ONAC Newsletter, January 2018

30 Jan 2018 11:04 AM | Christy Finsel (Administrator)

ONAC Newsletter, January 2018

ONAC Children’s Savings Account (CSA) Program Updates 

As of January 2018, ONAC has funded 467 CSAs.  Recently, more accounts were opened for youth served by the Osage Nation Financial Assistance Department and the Cherokee Nation Child Support Services.   Account opening events are scheduled for February 2018 with the Citizen Potawatomi CDC and May 2018 with the Wyandotte Nation (our newest partner).   By May, we anticipate that ONAC will have funded over 500 CSAs for Native youth.  ONAC is thankful to our nineteen tribal and Native nonprofit partners for all their work on this program!  

Recently, the Asset Funders Network published a survey with a snapshot of philanthropic support for the field of CSA initiatives.  ONAC was included in the survey.  To read more, go to https://assetfunders.org/resource/2015-2016-csa-survey-private-funding/.

ONAC 2018 CSA Calendars for Sale

ONAC is still selling our 2018 desk calendars.  Each calendar costs $20.00.  The monthly calendar cards are enclosed in a plastic case that folds over to create a freestanding desktop calendar display.  Twelve pieces of artwork, from the CSA account-opening events with the Housing Authority of the Seminole Nation, Ponca Tribe Head Start Program, the American Indian Resource Center, Inc., and Believing in Native Generations (BLING), are included in this calendar.  At the CSA events, the youth envision assets in their lives and create artwork showing what they value: family, homes, food, jobs, education, natural resources, etc.  In the photo included with this newsletter, a ten-year old drew a college campus to show his hopes for going to college. 

To order a calendar, please go to ONAC’s donate page on our website, at http://www.oknativeassets.org/donate.  In the “Donate Online” section of the page, please enter your name and mailing address, the amount you want charged to your credit card ($20 per calendar), and in the comment section note “calendars” and anything else you need to tell us about the order.   If you have a complicated order, please contact Christy Finsel at cfinsel@oknativeassets.org or (405) 401-7873 so she may assist you.  For those wishing to order and pay for calendars by check, please send a note with the mailing address(es) for the calendars and a check for the amount due ($20 per calendar) made out to the Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition, Inc. to the following address: Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition, Inc. Attn: Christy Finsel, 9511 Horseshoe Road, Oklahoma City, OK 73162.  Proceeds from the calendar sales help ONAC fund additional CSAs for Native youth.  Thank you for your support!

Mini-Grant Awardees Complete their Projects

  • The Kaw Nation conducted a financial education workshop for twenty Kaw Nation students between the ages of 12-17.  During the workshop, staff from Eastman National Bank and City National Bank, as well as Stephen Coit, a Fiduciary Trust Officer with the Office of Special Trustee for American Indians, presented financial education content to the Native youth participants.  Kaw students traveled from Tahlequah, Newkirk, and Ponca City, Oklahoma, as well as Augusta, Kansas, to attend the classes.  Upon completion of the classes, with ONAC mini grant funding for CSAs, the Kaw Nation provided each youth with $135 to be used to open or fund a savings account at a bank or credit union or an account held through the Oklahoma 529 College Savings Plan.  The youth had an opportunity to earn more money for their savings accounts by participating in an essay contest (the essay contest was funded by ONAC mini grant funding).   The Kaw Nation Tribal Youth Program chose the essay topic. The students were asked: How can you use the information you have obtained from the Kaw Nation ONAC Financial Workshop to reach your future financial goals?  Essay rules and applications were made available to all students at the conclusion of the workshop.  Three City National Bank employees read and selected the three winning essays.   The essay winners were awarded a total of $500 in prize money, with a $300 1st place prize, $150 2nd place prize, and a $50 3rd place prize.
  • The Housing Authority of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma administered an emergency savings account project for fifteen families they serve.  The accounts were opened through First United Bank.  From grant funds, each family received $200 as an initial deposit for their account.  Most of the families in the program are in Seminole lease-purchase program as they are saving to purchase a home.  To recruit families, the Housing Authority of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma offered a two-generation approach.  They worked with ONAC to host a Children’s Savings Account opening event so that the families could complete Children’s Savings Account applications for their children, participate in a financial education presentation by First United Bank, and receive the account opening information needed to open a savings account to hold funds for emergencies.  During the account-opening event, they provided a meal for the families.  Remaining financial education was provided on a one-on-one basis by First United Bank staff when the families came into the bank branches to open their family emergency savings account.  The participants were encouraged to add their own deposits to the account by following their individual savings plans.
  • Absentee Shawnee Housing Authority The purpose of their Match Savings Account program was to provide current and/or future participants in their Home Ownership/Lease to Own programs with an opportunity to open a savings account to help offset the costs of a housing emergency or emergencies that may affect their housing needs.  Ten families received $200 in match funds for their emergency savings account.

MyFreeTaxes for the Upcoming Tax Season 

The Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition, Inc. (ONAC) has partnered with IRS Stakeholder Partnerships, Education, and Communication (SPEC) and agreed to post a link on our website to MyFreeTaxes.com. 

For the next tax season, if you are a filing a simple return, and have an Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) under $66,000 per tax return, you are invited to file your state and federal returns, for free, by using this MyFreeTaxes link: https://www.unitedway.org/myfreetaxes/. 

To file your taxes on MyFreeTaxes.com, you will need the following:

  • Last year’s Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) when e-filing you must enter last year’s AGI to validate your return.  You can obtain this from last year’s tax return or through the IRS (https://www.irs.gov/individuals/electronic-filing-pin-request).  MyFreeTaxes, using H&R Block’s software, allows you to import your previous year returns from other tax preparation software.
  • W-2s for each job held in 2017 for each person in the household, this form reports your name, wages, and other tax information to the IRS.
  • 1099s showing other income (unemployment, social security, school loans, health care reimbursement, state tax refund, gambling winnings, contract work) that is reported to the IRS.
  • 1098s showing payments you’ve made (school loans, property tax).
  • Income/interest statements received for any savings account/investments.
  • Bank account numbers: a voided check or your bank or credit union's routing number and savings or checking account number for your refund to be deposited automatically into your account through direct deposit.
  • Last year's tax return (if you have it). 

Since 2009, MyFreeTaxes has helped millions of taxpayers claim their eligible tax credits.  It saves every consumer an average of $200 on tax filing fees, and ensures they get their maximum refund.  The IRS is promoting this partnership.  

For those wishing to file in person at a Voluntary Income Tax Assistance (VITA) site, you may search for sites near you at https://www.irs.gov.  

Support Native Asset Building in Oklahoma

As part of our efforts to sustain and grow the coalition, ONAC welcomes donations, sponsorships, and memberships.  For more information, please go to the donate page at www.oknativeassets.org or call Christy Finsel, ONAC Executive Director, at 405-401-7873. 

ONAC is on Facebook 

Please “like” us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/oknativeassets/.

Thank you for your asset building efforts and support of ONAC!

Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition 
(405) 401-7873

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