A MESSAGE FROM
MARJORIE VANESKAHIAN BURR, ACO CEO
Why don’t they just get a job?
We hear that often at ACO. We may be in the middle of a presentation discussing the struggles we see in the community and someone will ask that question. “We see signs all around for job openings! They need to go to work like everyone else,” they say. Yes, many do need work, and most want to work. But it’s not a simple as it may appear.
“Sam” and his family cannot pay their bills. Sam has a low-wage job and his wife stays home with their young son due to the high cost of child care. They don’t make enough on Sam’s salary to afford the rent in Collin County, with their bills and the rising costs of food, gas and essentials. What Sam needs is a better paying job, and perhaps some training or higher education to qualify. With a higher income, they can afford childcare and his wife can also work. Then they can pay their bills, have a little left over for emergencies and savings for a home of their own someday. But, it all starts with a living-wage job.
ACO’s mission is to assist with emergencies such as rent and utility bills, and groceries to feed families. We prevent hunger and homelessness. But ACO offers so much more. With a full range of employment services such as interview skills, resume assistance and job search, ACO can help Sam find that better paying job. If Sam needs his GED, or assistance obtaining a certification or training, ACO has those resources available. If Sam and his wife also need guidance with budgeting, credit building and other financial literacy support, ACO has classes and workshops available in person as well as online educational opportunities.
While ACO assists Sam in finding the right job for him, we are also helping he and his wife with groceries each month at the ACO Food Pantry, a savings of $300+. They have access to the ACO Cares Center, which provides other essentials such as diapers for their toddler, clothes, housewares and items such as cleaning products and hygiene items. That can save them another $300+ each month. Now they have more than $600 to put towards other expenses.
Soon, Sam and his family are financially secure, better prepared to manage their finances, and have a bright future ahead. As we say at ACO, “we change lives!”
These programs and services would not be possible without our donors and supporters. Partnerships and collaborations are key to what ACO offers to our community. A few examples include the current Financial Peace University evening classes taught by representatives from our local First United Bank. Goodwill Industries in partnership with ACO, offers job training to ACO clients at no charge and recently provided new computers to seven of our clients. Local companies such as Walmart and other retailers continually provide products to the ACO Cares Center. Collaborations for intern support to our staff is possible thanks to University of Texas at Dallas and the Church of Latter Day Saints. More than 100 local businesses, organizations, faith partners, schools and service agencies all come together, with our many individual donors, to support ACO programs and change lives!
One more thing…
I’d like to thank our Marketing Director, Scott Hildebrand! Not only does he do an awesome job, but I also borrowed his example of Sam from his presentation that he gives often to community groups and supporters. Scott works with our Community Development Department, and he and Rhonda Ptak, Chief Community Development Officer are available for tours of our facilities and presentations to your groups or businesses. For more info, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, I would like to thank all those who made our recent ACO Golf Classic a great success! Thanks to our sponsors, players and volunteers, we raised more funds for this event than ever before. That’s more changed lives!
MARJORIE VANESKAHIAN BURR, ACO CEO