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LAFCU, Community Partners "Activate" Space Focused on Health, Financial Wellbeing

thriveLAFCU partnered with Ourspace (517), Muralmatics, and Nelson Gallery to create Lansing Thrive Space, an innovative, creative and educational hub that showcases the importance of financial well-being through various mediums, activities, and methods.

The Lansing Thrive Space was officially "activated" on Sept. 22 and Sept. 23, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., in conjunction with the 517 Hispanic Heritage Festival.

The Lansing Thrive Space is within the Nelson Gallery at 113 S. Washington Square in Lansing. It provides the necessary resources and information to help our community grow, flourish, and feel financially empowered.

“The poverty rate in Lansing is nearly 22%, much higher than Michigan's poverty rate of 13.1%,” said Kelli Ellsworth Etchison, LAFCU chief marketing officer and diversity officer. “LAFCU and its community partners felt compelled to do something about that. People need to understand how their decisions impact their health and financial future. This space will introduce important topics in a fun and engaging way for both adults and children.”

The Lansing Thrive Space activation featured interactive learning with LAFCU staff, who were available on-site Friday and Saturday to teach attendees of all ages how to make real-world financial decisions and manage money efficiently.

Attendees could also view a mural story by Dustin Hunt of Muralmatics and local community youth that illustrates the importance of health and financial wellness/literacy. Words painted on the mural panels are connected to wellness, including self-determination, invest, plan/save, and access/equity. The words are highlighted to help the community feel empowered to be on a path of positive financial transformation.

Attendees could also plant a seed in the community garden. As a bonus, anyone who visited the space during the Friday or Saturday event could register to win $200.

To extend the concept of the Lansing Thrive Space, LAFCU offers a free-to-the-public program called Pathway to Financial Transformation. It is a comprehensive, primarily virtual 16-module course that covers topics critical for financial stability, and ultimately, financial freedom. An important aspect of this course is its emphasis on the importance of behavioral changes in achieving long-term success.

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