FINRA Investor Education Foundation Grant will aid patrons affected by wildfires and the pandemic.
Medford, Oregon (April 13, 2021)—Jackson County Library Services (JCLS) will expand its personal finance collections in Spanish and English following receipt of a grant from the FINRA Investor Education Foundation (FINRA Foundation). The additional tools and resources will help ensure that residents have the information they need when making critical money decisions as they repair, rebuild, and recover following recent wildfires and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Filing claims, accessing government resources, managing lump-sum payments from insurance companies, and meeting immediate expenses when income is disrupted—these are just a few of the money challenges that residents in disaster areas must navigate.
FINRA Foundation President Gerri Walsh noted, “Many of us lack experience with these decisions. Nonetheless, we have to get it right the first time around or face long-term financial consequences. Fortunately, the Library has information that can help.”
The expanded personal finance collections at the Library are made possible by a $5,000 grant from the FINRA Foundation. For more than 15 years, the FINRA Foundation has provided funding, staff training, and programs to build the capacity of public libraries to address the financial education needs of people nationwide. Much of this has been accomplished in partnership with the American Library Association through a program known as Smart investing@your library®.
The FINRA Foundation estimates that consumer financial fraud costs Americans more than $50 billion a year, and is especially prevalent following major natural disasters. Since it was established in 2005, the National Center for Disaster Fraud, which is part of the U.S. Department of Justice, has logged more than 100,000 disaster-related complaints from all 50 states. Financial fraud makes tough times even more difficult for people recovering from the trauma inflicted by disasters.
The FINRA Foundation has issued an alert with practical guidance to help residents protect themselves from fraudulent schemes. (See: www.saveandinvest.org/disaster-fraud-Oregon.)
“Recovery follows disaster, but the path can be smooth or very bumpy,” added Walsh. “Financial fraud can be one of the biggest potholes along that road. Jackson County Library Services has information to help people avoid the financial potholes and bring the route to recovery into sharper focus.”