On March 21, the Greater Easley Chamber of Commerce presented its Annual Small Business Awards at Tri-County Technical College-Easley Campus. Sponsored by Truliant Federal Credit Union, several businesses and individuals were honored for their leadership and community service.
Among those awards, Ripple of One was honored as the 2023 Non-Profit of the Year, which recognizes an organization that has demonstrated a strong effort in successfully using its organizational mission and resources to improve the quality of life in Pickens County, along with working in close partnership with the business community to achieve the desired results.
Established in 2009, Ripple of One ‘s vision is to empower families and young adults to gain financial freedom and break their dependence on public assistance by walking alongside participants, providing the right support and direction.
Thousands of single parents and young adults have no support system and become stuck in the cycle of desperation. It can be nearly impossible to earn enough money to get the other side of public assistance. Recognizing the need to develop a new mindset and new skill sets, the Ripple of One mentors and financial coaches guide clients and their children through a two-year program to achieve financial independence.
Their proven recipe for success combines education with mentoring and incentives. Often an income increase can result in less income because rent and food assistance may be cut off, which offers no incentive to strive to do better. But the Ripple of One program motivates and inspires by providing incentives for reaching goals. Incentives may include a dinner or movie night, a manicure, or a haircut. It’s also very difficult to build an emergency savings account, so their program matches participant’s savings up to $200 every month for this purpose. Children are also given opportunities to earn money that goes into their savings account as well.
To assist with career development, paid internships are available to grow job skills and build resumes. And they also manage a “Driven to Work” program to assist with transportation needs to gain and keep employment.
Since 2016, they have graduated 93 participants and they currently have 101 enrolled in the program which includes parents, their children, and young adults. And their success in breaking dependence on public assistance has saved taxpayers over $1 million.
Please join the Greater Easley Chamber of Commerce in honoring Ripple of One as the 2023 Non-Profit of the Year.