Battling Addiction in Dayton, Ohio

Last week, I had the great honor of heading to Dayton, Ohio for the Kickin’ it with Luke event. For those of you who don’t remember, Kickin’ it with Luke is an event that raises money to compassionately fight addiction in the city hardest hit by the opioid epidemic. This Personal Finance by Women project was initiated by member Zina Kumok.

In addition to volunteering at the event, Zina donated four hours of her time as a financial coach to a raffle basket, and we filled it out with some fantastic books by our amazing authors:

How did it go?

The event was wonderful. People really turned out to honor Luke’s memory and support those in their community still battling addiction. Zina and I were upselling food left and right partially because of our sales skills and all the calories being burned on the field, I’m sure. But mostly because of the generosity of those who came out to the event.

In case you were wondering, the yellow team won the kickball tournament!

As far as fundraising goes, this was Kickin’ it with Luke’s biggest year yet. Thursday evening they were able to donate more than $12,000 across three different nonprofits in the Dayton area who are on the ground doing the work.

I’m so grateful to all the women who participated in supporting this event. I’m so grateful to all of you who supported on social media. And I’m so grateful to Dayton and specifically Kickin’ it with Luke for exposing me to such a united, resilient and determined community. It was truly an honor for us to be among you.

Have a nonprofit that needs support? We’d be happy to get together a Financial Literacy Gift Basket for your raffle or auction! Reach out here.

 
 
 
 
 
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We are so proud to support our amazing charities @brigids_path, @foafamiliesofaddicts, and @herstory_inc!

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Brynne Conroy is a freelance writer, author and award-winning blogger in the personal finance space. Her work has a marked focus on women’s issues and intersectional oppression as it relates to the personal economies of Americans.

She loves baseball, linguistics and cultural studies. If you can’t find her behind a keyboard or calculator, she’s probably busy momming.

Zina Kumok Kicks it with Luke

For those of you who have been following along with the Kickin’ it with Luke series, welcome back! For those of you who haven’t, Personal Finance by Women is putting together a financial literacy gift basket to benefit the fight against opioid addiction in Dayton, Ohio — what was once the epicenter of the opioid epidemic before they instituted a compassionate system that treated addiction as a disease.

So far we’ve featured books by Lauren Bowling, Bola Sokunbi, Kristin Wong and Jackie Cummings Koski. Thank you to each one of you for contributing!

If you want to pitch in, too, here’s where you can do so.

Today I’m headed to Dayton for the event. While I’m there, I’m going to see the fantastic Zina Kumok. Zina is the driving force behind our contribution to Kickin’ it with Luke. She’s also a talented personal finance freelance writer and speaker.

I want to welcome her to contribute her thoughts and feelings on the opioid epidemic today, as someone who has seen it impact her own community.

Living in the Midwest, the opioid epidemic is a reality that goes past the daily headlines. It’s something that affects people on a day-to-day basis. But it can feel hard to see what an individual can do to stem the problem.

Being part of Kickin’ it with Luke is one way that you can support an organization doing its part. Everything I’ve heard about Brigid’s Paththe primary organization which benefits from Kickin’ it with Luke –is that they’re an organization that treats its patients and clients with respect. They understand their struggles and help them without judgment.

What’s especially great about Kickin’ it with Luke is that the fundraiser honors Luke and his memory with an activity he loved: kickball. Luke loved to play kickball with his friends and this tournament celebrates him and brings his loved ones together.

I’m so excited to see what the third year of this tournament brings and how many more people are helped by this group.

Final Book Contribution

The final book contribution to the financial literacy basket is The Feminist Financial Handbook by yours truly.

Photo courtesy of Sarah Li Cain

While The Feminist Financial Handbook addresses personal finance topics such as budgeting systems, investment options, and emergency funds, its unique value is describing the backstories of women’s financial lives. Chapter topics include: single parenting, gender income gaps, salary negotiations, financial account ownership, PTSD and depression, and domestic and financial abuse.

Skillfully combining political and historical insights, research findings, and real-life stories of women managing their finances, Conroy offers readers hope, support, and specific action steps at the end of each chapter. Women who desire financial security for themselves and others and financial educators, counselors, coaches, and planners who assist them will benefit greatly from the unique perspectives contained within this book.

Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®
@moneytalk1 and co-author of Money Talk: A Financial Guide for Women

Learn more here!


Thank you so much to Zina! Learn more about Kickin’ It With Luke and how we’re using financial literacy to fight addiction in Dayton, Ohio.

If you’re interested in a financial literacy basket from Personal Finance by Women for your nonprofit’s event, or supporting future efforts, please do get in touch!


Brynne Conroy is a freelance writer, author and award-winning blogger in the personal finance space. Her work has a marked focus on women’s issues and intersectional oppression as it relates to the personal economies of Americans.

She loves baseball, linguistics and cultural studies. If you can’t find her behind a keyboard or calculator, she’s probably busy momming.

Jackie Cummings Koski Kicks it with Luke

Welcome to Day 4 of our series celebrating the Kickin’ It with Luke event! The fourth author contributing her book to the financial literacy gift basket — which will be raffled off this Saturday — is Jackie Cummings Koski.

Jackie is Dayton native herself, and contributing her award-winning book to the financial literacy book basket will directly serve her local community by fighting addiction.

Jackie’s book is amazing for so many reasons, not the least of which is that it addresses the investing gap. I’m honored to say that like Kristin, this is the second financial literacy book basket Jackie has participated in. Last time we helped raise money for those battling cancer to buy wigs.

Without further ado, here are the deets on Jackie’s fantastic tome:

Money Letters 2 my Daughter is a series of letters from a mother to her 17-year-old daughter about all things dealing with money and personal finances. Its not about teaching you how to make more money,but how to better manage the money you have. It will inspire you to trade in your stress and anxiety about money, for knowledge and power. Every letter starts with a lesson and ends with love. In between is easy-to-understand advice and guidance that will give you the foundation you need to make the most of your hard-earned money.

This book addresses many of the National Standards in Personal Finance Education for K-12, created and maintained by the Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy. This publication has been approved by Jump$tart to be listed as a resource in the Jump$tart Clearinghouse database.

Learn more here!


Thank you so much to Jackie! Learn more about Kickin’ It With Luke and how we’re using financial literacy to fight addiction in Dayton, Ohio.

If you’re interested in a financial literacy basked from Personal Finance by Women for your nonprofit’s event, or supporting future efforts, please do get in touch!

Kristin Wong Kicks it with Luke

Welcome to Day 3 of our series celebrating the Kickin’ It with Luke event! The third author contributing her book to the financial literacy gift basket — which will be raffled off this Saturday — is Kristin Wong.

On top of being an amazing freelance writer, author and award-winning journalist, Kristin has been a powerhouse in getting Personal Finance by Women off the ground. You might recognize her efforts through her picks on last week’s Apex Money, and her behind-the-scenes support has been instrumental.

Kristin’s book — Get Money — is a phenomenal read for anyone who’s trying to make their money fun.

Managing your money is like going to the dentist or standing in line at the DMV. Nobody wants to do it, but at some point, it’s inevitable: you need to clean your teeth, renew your license, and manage your personal finances like a grown-up. Whether you’re struggling to pay off student loan debt, ready to stop living paycheck to paycheck, or have finally accepted that your Beanie Baby collection will never pay off, tackling your finances may seem immensely intimidating. But it doesn’t have to be. In fact, by approaching it as a game–or something that requires you to set clear goals, as well as face challenges you must “beat”–personal finance can not only be easy to understand, but it can also be fun!

In Get Money, personal finance expert Kristin Wong shows you the exact steps to getting more money in your pocket without letting it rule your life. Through a series of challenges designed to boost your personal finance I.Q., interviews with other leading financial experts, and exercises tailored to help you achieve even your biggest goals, you’ll learn valuable skills such as:

  • Building a budget that (gasp) actually works
  • Super-charging a debt payoff plan
  • How to strategically hack your credit score
  • Negotiating like a shark (or at least a piranha)
  • Side-hustling to speed up your money goals
  • Starting a lazy investment portfolio…and many more!

Simply put, with this gamified guide to personal finance, you’ll no longer stress about understanding how your finances work–you’ll finally “get” money.

Learn more here!


Thank you so much to Kristin! Learn more about Kickin’ It With Luke and how we’re using financial literacy to fight addiction in Dayton, Ohio.

If you’re interested in a financial literacy basked from Personal Finance by Women for your nonprofit’s event, or supporting future efforts, please do get in touch!

Clever Girl Finance Kicks It with Luke

Welcome to Day 2 of our series celebrating the Kickin’ It with Luke event! The second author contributing her book to the financial literacy gift basket — which will be raffled off this Saturday — is Bola Sokunbi.

Bola is one of our founding members, is the creator of the Clever Girl Finance blog where she empowers women as they strive for financial independence and is also a Certified Financial Education Instructor (CFEI).

Her book — which carries the same name as her blog — gives women the information they need to make savvy money decisions.

“You’re a smart woman. So why do you find financial matters just a little intimidating? Don’t worry—we’ve all been there! We work hard for our money. We’re supporting families or sharing the financial obligations of our households. However, we’re usually paid less than men and we typically live longer, making our money management needs unique. And that’s why it’s time for YOU to master the essentials of money: managing it, saving it, investing it, and building a secure financial future for yourself.


Self-made money expert Bola Sokunbi developed Clever Girl Finance to meet those objectives. In this book, she helps you identify your personal needs, challenges, and relationship with debt. She demystifies investing. She coaches you on salary negotiations. And at every step, she shares the experiences of women just like you. It’s not a magic bullet. It’s a process Bola used to establish her own financial security, and it can work for you too! ”

Learn more here!

Thank you so much to Bola! Learn more about Kickin’ It With Luke and how we’re using financial literacy to fight addiction in Dayton, Ohio.

If you’re interested in a financial literacy basked from Personal Finance by Women for your nonprofit’s event, or supporting future efforts, please do get in touch!

PF by Women Kicks it with Luke

A lot of times in our culture, we punish addiction rather than recognizing it for what it is: An illness. Punishing an illness does not heal it, but rather inflicts shame, which can ironically compound behaviors that reinforce said illness.

We need not look far to see that addiction isn’t just an illness that affects a few, but rather it’s one that’s causing a public health epidemic across the US.

Yes, you probably have heard of Dayton outside of its recent tragedies: Home of the Wright brothers and the National Museum of the United States Air Force. Among other things.

Today, we’re going to zoom in on Dayton, Ohio. Two short years ago, it was the worst-hit city as far as opioid-related fatalities go. But just one year later, the community managed to rally and turn things around, reducing the fatality count by about two-thirds.

How did they do it?

They treated addiction as an illness.

They treated the ill with compassion. Without judgement.

They instituted syringe exchange programs to ensure those in active addiction avoided as much illness and infection as possible.

They chose a path of compassion, looking at the entire human being rather than just the illness. While there are still significant problems to address in the region, the numbers show that it’s working.

Kickin’ It With Luke

The area’s authorities and service providers aren’t the only ones to step up to battle this disease. Every year, the Dayton community rallies around an annual kickball tournament: Kickin’ It With Luke.

The event is held in Luke’s memory after his passing a few years ago, and is equal parts a celebration of his life and love, and an effort to raise funds to help others fighting addiction.

The primary nonprofit that benefits from the event is Brigid’s Path — a treatment facility for babies who are born drug-dependent. In addition to helping the newborns physically, Brigid’s Path provides holistic family services in a non-judgemental environment. This provides both newborn and family with opportunities for early bonding and access to community resources.

We’ll be on the ground kickin’ it with Luke this Saturday! If you’re local, you can check out more details for the event. If you’re not, you can support here.

Financial Literacy Basket

Some of our amazing member authors have been kind enough to contribute a copy of their books for a financial literacy gift basket. This basket will be raffled off on Saturday at the event, but I wanted to start introducing you to our authors now!

First up is Lauren Bowling, one of our wonderful Founding Members, owner and creator of Financial Best Life, and author of The Millennial Homeowner.

Here’s what the book dives into:

In her debut book The Millennial Homeowner, personal finance blogger Lauren Bowling provides a wealth of home buying tips and money management lessons to help millennials redefine their relationship with money. Written in Lauren’s warm, funny, and easy-to-understand voice, this book helps millennial homebuyers financially prepare for the biggest purchase of their lifetime.

By breaking down complex financial concepts into clear, manageable tools, Lauren has written the ultimate resource to help millennials navigate the overwhelming process of purchasing and maintaining their first home.

Learn more here!

One more bit of news!

Let’s send a huge congratulations to Liz Frazier, who just recently released her new book: Beyond Piggy Bank and Lemonade Stands!

Launch went so well that she actually sold out of books on Day One! Liz has been quick to meet demand, so if you have young children and have been wondering how the heck to teach them about this money stuff, be sure to get your hands on a copy while they last!


Brynne Conroy is a freelance writer, author and award-winning blogger in the personal finance space. Her work has a marked focus on women’s issues and intersectional oppression as it relates to the personal economies of Americans.

She loves baseball, linguistics and cultural studies. If you can’t find her behind a keyboard or calculator, she’s probably busy momming.