APRO Members Larry and Sharron Carrico of Rent One recently donated $5,000 to Kingdom Seeds Ministries (KSM) in Mt. Vernon, Illinois, benefitting local children through various programs emphasizing mentoring, leadership and worship. Through the Great Expectations Foundation, created by the Carrico’s, the donation helped cover expenses for a recent camp run by KSM in June, which included chapel services, laser tag, bounce houses, arts and crafts and other activities.
The Great Expectations Foundation was created by the Carrico’s to enhance the lives of children throughout the Midwest, and several local charities were awarded grants this year through Rent One and the foundation, including KSM, CASA of Jefferson County, Angels’ Cove and the United Way of South Central Illinois.
APRO member and Rent One Development Director David Keen shares that employees from the company’s 85 stores in 11 regions select which charities to give to, and then Rent One and the foundation match those donations. “If [an employee] were to give a dollar, then Rent One matches a dollar and Larry and Sharon matches a dollar so it’s actually a three-for-one match,” says Keen. “So we give out hundreds of thousands of dollars throughout the Midwest pretty much.”
Carrico says one of the unique aspects about this grant program is that employees choose the charities and communities they want their donations to go to, “It’s driven by people in the communities so the co-workers feel they’re a part of it.”
Keen added that KSM was selected in particular because of the impact they have on the community and the nature of their organization.
“We’re just very proud that we were able to donate,” says Keen. “They’re a fantastic organization and when our board met and read their application, we immediately decided to do that.”
Rent One’s community donation was recognized by local newspaper, the Morning Sentinel.
More than 2,000 teens from across the country gathered in Atlanta on June 23 and 24 for the Boys and Girls Club of America’s 51st Annual Keystone Conference, sponsored by Aaron’s, Inc. The conference builds leadership skills, increase awareness and appreciation of diversity and helps establish positive relationships with their peers from around the globe.
“Aaron’s is proud of our national multi-year partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of America and we’re so pleased that this year’s national Keystone Conference was held in our hometown of Atlanta,” says Aaron’s CEO John Robinson. “These teens are making an amazing impact through their community projects that advocate change. We’re so honored to support and help them achieve their personal goals and their Keystone Club outreach projects to ignite change in their communities.”
Teens participated in break-out sessions that focused on discovering their passion, voicing their concerns about their communities, and taking action where they feel change is needed at the three-day event.
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 to 18 an environment to plan and participate in activities that focus on community service, academic success, career preparation and teen outreach.
Ashley Furniture and the Memphis Tigers Football Team recently hosted a Hope to Dream event, giving a new bed set to 100 children in the Memphis area. Each bed set included a twin mattress set, pillow, sheets and comforter. The receiving children were selected through Ashley’s Hope to Dream program and local community partners in Memphis.
The event was held at the Billy J Murphy Athletic Complex on the University of Memphis Campus. Representatives from the Memphis Tigers and Ashley executives spoke at the event. The event included engaging activities such as fun football drills, a facility tour, photo booth, food, and gift bags for each of the children provided by Ashley and the Memphis Tigers.
Chad Spencer, President of the Dufresne Spencer Group, the largest licensee of Ashley HomeStores, is passionate about this program and is excited to bring this event back to Memphis for the 4th consecutive year. “We can have the greatest product at the best price, but if we don’t serve the guest and give back to the community that supports us, we are spiritually bankrupt as a company. That’s why events like this and Hope to Dream are so important to us at Ashley,” says Spencer.
Hope to Dream is an initiative started by Ashley Furniture in 2010 to provide beds to children in the community who do not have one to call their own. A portion of all mattress sales goes toward supporting the Hope to Dream program. Since its inception, more than 50,000 children have received a brand-new bed.
St. Louis-based Rent One will host a BBQ college fundraiser for a longtime friend and APRO scholarship recipient Javontay Moss at Dr. and Marilyn Parks’ Farm on Saturday, June 9, in Mount Vernon, Illinois. Rent One’s Employee Development Director David Keen has been Moss’ Big Brother through the Big Brothers Big Sisters of American program for 15 years and hopes the donations received will help cut costs for college tuition.
Moss will be attending his third year at the University of Southern Indiana where he has accepted a job as a Resident Assistant. Thus far he has accumulated zero student loans and Rent One hopes to offset any expenses he will have during his Junior year in school. Upon graduation, Moss plans to enter the Ministry and attend seminary school. He will spend the remainder of the summer working as a Youth Minister at the Pleasant Hill Baptist Church until he returns to school in the Fall.
For those who wish to donate to the college fundraiser, contact David Keen at email@example.com or 618/316-9502.
APRO member and Premier Rental-Purchase Owner Chad Fosdick participated in Cody Park Concession Stand’s Memorial Day weekend kickoff event on Friday, May 25 in North Platte, Nebraska, by sponsoring the park’s activities. Fosdick sponsored the public event each of the last three years, which features free rides, a petting zoo and face painting.
The first year Premier got involved, Fosdick said the event was an unexpected, overwhelming success. “We just ended up with luck of the draw—that first year we got there very first day they were open,” says Fosdick. “We were unprepared for how well it went over.”
As the event has evolved, Premier has worked to ensure the event runs as smoothly as possible. After the first year featured only rides that left long lines so, Premier introduced a petting zoo and face painting the following year.
“Last year, we were extremely prepared. We got real serious about putting on a real event as well as being organized about who’s doing what when and when, and here we are with our third year,” shares Fosdick.
Through an ongoing partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Aaron’s and Progressive Leasing surprised teens last week with a freshly revamped Keystone Teen Center at the Union Street Clubhouse of the Boys & Girls Club of Manchester.
With input from BGCA, teen members and club officials, Aaron’s associates spent last week decorating and furnishing the Club’s multipurpose space. On Wednesday, local Aaron’s associates and Club officials unveiled the new space, which is now equipped with new technology, sectionals, tables and chairs, sound systems and fresh paint. Teens can enjoy the redesigned areas dedicated to leadership development, study, lounging and games.
“The Union Street Boys & Girls Club provides a supportive environment for Manchester teens to achieve their goals and grow into leaders in their community,” says Chief Executive Officer John Robinson. “Aaron’s is proud to continue to work alongside the Boys & Girls Clubs of America to provide the necessary resources and technology that will instill and foster confidence in these teens.”
Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig attended the unveiling and addressed the crowd. “The support and guidance of the Keystone Club program has a tremendous impact on these teens and they are so deserving of this amazing gift. It was wonderful to see firsthand such an impactful renovation provided by Aaron’s to the Teen Center, which helps set our teens up for success. I am grateful for Aaron’s commitment to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America and to families across Manchester.”
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 Manchester teens who participate in Boys & Girls Club programs are given the confidence necessary to achieve success in the future,” states Boys & Girls Clubs of Manchester Chief Executive Officer Diane Fitzpatrick. “The support Aaron’s has provided through the new state-of-the-art technology, furniture and appliances will help us further our mission and help our teens grow into confident, successful young adults.”
The 27 previous Keystone Club makeovers have included Boys & Girls Clubs in cities such as Pittsfield, Cincinnati, Las Vegas, Chicago, Hartford and Miami. The makeover at the Union Street Clubhouse of the Boys & Girls Club of Manchester includes an additional in-kind retail donation valued at $25,000. Keystone teen members of the Union Street Clubhouse of the Boys & Girls Club of Manchester said the program inspires them to take ownership of their choices to build the lives they deserve.
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. surprised two single-parent families in Tallahassee, Florida by furnishing their entire new home as part of its partnership with Warrick Dunn Charities’ Homes 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.”