Run (or Walk) to Get into Our May 1 Healthy Way 5k & 10k
Don't miss out on the fun!

CAMBA's annual run/walk in Prospect Park is less than a week away.  Register now and join us on Sunday.

Choose either the 5k run/walk or 10k run. Families are welcome .

When: Sunday, May 1, 2016; 8:30 am (10k); 8:45 am (5k)
Where: Prospect Park (at the Peristyle), 96 Parkside Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11226
Entry Fee:  $40                                                      

 Proceeds support our life-changing services for 45,000 New Yorkers in need.
Invest in Your Future, with Free Financial Counseling at CAMBA's Financial Empowerment Center
March 26, 2016 was a red-letter day for Regina Mitchell, Program Director at CAMBA's Beacon 269. That's the day she and her husband, Paul Kendle, closed on their new home. The proud new homeowners are pictured above.

That achievement started more than a year ago, when Regina first met with a counselor at our New York City Financial Empowerment Center at CAMBA. Her adviser pulled her credit score, and they found a number of discrepancies, which he helped her clear up.

"He explained ways that I could build up my credit score, which I did," Regina says. She persuaded her husband to seek financial counseling as well. Their credit scores rose, they qualified for a mortgage -- and they are now homeowners.

Services at the Financial Empowerment Center are free to CAMBA staff, clients and the general public.

Staffed by experienced financial counselors who work for Neighborhood Trust Financial Partners, the program provides confidential one-on-one meetings with a financial counselor who can help people take control of debt, deal with debt collectors, improve credit, create a budget, open a bank account, start an emergency fund, save for the future, start a college fund and much more.

The Financial Empowerment Center is located at 885 Flatbush Ave., 2nd Floor, at the corner of Church Avenue in Brooklyn. It is open 9 am to 6 pm, Monday through Thursday. 

To make an appointment, call (718) 287-0010 ext. 40243.
 
The service is funded by the City's Office of Financial Empowerment, in partnership with Neighborhood Trust Financial Partners.

Loads of Laundry Equal a Lot of Help for Homeless Families
When Samuel Van De Cruze opened Mr. Bubble's Laundromat in East Elmhurst, Queens, he realized that many of his customers were trudging the five blocks from CAMBA's The Landing family shelter -- heavy bags of laundry and children in tow.

An unassuming and quiet man of faith, he decided to help in the best way he could: Sam volunteered to wash 5,000 pounds of laundry -- free -- for shelter families.

The task took him five all-nighters, washing, folding and delivery included.

"Clean clothes and bedding are necessities -- almost as important as food and shelter," Sam said. "People need clean clothes to function and to be healthy." 

Residents were thrilled with his gift. "I am so grateful for the burden that this lifted -- you feel like you are a little bit more of a 'somebody' when you are wearing clean clothes," said Amber, one of the shelter parents.

Sam didn't expect that his good deed would generate publicity, but WNBC aired a story on his donation, followed by stories on national news blogs like Good News Network and the Huffington Post. Soon his story went viral, with 38,000 social media hits on Huffington Post alone and garnering praise from sites as far away as South Africa.

CAMBA's Innovative Programs Star at National Conferences
A Dream Deferred: the Future of African American Education

CAMBA's Leading to College program was highlighted at a March conference entitled A Dream Deferred: The Future of African American Education, sponsored by the College Board.
 
CAMBA education staff Idriss Barnes and Christie Hodgkins joined Pieranna Pieroni, Director of College Now at Brooklyn College, and James Olearchik of the School for Democracy and Leadership (SDL) discussed how their partnership has helped low-income students aim for and succeed in college.
 
Leading to College links SDL high school students with intensive college readiness services provided by CAMBA and free for-credit college courses at Brooklyn College.
 
The panelists explained how they had addressed challenges to developing, implementing and funding a partnership program and discussed the powerful impact that Leading to College has on students.
 
Click here to see a video on how Leading to College helped one young man overcome the challenges of homelessness to succeed in college.
 
CFED: Building Better Business Financial Capability Solutions

 Isaac Roldan, Director of CAMBA's Small Business Services, was featured recently in a national webinar on strategies that help small business owners adopt mobile technology to track income and expenses effectively.

He discussed how CAMBA revamped its Mobilize Your Business course after realizing that too few students were applying their new-found knowledge to their businesses. The program was redesigned to ensure the right mix of students and content. Isaac developed a two-track system, one aiming at product-based businesses, and the other at service-based companies.

This "best practices" webinar was produced by CFED, a national organization that helps low- and moderate-income people build wealth.


Employee Profile: Grace Ruiz
Community Outreach Supervisor, HomeBase
Gema de las Heras of Univision interviews Grace Ruiz for a report on HomeBase and the You Can Van
What's your role at CAMBA and how long have you worked here?
I have been working for CAMBA for about a year-and-a-half, and I am currently the Community Outreach Supervisor for CAMBA HomeBase.

Where did you grow up and how long have you lived in NYC?
I was born  in the Lower East Side in New York City, but I was raised in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, and I still live in Bensonhurst.

Talk a little about your day-to-day at work -- how do you spend your time?
I am always in the field setting up meetings with public officials, schools and other organizations that I feel need to know about CAMBA and HomeBase services. 

I jampack my calendar coordinating meetings, events and conducting presentations discussing HomeBase services, promoting our new baby -- the You Can Van -- and seeing what more I can do in informing the community about our work and our services. I am really passionate about the work we do, and I want all of Brooklyn and New York to know about us, so I really make it a priority and a routine to ask myself on a daily basis; Who needs to know about us? Who doesn't know about us? And who do I need to remind about CAMBA and CAMBA HomeBase services? 

What part of your job do you find most rewarding?
The most rewarding part of my job is seeing so many "aha!" moments in the eyes so many people, organizations, public officials and schools that may not know about our services -- and connecting people with resources so that we can all help and educate one another.  I also find it very rewarding that I am constantly learning about so many new programs and resources myself that could help so many people.

Tell about a memorable work-related experience you've had.
A memorable work-related experience I had was when I had my first television interview with Univision, explaining CAMBA HomeBase services. Univision to me is the CNN for the Spanish community. It was very exciting and I was nervous too. However I couldn't let my nerves get the best of me because I am extremely passionate about explaining CAMBA and CAMBA HomeBase services, and explaining it in Spanish made me feel very fortunate that I was given the opportunity to do so. 
 
How has your work changed the rest of your life? (Do you have a different perspective outside of work? Do you treat people differently?)
I feel like I found my calling, and when you love what you do, it doesn't feel like work. I truly feel that working for HomeBase empowered me tremendously to tap into my new love for communications and marketing .  

What other profession have you always wanted to try?
I really like baking and, according to my friends and family. I'm pretty good at it. I might want to try culinary arts in the future.

What is your favorite spot or thing to do in New York City?
I have a sweet tooth, and I really love coffee, so one of my favorite places in the Lower East Side, where I can have amazing coffee and a very delicious Oreo cookie cheesecake is Veniero's.

If an actor were to play you in a movie, who would it be and why?
Jennifer Lawrence. She's fun, funny, multi-talented and a bad ass! I really loved her in Hunger Games, X-Men and Silver Linings Playbook.

What one thing would you like colleagues to know about you that they probably don't already know?
I have multiple citizenships. I am a citizen of the United States, Costa Rica and Spain.

Know someone who should be recognized for their contribution to CAMBA? Email socialmedia@camba.org.


Visit  CAMBA.org to learn more.