About Maria (How Savers Are Selected)
Maria, a mother of four, started her house-cleaning business in 2007 when her husband lost his construction job during her fourth pregnancy, but she is having trouble finding new clients. Maria has faced many hardships in her quest to operate her own business. She initially came to the United States planning to run a seamstress shop for 2 years, save some money, and return to Mexico. Now, 9 years have passed, and although she has come a long way from her first job in the lettuce fields, she is still struggling to establish herself as a professional housecleaner.
Prior to joining the matched savings program, the thought of saving never crossed Maria's mind, but after attending financial education classes and opening her account, she has saved $30 a month for over a year. She is saving for a carpet cleaner to boost her business. She would also like to save for a car so that she can expand her client base. She now travels by public transportation, carrying all of her cleaning supplies with her. Currently, Maria has three steady clients, but needs to increase sales in order to move her family out of the hotel in which they live and into an apartment for a more permanent and stable lifestyle.
Maria has already invested some of her savings and match money to buy insurance for her business, and hopes that her additional savings will enable her to expand the business and eventually allow her to make enough money to fulfill her dream of opening a seamstress shop.
UPDATE: As of fall 2009, Maria has reached her savings goal and earned her full match. Congratulations, Maria! She invested the remaining funds in a vehicle so she can travel to her clients' homes instead of using public transit. Maria hopes that her investment will take her business to the next level, and she hopes donors will be inspired to help her meet her fundraising goal to offer a new matching account at Opportunity Fund.
People who have Contributed to this Saver
I have witnessed matched savings programs change the lives of low-income and very poor working families for almost 20 years, first with pioneering IDA programs in the early 1990s, then with the American Dream Policy Demonstration, the subsequent flowering of...
Laura is a singer-songwriter and music teacher out of Atlanta, GA. And she thought she was supposed to write this in the 3rd person, which may or may not be the case...
Everyone needs help, and I believe there are many systemic barriers that prevent hardworking, well meaning individuals reach their goals. As a school psychologist in the Seattle Public Schools and a mother, I am proud to support savers and Save...
As the CEO and Co-Founder of SaveTogether, I hope SaveTogether can inspire us all to save and invest in our collective future. I was inspired to support the concept of saving as a way to help defeat poverty while working as...
Ensuring low and middle income families have access to saving and other asset building opportunities is the most straightforward and cost-effective way to break the intergenerational cycle of poverty.
It's great to support a program where people demonstrate their commitment to reaching a goal.