Friday, June 22, 2018

Putting the pieces together

The Robinson family leverages ACFCU, community partners

The Robinson Family will become homeowners
this summer.
This summer, Mary and Demarcus Robinson and their twin daughters, Kay’a and Kaiya, will move into a home they can truly call their own. The American Dream is within the Robinsons' reach largely because of their experience as ACFCU members.
 “If the weather holds up we should be in by the end of July,” Mary said of the family’s move to a three-bedroom home in Patriot Place. The Elizabethton, Tenn. subdivision is a project of Eastern Eight Community Development Corp., one of ACFCU's many community partners. Without the credit union’s “Project Reinvest” down payment assistance program, the Robinsons, like so many hard-working families in Central Appalachia do, would have faced an uphill challenge in their journey toward homeownership.
The Robinsons exemplify ACFCU’s purpose of “Building Financial Relationships One Member at a Time,” as their relationship with the credit union goes back much further than Project Reinvest. The family moved to Johnson City, Tenn. five years ago. The church they joined had partnered with ACFCU on several endeavors and the couple followed Pastor Michael Cummings’ advice to join the credit union. Mary said she’s never regretted the decision, thanks to a couple key things: a strong relationship with Mimi Fink of ACFCU's Johnson City branch and the way ACFCU’s pursuit of its mission has impacted her family.
“Mimi is fantastic,” Mary said. “I’ve worked with her almost every time I’ve gone in. She’s always got that ready smile and she doesn’t fail to ask how the day is going, about how my family is doing, so she’s wonderful.”
Through the years, Mary has taken advantage of several resources ACFCU offers as an ever-growing Community Development Financial Institution. Last year, she learned about the VITA free tax preparation program and the Robinsons made the trek to Gray on a Monday night, twins in tow.
“It was such a good experience last year we decided to come back.”
Between those VITA sessions, the Robinsons ran into a roadblock with upfront costs for the Elizabethton house. They applied for Project Reinvest and received $10,500 in assistance from ACFCU, getting eight hours of homeownership counseling in the bargain.
Mary is determined to leverage her relationship with ACFCU as she and Demarcus raise two kids and juggle work and childcare, which she called “just a little bit hectic.” She said her goal is to keep building her financial awareness and capacity with the credit union by her side.
“There are times when you feel like you’re drowning, and working with ACFCU is helping me get on track and start going in the direction where I want to be.”
In the end, she said, it’s about setting an example.
“I think every day about how this impacts the girls. One of the things I wanted for them was a home, and you guys have helped make that happen.”

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