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July 12, 2002

Community Minded Organizations Challenge Current Corporate Trends
By Calvert Foundation

In light of the recent news regarding WorldCom, Enron, and Arthur Andersen, it seems fitting to take a moment to recognize and salute community-development organizations, such as Quitman County Development Organization and the Enterprise Corporation of the Delta, and like-minded investors that are using capital as a force for community good. By investing in a Calvert Community Investment Note, you can personally help support community-minded organizations such as these that are part of the Calvert Foundation Portfolio, protect your assets, and reverse current corporate trends. -- Quitman County Development Organization (QCDO) is committed to serving the communities of Quitman County and the Mississippi Delta Region “by enabling and encouraging local residents to develop self-help strategies and solutions.” QCDO established a Federal Credit Union in 1981 with the hope of not only meeting the financial needs of those who were unable to acquire financing from local banks, but also of prompting the development and improvement of the overall community through business and financing.

QCDO not only looks to help those already in need, but it is looking to the future to find ways to alleviate hardship by educating the young about the importance of financing and low-income designated credit unions. In one initiative, their Youth Credit Union Program teaches children up to age 18 how to save, manage, invest and borrow money with the hope of alleviating future financial hardship in their lives. In another effort, QCDO hosts a college student intern each summer in order to introduce college students to the credit union industry and open their eyes to the positive impact low-income designated credit unions can have. In promoting this internship, the QCDO helps to ensure a future of financial workers committed to serving and enabling low-income communities. Everyday, QCDO proves that financial organizations can and should promote the well-being of communities and their residents instead of using deceptive practices to detract from communities, as many of the companies that have recently consumed the headlines have been charged with doing.

The Enterprise Corporation of the Delta (ECD) is another “dynamic, market-driven community development financial institution working to improve the lives of Delta residents through developing businesses.” ECD invests in businesses that employ Delta residents, improve the quality of life for these residents, and prosper in the Global economy. ECD has generated over $70 million in financing for small businesses and homeowners and has assisted over 1,400 entrepreneurs.

But what truly makes ECD unique is its constant search for new ways to support Delta communities. In one example, the ECD provided Sylvia Dixon, a dedicated Child Care professional, with a $148,000 loan to expand her Little Darling Child Care Center to a bigger facility with better equipment. Dixon had found that she did not qualify for traditional financing of her expenses and thus would not have been able to provide improved child care quality to her community if it had not been for the help of ECD. According to Glenn Farmer, the ECD business development officer who worked with Dixon on funding the project, there was a very important reasons why ECD decided to support Dixon with a loan: “Working parents must have dependable child care to succeed in business and build assets for their families.” This example illustrates how, unlike the corporations that have participated in the trend of greed and unethical behavior, ECD’s recognition of the importance of financial and technical assistance to the growth of economic and human assets has positively impacted the future of the residents of this region.

These financial institutions are just two of the many community-based institutions in the Calvert Foundation Portfolio that choose to support community development and create economic and social wealth for everyone. Investment in such institutions using a Calvert Community Investment Note is a great way to counterbalance corporate trends, while feeling secure about your investments, and confident that your money is having a positive social impact.

© Calvert Foundation

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