Empowering from a Distance: Community Stories from our Partners

By Jimmy Chow – Director of Community Relations at Mastercard

Woman and daughter

Since Mid-March, we’ve heard dozens of stories from organizations we work with about the impact they’re making in the community. These tales of individuals, organizations and corporations figuratively coming together in a time of crisis gives everyone at Master Your Card genuine hope for our collective future.

Early this spring were overjoyed to learn Mastercard committed up to $300 million in the fight against COVID-19 (including $1 million to the Community Reinvestment Fund, to help small businesses access federal relief). The figure served as a reminder of the commitment Mastercard has made to bettering the financial future across the country and the world. Since then, we’ve been blown away by the amazing stories of community resilience we’ve seen from our network partners.

In early April we learned about Anna (name changed for this piece) – an immigrant community member in New York. Struggling to make ends meet, Anna traveled two hours to pick up emergency cash support sponsored by the New York Immigration Coalition. Anna believed she was going to pick up a $50 prepaid card. When she arrived at her destination and saw that the card was actually worth $500, she broke down in tears.

In late April we received pictures from a community group in Miami showing children excited to receive specially created Sammy Rabbit financial literacy activity books and prepaid gift cards through the Cuban National Council (CNC).

In early May we helped promote the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship’s (NFTE) fantastic new career relaunch program – a free, self-paced, online course designed to help teach adults the essentials of entrepreneurship. The program, which is free of charge to the public, came at a critical time when millions of American adults have found themselves out of work and in need of concrete career guidance.

In mid-May we got an email from our partner of more than 10-years, Her Honor Mentoring, describing in detail the how they’ve been able to meaningfully pivot their mentorship program by implementing a Master Your Card pilot program made possible through our collaborations with EVERFI, and the Westchester Community Foundation. The program, which offers a 9-module digital curriculum “that deliver a gamified learning experience, blending economic concepts with investing topics” allows Her Honor mentees to earn an official certification for successful completion of all modules. In addition, each module is eligible for 1 hour of “Her Honor compensation.” Through the program, Master Your Card has distributed more than $10,000 directly to Her Honor mentees.

In June, our partner Qualitas shared with us the news that they’ve helped support more than 1,300 News Jersey and New York City-based families through the pandemic with $135,000 worth of gift cards and more than 400 bags of food. Their efforts are part of an effort of six different organizations, including New Immigrant Community Empowerment (NICE) and Mixteca, among others.

These are just six of the hundreds of inspiring programs, stories of hope and pictures of joy we’ve encountered in isolation. While the world recovers and reopens, we’re excited to keep the momentum going through initiatives taking place around the country. The resiliency of the communities we serve inspires us to continue moving forward; protecting justice through empowerment and equality through opportunity.

To every organization, individual and community we work with: thank you. Let’s keep it going!

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