by Celeste Hamilton, Community Outreach Coordinator, Idealist.org
I know banks are getting a bad rap right now. But hear me out.
With my job, I come across a lot of stories of people reaching across borders, ideologies, issues and more to enact change. But one of my favorites from the past year is CheckSpring, a community bank that serves the predominantly immigrant population in the South Bronx. In an area where check cashers abound, CheckSpring instead focuses on helping the disadvantaged accumulate savings, and empowering them with financial knowledge.
"We’re not out to teach people anything that they don’t seek out, or wave a paternal finger, but provide access to knowledge and tools," says Charlie Wilcox, one of CheckSpring's founders. "We have a great deal of faith in people’s ability in making decisions. If we provide these tools, we have a good shot at making a difference."