Self-Help Shares


Key Tax-Preparation Tips to Cut Stress

By Nerdwallet
  | Feb 21, 2017

Tax Preparation

Although it comes around every spring, tax season tends to inflict the same headaches year after year. To reduce your stress — and maximize your refund — it'll help to stay organized and be aware of recent changes to the tax code.

For additional motivation to get on track, keep in mind that the average refund has been about $3,000 in recent years. Even if you don't expect to get that much back, there are plenty of ways to put a refund to good use. But first, you'll have to file your returns properly, taking advantage of any deductions you might qualify for. Here's a look at where to get started.

 

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Summer Interns Bring Year-Round Benefits

By Mary Moore
  | Feb 16, 2017

2016 Self-Help Interns

Self-Help interns, class of 2016

 Self-Help is now accepting applications for 10-week summer internships. Projects are available in a variety of areas, including real estate, commercial lending, clean energy, policy work and marketing. Deadline to apply: February 26, 2017.

We won’t compare a Self-Help internship to a stint in the army, but the same slogan applies: it’s not just a job. It’s a chance to do hands-on community development work that often makes a lasting difference. That’s because our internships are a vital part of the work we do at Self-Help.

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Protecting Pauli Murray’s Legacy

By Brittany Bennett
  | Feb 09, 2017

Since moving to Durham in 2014, I have been fascinated by this city's history —specifically the rich history of black people here. I soak up opportunities to learn more about the legacy of entrepreneurship on Black Wall Street, black organizing through groups such as the Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People and the significance of neighborhoods where black people could live, work and thrive in spite of Jim Crow.

In my learning, I came across the name Pauli Murray and instantly felt that everything she stood for in her life as a women's and civil rights activist, lawyer, poet and priest continues to be so important and relevant for our current times.

Pauli Murray

Pauli Murray at work. Courtesy of the NC Collection, Wilson Library in Chapel Hill, NC.

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Sharing the Legacy of an African-American Credit Union

By Anthony Scott
  | Feb 01, 2017

History of St. Luke Credit Union

During a January trip to rural Bertie County, North Carolina, I had the opportunity to meet several remarkable people. I traveled there with my Self-Help colleague, Roger Flake, to document the history of St. Luke Credit Union, founded in 1944. While there, we recorded a conversation with Mr. Charles Lee Sutton, who recounted his childhood memories of depositing his hard-earned dimes in a credit union where his parents were charter members. 

We also met Mr. Timothy Bazemore, Sr., a proud man who tells the story of learning how to wisely save and borrow from an educator who helped to form St. Luke Credit Union. These lessons set the foundation ...


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Executive Order Raises Cost on Some Home Loans

By Suzanne J.
  | Jan 26, 2017

people moving into their new homeFor families hoping to buy their first home, this week brought some bad news: many will have to pay more for a mortgage.

Last week, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced it was cutting the mortgage insurance rate for Federal Housing Administration (FHA)-backed loans by 0.25 percentage points.

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Kind Words from our Mystery Homeowner

By Mary Moore
  | Jan 19, 2017

Back in December, Self-Help staff in Asheville (Wall Street location) noticed a note attached to a catering dish delivered for a holiday event. The note was anonymous, but we soon discovered that one of our homeowners, Martha Worley, was the thoughtful person.

Homeowner Martha Worley

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Honoring Dr. King

By Mary Moore
  | Jan 13, 2017

'Everybody can be great because anybody can serve' - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Everybody can be great … because anybody can serve. 
You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. 
You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. 
You only need a heart full of grace. 
A soul generated by love.”

— Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

On Monday, January 16, Self-Help offices will be closed to observe Martin Luther King Day. Just a glance online shows a wide range of special events all over the nation and North Carolina, and many on our staff will be participating. We asked a few of our colleagues about their plans. Continue reading to see a sample of their responses.

MLK commemoration at Duke University Chapel, photo courtesy of Duke University Photography

One of our staff members is attending the annual MLK Commemoration service at Duke University Chapel. The above photo, from a previous service, is courtesy of Duke University Photography.

 

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Our Top Ten Stories in 2016

By Staff
  | Jan 05, 2017

2016 marked the first full year of Self-Help Shares, our blog that helps members and friends stay up to date. The blog covers a wide range of news, from personal profiles of inspiring people to practical financial information to save you time and money.

Here we look back at the 10 topics that received the strongest response from readers in the past year.

Did you know you can easily follow our blog?  Sign up to receive a notice!

Healthy Foods

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A New Year's Toast to You

By Staff
  | Dec 30, 2016

2016 was a challenging year in North Carolina, including fires and floods. But it was also a year of many notable accomplishments by Self-Help members. Cheers to our new homeowners, creative entrepreneurs, resilient neighborhoods, determined students, tireless volunteers and all of our members and partners. 

From us at Self-Help, this tribute is for you.

Self-Help fall retreat



A surprise gift from a homeowner

By Staff
  | Dec 15, 2016

dish of food with kind thank-you note

We received a lovely delivery at our Asheville branch this week: a dish of harvest stuffing, along with a sweet note from a home loan borrower.

What a delightful -– and delicious -– surprise! We love connecting with our members, and we love helping people become homeowners.

To the home owner who sent us this kind surprise: thank you. You made our week.

And to all our members and friends, we’re wishing you a wonderful holiday season, filled with kindness, connection, and the little moments that make you smile.




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