Higher One CARES (Community Action for Resources Education and Service) was formed by employees at Higher One to help identify opportunities for community involvement and engagement. Though CARES supports a variety of local not-for-profits, its mission is focused on education.  Higher One was founded by students, for students, and therefore organizations with education-centric goals are ones that CARES most actively aligns itself with.  Employees are encouraged to become involved in local not-for-profits that resonate for them.

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This year, CARES has worked in both New Haven and Oakland offices to conduct Thanksgiving Food Drives. New Haven gathered food for FISH of Greater New Haven—a volunteer organization that delivers food directly to the homes of those in need in the area. Oakland worked with Alameda County Community Food Bank. Also during the holiday season, both offices participated in Adopt-a-Family. New Haven employees worked with the Coordinating Council for Children in Crisis and Oakland folks partnered with Saint Vincent’s Day Home to support fifteen families collectively.

During the first annual Volunteer Week at Higher One in February, New Haven CARES welcomed representatives from Junior Achievement and New Haven Reads to talk about volunteer opportunities at their organizations. We hope to continue building relationships with these three not-for-profits dedicated to promoting education in the community.

Other recent initiatives that CARES has focused on this year are scholarship programs partnered through community organizations such as the New Haven Free Public Library and Common Ground High School. In addition to creating scholarships, Higher One employee Mary Johnson has begun conducting workshops on financial literacy for New Haven High School students. Employees actively showed their support for area students during the Rock-to-Rock bike ride on April 30, 2011. Designed to promote Earth Day, this is a fundraiser for local programs focused on environmental education.