Hopkins County-Madisonville Public Library Receives FINRA Investor Education Foundation Grant to Expand Personal Finance Collections to Aid Consumers Following December 2021 Tornado
The Hopkins County-Madisonville Public Library, which includes its Madisonville and Dawson Springs Branch locations, has expanded its personal finance collections 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 the December 2021 tornado.
“When disaster strikes, the community comes together,” said Library Director Joel Meador. “We want everyone to know that the Library is both a welcoming convening place and a location where our families can obtain unbiased information to guide financial choices that will have lasting impact.”
Filing claims, accessing government resources, managing lump-sum payments from insurance companies, and meeting immediate expenses when income might be 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 is also providing the Library with multimedia materials that explain the red flags of financial fraud and what people can do to be vigilant and counter the persuasion tactics that fraudsters use.
It is estimated that consumer financial fraud costs Americans more than $50 billion a year, according to FINRA Foundation research. Financial fraud 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 220,000 disaster-related complaints from all 50 states. Financial fraud makes tough times all the 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.finrafoundation.org/disaster-fraud-kentucky.)
Ms. Walsh observed, “Recovery follows disaster, but the path to recovery can be smooth or very bumpy. And financial fraud can be one of the biggest potholes along that road. The Hopkins County-Madisonville Public Library has information to help people avoid the financial potholes and bring the route to recovery into sharper focus.”
The FINRA Foundation supports innovative research and educational projects that give Americans the knowledge, skills, and tools to make sound financial decisions throughout life. For more information about FINRA Foundation initiatives, visit finrafoundation.org.