Aaron's, Inc. associates surprised teens with a newly renovated Keystone Teen Center at the Wattles Boys & Girls Club in Portland last Friday. 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 create positive change in their community. (Greg Wahl Stephens/AP Images for Aaron's, Inc.) (PRNewsFoto/Aaron's, Inc.)Aaron’s, Inc., a lease-to-own retailer specializing in the sales and lease ownership of furniture, consumer electronics, home appliances and accessories, surprised teens last Friday with a newly renovated Keystone Teen Center at the Wattles Boys & Girls Club of Portland.

Through a partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) and input from the teen members, Aaron’s associates and Club officials worked last Wednesday painting, decorating and furnishing a study, lounge and games area in a multipurpose space at the Club. On Friday, 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 coats of paint. Teens chose the special Sherwin-Williams™ paint colors for the rooms: Copen Blue; Pink Shadow; Peacock Plume; Pewter Tankard and Belvedere Cream.

“This is our 15th Keystone Club makeover and it’s always an honor for Aaron’s associates to work with the teens to redesign their space.  Together we are creating inviting, exciting and safe places for them to learn and grow as leaders,” said John Robinson, CEO of Aaron’s, Inc. “These Clubs serve a vital purpose, preparing teens for college and beyond with leadership, social action and community service opportunities. Aaron’s is proud to continue its commitment to the Keystone Program with our Portland Club renovation.”

Aaron's, Inc. associates painted, decorated and installed furniture and technology at the Wattles Boys & Girls Club Keystone Teen Center last week in Portland. 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 create positive change in their community. (Greg Wahl Stephens/AP Images for Aaron's, Inc.) (PRNewsFoto/Aaron's, Inc.)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 Keystone Club makeover at the Wattles Boys & Girls Club of Portland includes an additional in-kind retail donation valued at $27,000.

“Our last renovation was over 15 years ago and it was clear to our staff, visitors and especially to our kids that our Club was in need of an update,” said Kelsey Kuhnhausen, Marketing & Communication Coordinator, at the Wattles Boys & Girls Club of Portland. “Aaron’s has gone above and beyond to make a great space for our teens so we can help these future leaders reach their full potential as productive, caring and responsible citizens.”

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 Wattles Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland, 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) is a leader in the sales and lease ownership and specialty retailing of furniture, consumer electronics, home appliances and accessories, and currently has more than 1,930 Company-operated and franchised stores in 47 states and Canada. Progressive Leasing, a leading virtual lease-to-own company, provides lease-purchase solutions through approximately 16,000 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. Aaron’s was founded in 1955, has been publicly traded since 1982 and owns the Aarons.com, ProgLeasing.com, and HELPcard.com brands. For more information, visit www.aarons.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.

xbox-one

Rent One donated an XBox 1S to the Winter Wonderland toy drive.

Rent One is a corporate sponsor of this year’s Winter Wonderland to be held at the Southern Illinois Miners’ Rent One Park. The park will be transformed into a Winter Wonderland and will have fun activities for the whole family.

Rent One has donated an Xbox 1S to the toy drive that will take place onsite of the event. “Rent One is proud to be a part of the Southern Illinois Miners’ Winter Wonderland, coming in December to Rent One Park. In addition to the great events, if participants donate a new toy during the events they will be entered to win a new Xbox 1S from Rent One, “shared Rent One’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing Mark Williams.

The special event will take place on two weekends: December 9th – 11th and December 16th – 18th. The park will be open from 6-10PM on Fridays, 2-10PM on Saturdays and then 2-8PM on Sundays.

Events at the Winter Wonderland will include ice skating, carriage rides and photos with Santa Claus. Both Friday nights will include a fireworks show.  Admissions will be $5 per person on Fridays and Saturdays, and $3 on Sundays.

The first 500 attendees on Friday, December 9th will also receive a special giveaway item.

cover_400px_rtohqso16In the September-October issue of RTOHQ: The Magazine, we offer a twist on our “Now & Then” series of APRO-member profiles. Instead of featuring someone on the rise in rent-to-own alongside an RTO veteran, this issue takes a “Now & Then” look at how the RTO industry has helped those in need after natural disasters. It started in 2005 when Hurricane Katrina caused horrific damage along the Gulf Coast. In its aftermath, APRO launched a foundation to help RTO employees severely affected by Katrina receive financial support. The association’s disaster relief fund has been in existence ever since. The damage caused by the flooding in Louisiana this summer is being compared to Hurricane Katrina; however, the media attention hasn’t been as focused as it was in 2005. But that hasn’t stopped Louisiana Rental Dealers Association President Louis Bacille and others in the industry from helping flood victims recover. In our twist on “Now & Then,” Bacille reminds us that the rent-to-own industry—a business founded on customer service—is often there to help those in need.

Also in this issue, APRO Deputy Executive Director Richard May outlines APRO’s 2017 Dave Egan Legislative Conference, February 8 and 9 in Washington, D.C. In case you haven’t heard, there is a general election this year, one that will cause lots of shifts on Capitol Hill. It is crucial, therefore, that RTO dealers meet with lawmakers old and new to let them know the issues that affect rent-to-own and to remind them that the industry is a valuable part of the U.S. economy.

Ed Winn III, APRO’s general counsel, examines the pursuit of customers who take what’s yours in a feature titled, simply, “Rental Thieves.” There are options for retrieving your big-screen TV that hasn’t been paid for, but are those options worth it?

Finally, wage-and-hour expert Brian Farrington outlines the new overtime rules going into effect December 1. There has been a lot of talk within the RTO industry about these significant changes and, thankfully, we have just the person to sort it all out. In the article, Farrington explains the salary exemption test and how can affect your business.

Click here to read the entire September-October issue of RTOHQ: The Magazine.

187990The Nationwide Marketing Group announced a partnership with a non-profit organization in the Winston-Salem area, located where the group is headquartered. The Ronald McDonald House of Winston-Salem (RMHWS) is a community-supported non-profit organization that provides a “home away from home” for families of children who are receiving medical care in the Winston-Salem community. Most families come from out-of-town and are able to stay at the House while their child is receiving treatment.  Home-cooked meals, warm beds, and recreational programs after long days in the hospital are provided to help families through these difficult times.

187992Nationwide’s employees have signed up, in groups of ten, to spend a couple hours on various days, making treats and snacks for the families residing in the facility. From cookies to salty snacks to delicious dinners and desserts, the Nationwide staff is there to help support the families at the House.

Tom Hickman, EVP of Nationwide, said “We wanted to give back in our community, and what better way than spending time with our peers in an environment that allows us to help families in need. Some of our staff has even brought along their family members, so we are encouraging our whole team to get involved.”

187993The group will continue to provide meals and snacks in the holiday season weeks ahead.

About Nationwide Marketing Group
Nationwide Marketing Group works beside thousands of appliance, furniture, electronics, specialty electronics, custom installation and rent to own dealers helping them grow their businesses and their bottom lines. With over 3,500 members operating more than 10,000 store fronts and $15 billion in combined annual sales, Nationwide is North America’s largest buying and marketing organization. Industry veterans, heading Nationwide’s seven regional divisions, work to provide independent dealers with personalized service and local programming in every market they serve. More information is available at www.nationwidegroup.org.

aarons-keystone-is-boys-girls-clubAaron’s, Inc., a lease-to-own retailer specializing in the sales and lease ownership of furniture, consumer electronics, home appliances and accessories, surprised teens with a newly renovated Keystone Teen Center at the Boys & Girls Club of Pittsburgh’s Sarah Heinz House on Friday.

Through a partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) and input from the teen members, Aaron’s associates and Club officials worked last Wednesday painting, decorating and furnishing a study and lounge area in a multipurpose space at the Club. Last Friday, 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 coats of paint. Teens chose the special Sherwin-Williams™ paint colors for the rooms: Navel, Direct Green and Jay Blue.

“We’re so excited to be kicking off the 2016 school year renovations with the Sarah Heinz House, a landmark after-school teen destination in Pittsburgh,” said John Robinson, CEO of Aaron’s, Inc. “The Boys & Girls Clubs of America are essential to creating supportive and safe environments for kids in communities across the country and Aaron’s is committed to continue empowering teens as we move into our next year of our partnership.”

Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto attended the surprise unveiling and congratulated the teens.  “What an exciting space for these teens to learn how to interact with the community and grow as leaders,” said Pittsburgh Mayor Peduto.  “With public-private partnerships forged by companies like Aaron’s, we are together building strong communities for our teens to develop as tomorrow’s leaders.”

aarons-boys-girls-clubIn 2015, the Aaron’s Foundation, Inc. announced a three-year, $5 million national partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of America’sKeystone 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 Keystone Club makeover at the Boys & Girls Club of Pittsburgh’s Sarah Heinz House includes an additional in-kind retail donation valued at$28,000.

“The Sarah Heinz House focuses on building the character, service and leadership of Pittsburgh kids and teens, and it’s clear thatAaron’s shares these same values,” Dan Turkovich, Teen Director at the Boys & Girls Club of Pittsburgh’s Sarah Heinz House. “Thanks to Aaron’s, our Teen Center now reflects an environment that is conducive to inspiring admirable leaders in our community who give back now and throughout their lives.”

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 Boys & Girls Clubs of Pittsburgh’s Sarah Heinz House, visit Aaron’s onFacebook (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) is a leader in the sales and lease ownership and specialty retailing of furniture, consumer electronics, home appliances and accessories, and currently has more than 1,930 Company-operated and franchised stores in 47 states and Canada. Progressive Leasing, a leading virtual lease-to-own company, provides lease-purchase solutions through approximately 16,000 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. Aaron’s was founded in 1955, has been publicly traded since 1982 and owns the Aarons.com, ProgLeasing.com, and HELPcard.com brands. For more information, visit www.aarons.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 inAtlanta. Learn more at www.facebook.com/bgca.clubs and https://twitter.com/BGCA_Clubs.

cristo-ray-students

(L to R): Cristo Rey students Luis Montoy, Aaron’s Jeff Stine, Adrian Rodriguez, Alfonso Pena, Trish Nguyen, Kennedy Harris, Aaron’s Beth Van Loon, Aliyah Crawford, Stephanie Villasenor, Fatima Morales-Salas and Aaron’s Jill Reinert.

Aaron’s, Inc., a leader in the sales and lease ownership and specialty retailing of furniture, consumer electronics, home appliances and accessories, has partnered with the Cristo Rey Jesuit High School Corporate Work Study Program to provide eight high school students with a work/study program during the 2016-2017 school year.

One of the 32 schools in the nationwide Cristo Rey Network, Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit High School is a college preparatory high school for underrepresented urban youth. In 2003, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, along with venture philanthropists B.J. and Bebe Cassin, provided seed funding to promote the replication of the Cristo Rey schools.  Through rigorous academics, coupled with real world work experience, Cristo Rey students graduate high school prepared for success in college and in life.

As part of the school’s Corporate Work Study Program, each of Aaron’s eight sponsored Cristo Rey Atlanta students will work five full days a month at Aaron’s corporate office. This educational initiative aims to transform the lives of low-income, underserved students in Atlanta.

“We have already been incredibly impressed by the Cristo Rey students and their enthusiasm to learn and participate in daily work/study opportunities here at Aaron’s,” said John Robinson, CEO of Aaron’s, Inc. “In order to have economically-thriving communities, it’s critical that we provide opportunities where young people are prepared and accepted into colleges that will ultimately support a strong career. Aaron’s is excited to offer these teens work experience in a fast-paced business environment that they will recall for years to come.”

By enrolling in this program, students earn the majority of the cost of their own education, and gain valuable real-world job skills, contacts and experience. Cristo Rey Network students go on to college in record numbers, in large part because of their early exposure to the working world. By matching business interests with the educational and economic needs of lower-income students, the program gives at-risk young people their best chance of overcoming the financial barriers that limit their educational and professional opportunities.

“Many good students from low income families in Atlanta have no hope,” said Bill Garrett, President Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit High School. “The Cristo Rey solution provides a rigorous college preparatory academic environment and surrounds the students with people and resources to drive success to assure that each Cristo Rey graduate is accepted to college.”

Aaron’s has a long legacy of giving back, a commitment that was started by founder Charlie Loudermilk and continues today through Aaron’s Gives (www.AaronsGives.com) philanthropic efforts including Aaron’s Foundation, Inc. and the Aaron’s Community Outreach Program (ACORP). The Aaron’s Foundation, Inc. mission is to commit to strengthening the communities in which Aaron’s operates, with a focus on improving the life prospects of at-risk youth. Aaron’s provides at-risk youth with the tools, resources and skills to achieve their goals and to become productive, contributing members of their communities.

About Aaron’s, Inc.
Headquartered in Atlanta, Aaron’s, Inc. (NYSE: AAN) is a leader in the sales and lease ownership and specialty retailing of furniture, consumer electronics, home appliances and accessories, and currently has more than 1,930 Company-operated and franchised stores in 47 states and Canada. Progressive Leasing, a leading virtual lease-to-own company, provides lease-purchase solutions through approximately 16,000 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. Aaron’s was founded in 1955, has been publicly traded since 1982 and owns the Aarons.com, ProgLeasing.com, and HELPcard.com brands. For more information, visit www.aarons.com.

About Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit High School
Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit High School is a Catholic learning community that educates young people of limited economic means to become men and women of faith, purpose, and service. Cristo Rey Atlanta is located at 680 W. Peachtree St. N.W., Atlanta, Georgia 30308, and is part of the Cristo Rey Network.

About the Cristo Rey Network
The Cristo Rey Network provides a quality, Catholic, college preparatory education to young people who live in urban communities with limited educational options. Our mission is clear – college success for Cristo Rey Network students. Member schools utilize a rigorous academic model, supported with effective instruction, to prepare students with a broad range of academic abilities for college. Cristo Rey Network schools employ an innovative Corporate Work Study Program that provides students with real world work experiences. Every student works five full days a month to fund the majority of his or her education, gain job experience, grow in self-confidence, and realize the relevance of his or her education. Students work at law firms, banks, hospitals, universities, and other professional Corporate Partners.

img_6214

National RTO represented by Tom Moore and MRDA by Mary Hazal presenting $3500 to the Lambert Field USO in St. Louis on October 12, 2016.

The Missouri Rental Dealers made their final stop of their five-city charity tour at the USO in St. Louis last week. The award winning USO serves all military bases in St.Louis, Mid-Missouri, Madison, Jersey and St. Clair counties in Illinois.

Associates from National RTO and MRDA presented a $3,500 check to Lambert Field USO in St. Louis. The USO’s eight employees along with 1200 volunteers will provide baskets for 50,000 service men, women and families during the 2016 holiday season.

Click here to view more photos of MRDA’s Charity drive.

warrick-dunn-terorah-davis-and-daughter-londyn-davis

Warrick Dunn, Terorah Davis, and daughter Londyn Davis pose in front of the family’s new, fully-furnished home made possible thanks to furniture and electronics donations from Aaron’s.

Aaron’s, Inc. (NYSE: AAN), a leader in the sales and lease ownership and specialty retailing of furniture, consumer electronics, home appliances and accessories, provided the home furnishings for a surprise home presentation this week to Houston resident Terorah Davis and her daughter as part of Warrick Dunn Charities’ (WDC) Homes for the Holidays (HFTH) program.

“Thanks to the tireless work from Warrick Dunn Charities’ Homes for the Holidays, we are celebrating 149 families who now have a home where they can feel safe and build the lives they deserve,” said John Robinson, CEO of Aaron’s, Inc. “Aaron’s is proud to continue this partnership that benefits single parents across the country like Terorah. We’re happy to provide her with furnishings helping make her house a home for her and her children to enjoy for years to come.”

Warrick Dunn Charities’ Homes for the Holidays assists single parents in becoming first-time homeowners by providing the materials necessary for long-term stability and the provisions required to ensure that both parent and children can thrive educationally, socially and economically. To date, in partnership with Aaron’s and Habitat for Humanity affiliates, WDC and its sponsors have rewarded over 149 single parents and over 400 children and dependents with the American Dream of first-time homeownership in 15 cities across the nation.

donating-home-furnishings

On Tuesday, October 11, Aaron’s helped surprise local Houston resident Terorah Davis and daughter, Londyn, by donating home furnishings and electronics as part of Warrick Dunn Charities’ Homes for the Holidays program.

Aaron’s has been a longtime supporter of Warrick Dunn Charities initiatives and began contributing home furnishings, appliances and electronics to the Homes for the Holidays program in 2003. Warrick Dunn Charities was founded in 2002 by former NFL star Warrick Dunn.

“We’re so thankful to have this partnership with Aaron’s which fills these homes with furniture, electronics and appliances and supports our goal of helping single parents achieve financial freedom and stability,” said Warrick Dunn. “It always brings me so much joy to know we have positively impacted these families’ lives and see the new homeowners full of gratitude and amazement as they walk through their fully furnished home.”

The Davis family was joined by Warrick Dunn Charities Founder Warrick Dunn, Aaron’s Vice President of Southwestern Operations Ryan Malone and Habitat for Humanity of Houston Executive Director Allison Hay.

About Aaron’s, Inc.
Headquartered in Atlanta, Aaron’s, Inc. (NYSE: AAN) is a leader in the sales and lease ownership and specialty retailing of furniture, consumer electronics, home appliances and accessories, and currently has more than 1,930 Company-operated and franchised stores in 47 states and Canada. Progressive Leasing, a leading virtual lease-to-own company, provides lease-purchase solutions through approximately 16,000 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. Aaron’s was founded in 1955, has been publicly traded since 1982 and owns the Aarons.com, ProgLeasing.com, and HELPcard.com brands. For more information, visit www.aarons.com.

About Warrick Dunn Charities
Warrick Dunn Charities provides hope and healing to communities through innovative programming inspired by our Founder’s life journey. Since 1997, the Homes for the Holidays program has rewarded 149 single parents and 380 children and dependents that have achieved first-time homeownership in Atlanta, GA, Baltimore, MD, Baton Rouge, LA, Dallas, TX, Jacksonville, FL,Tallahassee and Tampa, FL Serving single-parent families nationwide, WDC and its partners have combatted poverty, hunger and ensure families have basic necessities and comfortable surroundings to improve their quality of life. Betty’s Hope, a mobile children’s bereavement program provides students aged 5-18 with a safe and responsive environment for them to heal and enhance their quality of life after experiencing a loss. For more information, visit www.wdc.org.

img_0500

Pictured R to L, Front Row to Back: Rental City, Arlyn Kuluva; Rental City, Diana Carrillo; Aaron’s, Vanessa Baptiste; Representative from Harvesters; Rental City, Chuck Kuluva; Aaron’s, Michael Turek; Rent-A-Center, Tony Xiong; Aaron’s, Dana Keller; Central File, Rick Rineberg.

The Missouri Rental Dealers Association made their third stop of their five-city community service tour at The Harvesters in Kansas City, MO.

Associates from Aaron’s, Rent-A-Center, Rental City and Central File packed over one ton (2,100 lbs) of vegetables to be distributed at local food pantries. The vegetables arrive in 50 lbs bags and were repacked into smaller bags, a size to be given to a family.

MRAD presented The Harvesters with a check for $1,000, enough money to provide 3,000 meals.

Click here to view more photos of MRDA in action.

MRDA Gives BackThe Missouri Rental Dealers Association made their second stop in their five-city charity tour last week. Associates from Show Me Rent To Own and Rent One spent a day at the Stoddard County Gospel Mission Food Pantry where they helped separate and prepare dinner packages. They also presented the organization with a $1000 check on behalf of MRDA.

The Stoddard County Gospel Mission collect and give food to 1200 families a month and provide 1500 families with Christmas baskets in December. Mission Director, Kim Slavings, expressed gratitude for any type of food and monetary donations such as the time spent and donation provided by MRDA.

MRDA’s next stops include:

  • Convoy of Hope in Springfield, MO
  • The Harvesters in Kansas City, MO
  • USO in St. Louis, MO

Click here to view more photos of MRDA in action.