The Urban Grind

Why Cash Advance Businesses Aren't All Bad



The combination of those two words evokes a variety of reactions depending on who you are and where you come from. For some of you it is worse than dropping an F* Bomb, saying "Sh*t", or yelling 'Shut up!'. Perhaps a few of you are innocently ignorant of such establishments. Maybe, just maybe, you have utilized the unique services of businesses that offer payday loans & cash advances. (No need to tell - we've all been tempted by the siren song of "Quick Cash")

I have been noticing that more and more of these places have been sprouting up like dandelions around Chattanooga. Like all weeds, their seeds are blown by the wind until they settle on a patch of soil to shallowly root - causing unwanted annoyance, harm, or destruction of the grass attempting to grow. Seemingly harmless like a dandelion these extortionists are more akin to dangerous, fire-breathing dragons - leaving burned swatches in neighborhood landscapes.

The only redeeming quality of these voracious, selfish, destructive businesses is there unceasing pursuit of more clients. Preying (mostly) on poverty-stricken pockets of the community they are constantly searching for the next victim of insane interest rates and bill collector referrals. For this reason, they love to advertise to vulnerable neighborhoods - Alton Park being one of them. Why is this a redeeming quality? Positive attribute? Benefit whatsoever? Their custom branded products make incredible Dunkin Donut Munchkin holders! Our friendly cash advance neighbor so generously give thousands of cups to the rec center to promote their services.

We thought, "How divinely ironic! We're advancing the Kingdom of God, so why not use these cash advance cups as a statement of redemption and transformation." Each time a sleeve of cups is unwrapped for holding sweet, delicate Munchkins or overflowed with cherry Kool-Aid for serve+share I can't help but smile. I smile because it's who we are - representative of the community but working toward change with our neighbors. You may love this idea (free cups, "Why not?!) or you may disagree with our tacit promotion. What you can't argue with, though, is that those cups, the donuts within, and the trash can their deposited into are avenues of the Good News.

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