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Count on Country

COUNTRY Financial Awards $110,000 To Six Chicago Organizations

January 14, 2013


COUNTRY Financial® has awarded $110,000 in grants to six Chicago organizations through its 2012 Count on COUNTRY community grant program. This year marks the fifth consecutive year COUNTRY Financial has awarded grants to Chicago-area nonprofit organizations.

This year’s grant recipients include the Center for Economic Progress, Chicago Urban League, Heartland Human Care Services, Instituto del Progreso Latino, Jane Addams Resource Corporation and the North Lawndale Employment Network.

In the last four years, the Count on COUNTRY program has given $325,000 to 10 Chicago nonprofit groups. This year’s focus is on programs that support financial literacy for single family households, which research shows to be the most financially-challenged segment of society.

“Providing services to single parent households is a crucial part of our mission, as such households comprise a sizeable percentage of our Center for Working Families (CWF) client roster. We are very grateful for COUNTRY Financial’s support,” said Brenda Palms-Barber, executive director of the North Lawndale Employment Network, one of the 2012 grant recipients. “The generous contribution from COUNTRY will help support our financial education, credit repair and personal coaching of the residents we serve, enabling us to further strengthen financial literacy in our neighborhoods.”

Count on COUNTRY grants are awarded to local organizations that share the COUNTRY goal of promoting family financial security. Recipients of this year’s grant were evaluated and selected based on a number of key criteria, including the program’s measurable impact on improving the lives of Chicago families; the ability to promote financial security and key volunteer opportunities for COUNTRY employees and representatives.

“At COUNTRY, we are committed to partnering with organizations and programs that empower families and communities through financial literacy and asset development,” said Mike Fisher, COUNTRY vice president of market development in Chicago. “We are proud to support these distinguished community organizations and their missions to help families achieve greater financial security.”

Following is an overview of each of the programs that will be supported by funding from the Count on COUNTRY grant program.


Center for Economic Progress

January 14, 2013

Funding from the grant will help support CEP’s efforts to expand on its year-round services aimed at helping low-income and single-parent households achieve “financial capability” to make sound financial decisions. These services include financial coaching, tax return preparation, asset building, legal representation and educational outreach for their clients and those of select Chicago workforce development and housing agencies, including the Center for New Horizons and The Community Builders.


Chicago Urban League

January 14, 2013

The Count on COUNTRY grant will help support the Urban League’s partnership with the Primo Center for Women and Children, which is aimed at providing general work readiness training, financial literacy and employment placement services to homeless, single women head of household families in Chicago-area communities. This program will offer a customized program for homeless mothers that will focus on financial literacy and the skills necessary to prepare for employment, resources to gain employment and ongoing support to retain employment.


Heartland Human Care Services

January 14, 2013

Heartland Human Care Services will be using funds from this year’s Count on COUNTRY grant to support its IDEA Initiative (“Imagine, Dedicate, Earn, Achieve”)—an asset building and financial literacy program for low-wage working adults in Chicago. IDEA is an established program that offers heads-of-household from low-income families (primarily female heads of household) the opportunity to build financial assets, improve financial stability and credit, decrease reliance on predatory financial products and resolve barriers by building on personal strengths and improving access to community resources.


Instituto del Progreso Latino

January 14, 2013

Funding from the grant will support Instituto del Progreso Latino’s efforts to expand its Mujer Avanzando: Camino al Éxito (Woman Advancing: Path to Success) program, which is designed to help Latina women, most of whom are single parent heads of households, achieve economic independence and self-sufficiency. In addition, Instituto is developing plans to respond to frequent participant requests to include teenage girls and daughters in the program, which will aim to break the sequence of cyclical poverty through financial empowerment.


Jane Addams Resource Corporation

January 14, 2013

The Count on COUNTRY financial support will fund resources for single parents who are enrolled in Jane Addams Resource Corporation's Center for Working Families (CWF) program and Careers in Manufacturing Programs (CMP). These programs provide low-income individuals with access to best practice sectorial job skills training and support services to help them achieve financial self-sufficiency.


North Lawndale Employment Network

January 14, 2013

The North Lawndale Employment Network will use the Count on COUNTRY grant to support its Center for Working Families (CWF) program, which provides long-term financial planning to low-income individuals. Seventy-five percent of participants include single parents. The program focuses on helping participants manage their money more effectively, protect assets and income, develop debt reduction and savings plans, and save for key milestones like education and homeownership.

For more information about the program and the specific eligibility qualifications, visit

About COUNTRY Financial

COUNTRY Financial ( was founded in 1925 and serves about 1 million households and businesses throughout the United States. COUNTRY entered the Chicago market in 2007, and serves clients through 10 neighborhood offices. COUNTRY offers a full range of financial products and services from auto, home and life insurance to retirement planning services, investment management and annuities.