Non-profit gives free financial education in Macon

A non-profit called Operation HOPE is working to give free financial education to low and moderate income families in Macon.

Tuesday, Bibb commissioners could vote on giving $100,000 to help the organization.

Victoria Whitehead says the organization is worth every penny.

Whitehead is 23 years old and getting ready to add another accomplishment to a list that already includes working two jobs.

“It doesn't seem real. It really doesn't. I’m, like, I guess it’s really happening,” says Whitehead.

Whitehead says she found out she is able to buy her first house.  

“After I leave here, I'm actually going to go sign the paperwork and make it official,” says Whitehead.

But she says “homeowner” is a title she did not earn overnight.

“We looked at my credit report, and he was like, ‘Oh, you have this on your credit.’ He told me the things I shouldn’t be doing, and the things I should be doing,” says Whitehead.

Whitehead says she has spent the last year and a half learning financial skills at Operation HOPE.

“I stopped eating out. I started cooking at home, more just, like, simple things,” says Whitehead. She says she learned those lessons from her financial counselor, DaQuanis Harvey.

“We don’t actually give them the fish, we teach them to fish,” says Harvey.

Harvey says he works with hundreds of people in Macon to teach them how to save money and reduce debt.

“Save $5 if that’s all you can afford and watch that grow,” says Harvey.

Harvey says a common problem that he finds when people come in is that they still have old charges on their report that is hurting their credit score, but Harvey says he hopes his work goes beyond just better numbers on reports.

“Those with great credit scores that have a good handle on life, you don’t see them out robbing, and crime, basically. They’re out shopping,” says Harvey.

Whitehead says she is ready to walk into this next chapter of life with not only more in her wallet but also with more confidence. 

“It's a little bit terrifying, because, like, 'Oh, my gosh, it's really happening," but I’m really excited because I know I’m prepared for it,” says Harvey.

If approved at Tuesday’s meeting, this resolution still needs approval from the full commission at the following Tuesday meeting. 

If you are interested in taking part in Operation HOPE, call 478-741-9881. 

© 2017 WMAZ-TV


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