Read how a fellow Green American greened her investments, and then tell us your story too! Write in the comments below (please include your email so we can contact you to share your story) or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jacqueline Jenkins has been working on greening her finances for the past three years. She got started on this process by cutting her ties with Bank of America after it foreclosed on her daughter-in-law. Although her daughter-in-law was working full-time, she ran into trouble making payments after interest rates went up. Jenkins says, “She tried to get them to reduce her payments, but they kept losing her paperwork. She would think they had gone down the right road, and then she would get another notice that the foreclosure was going through.” After round after round of “misplaced” paperwork on the bank’s part, she declared bankruptcy, and Bank of America foreclosed. She had to find a new home for herself and her eight-year-old daughter. “It was very hard on [my granddaughter], because she was very young when that was all going on. She didn’t understand no matter how much we tried to explain it to her,” says Jenkins. “That was her home. She didn’t understand why they had to leave their home.” So after moving to the town of Floresville, TX, three years ago, Jenkins began the process of getting Bank of America out of her life. She says she used resources from Green America’s Break Up With Your Mega-Bank Campaign to make sure the process went smoothly. After opening up a bank account at Randolph Brooks Federal Credit Union, she ended her relationship with Bank of America. “I’m really happy I made that move,” she says. “It wasn’t that difficult.” Her second step was helping her now 11-year-old granddaughter learn green banking habits. Jenkins helped her open an account at the credit union. “I told her why, and she’s older now, so she can grasp it better,” Jenkins says. Jenkins’ success in breaking up with Bank of America got her thinking about other ways she could green her finances. She inherited oil stock and, after selling most of it off, had a little left that she wanted to re-invest in something more responsible. We referred her to our Guide to Fossil Fuel Divestment, where she could find a range of resources including financial planners and investment consultants that are specifically interested in helping people get dirty energy out of their portfolios and move their money into socially responsible investments. Seeing how Bank of America’s predatory behavior played out in the lives of her friends and family has changed how Jenkins sees money. “It’s a true social lesson for all of us,” she says. “We can’t act like the banks work.” Want us to share your story too? Write in the comments below (please include your email so we can contact you to share your story) or email us at email@example.com.