13Jul 15

Edna Fischer Blog

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Edna Fischer, a Financial Advisor with Conexus Credit Union, doesn’t do anything half-way.

She volunteers for not one, but all of READ Saskatoon’s programs. She offers her expertise to financial and family literacy, and is enrolled in training to be a one-on-one adult literacy tutor in the fall.

“When I found out about READ Saskatoon two years ago, the lightbulb went off.  I thought ‘oh, I have to be involved in that,’” she says.“I have always had such a passion for reading.

Edna volunteers teaching simple financial basics, like how to budget, handle money, operate a bank account, and manage credit. “It surprised me how many people don’t have bank accounts,” she says. “They live on cash.”

“So many people don’t have any financial understanding,” she says, “and it’s not only people new to Canada. Most are people who have lived in Saskatchewan generation after generation.”

Edna knows that a big obstacle to financial literacy is fear, because finances are so personal. “The enthusiasm of READ Saskatoon’s staff, and their down-to-earth open approach, draws people in, and takes away some of that anxiety,” she observes.

She enjoys working Family Nights, where she helps parents and children learn about monthly budgeting. Edna’s own words describe her experience best:

“I volunteered at a READ Saskatoon Family Fun Night. I was at the table where you got $25 and families were supposed to budget purchasing for a week. Then you had a paper on a clipboard and could mark down what you would buy for a week, and there were pictures, and a price. And I think that best thing I had was a little girl and her dad shopping, and they were close to the max. She looked over at him, and maybe she was five or six, and she could read. She touched her dad’s arm, and said, ‘Dad, you don’t need that coffee, I think we should buy some vegetables.’ I absolutely killed myself laughing. And he took the coffee off the list.”

 Edna isn’t sure what adult tutoring will be like, but she’s eager to share her love of reading: “It’s so easy to do something when you really believe in it and you enjoy it.”

She feels that READ Saskatoon cares about her as a volunteer. “It amazes me how often they thank me, or show appreciation,” she says, “because I think volunteering is what I should be doing, I should be giving back to the community.”

 Conexus Credit Union agrees. They are the Presenting Sponsor for the READ Saskatoon PGI Golf Tournament for Literacy 2015, a three-year commitment.

“Conexus Credit Union has a strong sense of community, a belief in giving back, supporting, and being there, not just financially but also encouraging staff to volunteer,” says Edna.

 “READ Saskatoon programs are there when people need them,” she says, “when there is no one else to lean on.” “Let’s face it, if we don’t read, if we don’t understand, we will never ever really be able to reach our true potential.”