img_4140The Missouri Rental Dealers Association have planned a five-city community service tour starting this month through October that includes donating hours of charitable assistance, as well as $1,000 contributions.

Associates from Cleek’s Inc., dba Aaron’s Sales & Lease Ownership, Rent-A-Center and Rent One made their first stop at the Food Bank for Central & Northeast Missouri in Columbia. They spent the day volunteering at the food bank, separating and bagging fish sticks. They closed out their service day by presenting the Food Bank for Central & Northeast Missouri with a $1000 check.

MRDA’s next stops include:

  • Stoddard County Mission Gospel Food Pantry in Dexter, MO
  • 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.


rent-to-own charity featureMorgan Scherer, son of American Rentals employee Rick Scherer, was a 2014 APRO scholarship winner. One of the biggest reasons for his award was his work with “Giving Back to Africa” charitable efforts where he raised $10,000 for the cause hiking the  500 toughest miles of the Appalachian trail with his dog, Niko.

Now his trek is one of the featured stories of a children’s book “I Just Kept Walking” where author Elsa Marston writes about two separate individuals far apart from each other across the world and circumstances. But, the two have similar paths in regards to helping fight against the plight and death in the Congo, Africa.

Mobembo runs for his life and Morgan walks for their lives. Morgan’s describes his journey on the beginning of the first day as a “piece of cake” and ends his day “empty as a popped balloon”. In the end, 17-year old Morgan offers inspiration and awareness for an on-going tragedy in Africa that he continues to help. In his third year at Indiana University, Morgan is now the President of the “Giving Back to Africa” student association.

The book is geared for 4th-5th grade level and can be ordered through their website


Left to right, top to bottom: Derek Watkins, R.O.A.M Dennis Posey, R.O.A.M Wade Woods, R.O.A.M Trampas Posey, Gordon Simmons, Cody Wallace and Gary Simmons

National TV Sales and Rentals of Missouri recently partnered up with the Ava, MO community to raise money for Riders On A Mission.


R.O.A.M Trampas Posey

R.O.A.M. is a group of freestyle motor cross and stunt riders that has one focus and that focus is to share, spread and show the love of Jesus and the word of God whereever they may ROAM.

National TV Sales and Rentals raffled a BBQ grill. The Ava, MO community rallied around the cause to raise over $1300 for R.O.A.M.’s latest mission trip to Nicaragua. The staff presented the check to R.O.A.M at their customer appreciation event on September 18th. 


MidOhio Food DriveThe Ohio Rental Dealers Association is partnering with the Mid-Ohio Foodbank to help keep their shelves stocked. ORDA will host a food drive at this year’s annual Midwest Expo on Tuesday, September 13th at the Crowne Plaza in Columbus, Ohio.MidwestExpo

The ORDA board is asking for your help in supporting neighbors who are struggling to make ends meet. Let’s work together to reach their goal of loading up a truck to the brim. The drop-off location will be on site at the expo at the Crowne Plaza located at 6500 Doubletree Ave, Columbus, OH.

Most Needed Food Items include (but not limited to):

  • Chili with Beans
  • Canned Fruit (in juice/light syrup)
  • Tuna
  • Canned Vegetables
  • Canned Meat
  • Soup with Vegetables
  • Peanut Butter

Please note that perishable, homemade, home-canned and outdated food, bulk packaged weighing more than five pounds or food in glass containers are not permitted.

In addition to food, Mid-Ohio Foodbank also distributes some personal care items such as:

  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Bar Soap
  • Toothpaste
  • Body Wash
  • Toothbrushes (all ages)
  • Deodorant (any)

For every $1 donated to Mid-Ohio Foodbank they can provide 4 meals or distribute $10 worth of groceries. Each pound collected provides one meal!

Mid-Ohio Foodbank contact information:
Grove City, Ohio 43123

Monday – Friday
8:00AM – 4:30PM

Click here to read more about the Ohio Rental Dealers Midwest Expo.


Aaron’s, Inc., a leader in the sales and lease ownership and specialty retailing of furniture, consumer electronics, home appliances and accessories, celebrated its first year of sending 100 underserved kids to overnight camp in five states through the Aaron’s “Own Your Summer” Scholarship Program.

Scholarship recipient spoke about his summer camp experience.

Aaron’s “Own Your Summer” Camp Scholarship recipient, Neville Williams, 13, of Charlotte, N.C. spoke about his overnight camp experience at Camp Harrison this summer. A hundred kids were able to go to overnight camp this summer because of Aaron’s “Own Your Summer” Camp Scholarship Program.

“Overnight camps provide such a wonderful and meaningful experience for kids whose families are able to afford camp, and we’re proud to be able to bring this experience to these young leaders who wouldn’t have this life-changing opportunity without a scholarship,” said Andrea Freeman, Aaron’s Vice President of Marketing. “We set a goal to impact 100 kids by providing them with an experience that would help them grow, and we were able to send them to five amazing camps that are shaping our future leaders.”

At the overnight camps this summer, the scholarship recipients were able to try experiences that build character, leadership skills and confidence. The kids said they were able to participate in activities completely new to them like horseback riding, archery, fishing and building campfires.  The kids also said they learned valuable life skills including how not to give up and how to tear down personal walls so that they could focus on building friendships.

YMCA day campers celebrate the end of summer

YMCA day campers celebrate the end of summer at the McCrorey Family YMCA in Charlotte, N.C. A hundred kids were able to go to overnight camp this summer because of Aaron’s “Own Your Summer” Camp Scholarship Program.

“At camp, you have to practice a lot of leadership and learning to take charge of your own responsibilities; that’s going to impact me for a while,” said a Camp Grace scholarship recipient.

Overnight camps also create events that help the kids establish a sense of community.  The Camp Grace hosts an annual food fight where campers get to truly enjoy being a kid and make great memories while building friendships that last for a lifetime.

Aaron’s “Own Your Summer” Camp Scholarship Program was designed to provide underserved kids with an opportunity to learn the life lessons of developing confidence, team work and decision-making skills that happen during overnight summer camp experiences. In its first year, Aaron’s partnered with five camps in Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts, North Carolina and Tennessee to give $50,000 in scholarships to 100 underserved kids.

Aaron's "Own Your Summer" Camp Scholarship recipients

(Left to Right): Dave Purcell, Camp Harrison’s Executive Director; Mark Rubright, Aaron’s Regional Manager; Andrea Freeman, Aaron’s Vice President of Marketing; and Gwen Tolman, YMCA of Charlotte’s Financial Development Director of Camping Services stand with Aaron’s “Own Your Summer” Camp Scholarship recipients Neville Williams, Sabrina Blackburd, Imani Eason, Savannah Johnson and Elijah Alston.

The five camps each received $10,000 to send between 10-35 kids to overnight camp: The Camp Grace(, Camp Atwater (, YMCA Camp Harrison (, Girl Scouts Louisiana East Camps ( and YMCA Camp Widjiwagan (

To learn more about Aaron’s “Own Your Summer” Scholarship Program, visit and see Aaron’s “Own Your Summer” Camp Scholarship video here.

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 1,940 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,, and brands. For more information, visit

LifesaverThe Louisiana Rental Dealers Association is providing assistance across Louisiana with their LRDA Disaster Relief Fund. President Louis Bacile is at ground zero of the devastating floods in Louisiana and is asking for support in flood relief efforts by family sponsorship.

The parish where Bacile resides has suffered the loss of more than 100,000 homes while less than 15% have flood insurance. He has spearheaded the LRDA Disaster Relief Fund for families who lost everything and to help them through these tough times.

With the help of your RTO donations the LRDA Disaster Relief Fund has thus far sponsored a family of three who found refuge on higher ground as their home quickly flooded leaving them with only the clothes on their backs. Louis’ wife, Laura Bacile, continues to interview families in need. “We have identified several other local families in desperate need of sponsorship and are currently accessing their needs,” said Bacile.

Whether it’s furniture for their homes or clothes for their children, he is asking for state associations to donate to the cause that will help make the process of rebuilding a little easier.

If you are interested in donating to the LRDA Disaster Relief Fund or sponsoring a family please contact LRDA at Checks should be made out to LRDA and mailed to 119 Berryland Shopping Center, Ponchatoula, LA 70454. Please note that 100% of the money donated is going directly to aid Louisiana flood victims.

Genesis White

7-24-13 – North Brookfield – Republican staff photo by Don Treeger- Photos from Camp Atwater, a summer camp run by the Urban League of Springfield. Here, camper Genesis White of Fort Washington, Maryland, works on an art project. Source:

Henry M. Thomas III, president and CEO of the Urban League of Springfield, praised a $10,000 donation from Aaron’s Inc., and matching funds from local donors, saying their generosity provided 10 Springfield youth with two-week stays at Camp Atwater this summer.

Donations from the local companies and organizations helped those 10 campers along with an additional 40 campers from Springfield, Thomas said.

The Urban League is “excited and appreciative” of the gift from Aaron’s, an Atlanta-based retail company, Thomas said.

“Thanks to the generosity of several local companies and individuals, the Urban League was able to leverage Aaron’s gift with local donations to provide a two-week overnight experience for all the campers,” Thomas said.

Camp Atwater, located in North Brookfield, has been a summer camp for black youth for 95 years. It is owned and operated by the Urban League.

The experience offered at Camp Atwater “helps the Urban League do its part in developing youth to be ready to take the mantel for the next generation of leadership,” Thomas said. The camp helps build personal development skills that prepare youth for life opportunities and success, he said.

Camp Atwater is accredited by the American Camp Association and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Aaron’s donation of $10,000 benefited 10 youth in Springfield

Those providing matching funds for those 10 campers and 40 others from Springfield were: Geico, Comcast, Davis Foundation, Westfield Bank, TD Bank, Mercy Medical Center, People’s Bank, Chicopee Savings, Peoples United, Corvias, Colvest, 1st Niagara, Big Y, MGM Springfield, Buckley Richardson, Palmer Paving and one individual, Charlie Spencer.

Aaron’s gave donations to several overnight camps in several states. The company praised Camp Atwater’s mission “to assist in the academic and social growth and development of youth by offering a quality residential camp experience within a safe, nurturing and Afrocentric environment,” Aaron’s stated in a press release.


2015 Scholarship winners

2015 Scholarship winners Sage Buchanan, Coltin Griffith and Mary Cleek with their family members at Fuse’16: APRO’s National Convention and Trade Show

APRO, TRIB, the Tennessee Rental Dealers Association and the Florida Rental Dealers Association awards over 50 students with more than $100,000 worth of college scholarships.

The following are listed by association scholarship amount. APRO, TRIB, TRDA and FRDA each funded this year’s education scholarship foundation.

APRO Scholarship Recipients:
Jacob Adams
Harrison Daniel
Shelby Daniel
Kiersten Hartley

Elizabeth Lytton

Hannah Hogan

Lydia Allen
Andrew Busch
John Cleek III
Mary Cleek
Erin Conachen
Tyler Davis
Sydney Denman
Trevor Dobbs
Jacob Furtney
Faith Jennings
Za’Kazia Morgan
Alec Rotert
Alana Stewart

Matthew Alberta
Nikki Bagoly
Alexis Cherry
Adam Estep
Margaret Gallagher
Zach Hyden
Giovanni Knight
Madeline Lacey
Jordan Levy
Katrena Martin
Austin Maxwell
Javontay Moss
Alexis Nixon
Willard Page
Leslie Phelps
Lindsay Pristou
Laresa Rayner
Sean Reed
Katelyn Romero
Elyse Serrano
Marissa Shutt
Amber Sigmon
Rachel  Sprayberry
Adrianna Vasquez
Sara Waldbauer
Braeden Westhusing
Matthew Whittenberg
Alyssa Williams
Madison Williams

Abigail Wallace

Nick Elkik
Michaela Peterson

TRIB Scholarship Recipients:
Atyrus McDonald

Michaela Peterson

Sage Buchanan
Nick Elkik
Jacob Marcum

Caitlin Miller
Abigail Wallace

TRDA Scholarship Recipients:
Alexis Doroba
Claude Ford
Hannah Hogan

FLRDA Scholarship Recipients:
Caitlin Miller
Abbey Tomaszewski


Group at Mount Moriah Church

Watershed Development Corporation has partnered with the Northern Illinois Food Bank to deploy the Mobile Food Pantry 10 times during 2016.  “Hunger in the communities we serve is very real and the Northern Illinois Food Bank rises to the challenge of feeding our hungry neighbors each and every day” says Watershed President Casey Pristou. The Northern Illinois Food Bank provides 6 meals for every $1 of financial contribution. “We like working with the Northern Illinois Food Bank because every dollar counts. There is no waste,” Pristou added.

The food bank’s Mobile Pantry takes the fight against hunger to a new level. The Mobile Pantry is a unique tool strategically used to combat hunger in what are commonly known as “food deserts.”  These are areas that are either underserved or not served at all by grocery stores or traditional food retailers. Typically, the only place for residents to get food in these areas is at gas stations or liquor stores. The Mobile Pantry is an oasis of relief in these food deserts.

On a typical deployment the Mobile Pantry delivers 10,000 pounds of nutritious food, including meat, fresh produce, bakery goods and non-perishable food to approximately 200 families in need.

See more photos here.

About the Northern Illinois Food Bank
The Northern Illinois Food Bank (NIFB) is a non-profit organization providing food to more than 600 network partners – food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters and youth and senior feeding programs – in 13 counties.  More than 500,000 people each year rely on the food provided by the NIFB to meet their basic nutrition needs.  Essentially the NIFB represents a community of donors, volunteers, supporters and programs with a common goal of feeding our hungry neighbors.  NIFB is a member of the Feeding America network of food banks and has received the Charity Navigator 4-Star rating for eight consecutive years.

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.

Great Expectations FoundationThe Great Expectations Foundation was created by Rent One’s owners, Larry and Sharon Carrico, to enhance the lives of children throughout the Midwest by awarding grants to communities, organizations and groups aimed at helping children age birth to 18.The Great Expectations Foundation awards grants two times a year for programs aimed at children’s education, fitness and wellness, and emotional and spiritual development. As a local and national foundation, Great Expectations makes it possible for smaller communities that may not have access to financial assistance get help for their younger residents so that they have the opportunity to develop as individuals. Read More