For the past six months, a group of volunteers has been working to protect those who are serving in the military. Protecting them through education.
The Idaho Military Finance Alliance was organized to help protect the military's financial well-being.
"It only makes sense that we all participate in trying to do things for those people who are overseas or stationed on military bases around the nation," Angie Nelson, director of Community Relations at Les Bois Credit Union, told me.
This is the first year Les Bois has been involved in the Financial Alliance group, and she says when it was presented to the board, the board members embraced it fully.
"We think it's great to motivate military and their families to save money," she says. "We want to promote good financial literacy. "
Military Saves, a partner in the Department of Defense Financial Readiness Campaign, created Military Saves Week in 2007 to motivate service members and their families to better their finances. This year, Military Saves Week is Feb. 25-March 2.
To date, more than 128,000 individuals have taken the Saver Pledge, a commitment to begin the journey toward financial freedom.
This year, Military Saves Week is encouraging everyone to "Set a Goal, Make a Plan, Save Automatically." Military Saves provides helpful tips for successful saving, establishing credit, paying down debt, planning for retirement and much more.
The Alliance offers ways to help people save more successfully and encourage more people to save by partnering businesses. The Better Business Bureau is part of the alliance.
Organizations may participate in various ways, depending on their resources and interests. Activities include promoting saving in and through their own organizations, developing and marketing new and better savings instruments and other wealth building products, and providing messaging and education on savings.
On March 1, the branches are dressing up in a show of support wearing green and are hosting a Green Eggs and Pancake breakfast party. In addition, they have also made bookmarks for the Garden City Library promoting Military Saves Week.
"It's a way we can support the message and give back," Nelson says.
These are simple ways of showing support.
The BBB, also part of the alliance, has been a big supporter of military families and education. The BBB gets calls about scams targeting military troops. Sadly, military members are easy prey for scammers because of their age and guaranteed government paycheck.
In support of Military Saves Week, the BBB shows support in five areas:
1. Education: Many local BBBs on and around military installations teach financial readiness classes to service members.
2. Outreach: We attend and support community fairs, conferences and other events, speaking with service members and distributing information.
3. Information: Our website provides a one-stop shop for articles, links and consumer alerts for each branch of service. Check out our resources page for free consumer guides written just for military members and find us on Facebook and Twitter.
4. Data collection: We analyze BBB data to help identify the threats and needs of our military community in the marketplace.
5. Complaint and dispute resolution: Filing a complaint with BBB helps military consumers resolve disputes and alert us to issues affecting the military community at large.
Robb Hicken: 947-2115