice campaign.

angelscove

Pictured L to R: David Keen, Angel’s Cove Executive Director Carla Donoho, Rent One Mt.Vernon Store Manager Rhonda Ray and Region 1 Manager Terry McLean

Rent One continued to cover ground last week as they distributed two more checks on behalf of the Charity of Choice Great Expectations Foundation.

Region 1 presented a $2,500 check to Angel’s Cove: Residential & In-Home Maternity Care for Young Women Facing Unplanned Pregnancies. Click here to learn more about the organization.

 

APRO’s Past President and Rent One owner Larry Carrico then presented a $2,000 check to Our Little Haven on behalf of Rent One’s corporate office. Click here to learn more about the organization.

little-haven

Pictured from L to R: Larry Carrico (CEO of SKC Enterprises, Inc.), Chris Munoz of. our Little Haven, and Kris Lowe (Human Resource Manager of SKC Enterprises, Inc.).

Stay tuned for Rent One’s next stop!

 

Click here to read more about Rent One’s 2016 Great Expectations Charity of Choice campaign.

kidsmart

Larry presented a $3000 donation on behalf of the Charity of Choice Great Expectations Foundation. Pictured from left to right: Lauren, Ashley, and Jennifer (founder) from KidSmart, Steven Carrico (Director of Real Estate), and Larry Carrico

Rent One launched its fifth 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 year’s Great Expectations Charity of Choice campaign totaled $62,500.

“The idea was to help our coworkers understand Stewardship and we thought what better way than to allow our employees to make a greater impact. Allowing them to designate through payroll deduct a few dollars per paycheck has created an easy tool for success. Our 500+ employees started the process of giving by pledging over $40,000 and with designated matches created over 100,000 to local charities,” shared APRO’s Past President and Rent One owner Larry Carrico.

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.

Larry presented a $3000 check to KidSmart this week. The donation will be used for the startup of the KidSmart young professionals group. KidSmart is an organization dedicated to providing school supplies for children in need in the Greater Metropolitan St. Louis area. To donate or find out more information about this organization, click here.

Rent One will continue to distribute checks throughout the next couple of months.

Here is the list of regions, charities and the amount donated to each:

What does the future hold for Rent One’s Charity of Choice Great Expectations Foundation? Larry shares, “It all starts with one person giving and last year we had over 453 unique donors who made a difference in their communities. The future of the Foundation is in the hands of our coworkers so we feel excited to see it to continue to grow. We are also so appreciative of our vendors support which continues to grow annually.”