Back in the Driver’s Seat

It takes a lot of determination and resiliency to regain a sense of independence once it has been lost due to a disability. It had been over five years since Phoenixville resident Chris had his own vehicle. Without one, getting to doctors’ appointments, picking up groceries, and even visiting his grandchildren had become difficult. As someone on a fixed income, Chris was especially grateful to learn about Open Hearth’s Family Savings Partner Program (FSP) and his eligibility to participate in this matched savings program. FSP helps those saving for a car, first home, or education by offering a match for every dollar saved.

“Thanks for all you have done for me and all the people you have helped.“

For seven months, Chris diligently made monthly deposits into his individual development account (IDA) to reach his goal of saving $1,000. Along the way, Chris participated in Open Hearth’s free financial education on topics relevant to his savings goal, such as Car Buying – Put Yourself in the Driver’s Seat and Good Credit – How to Get It (workshops are now offered virtually). Program staff also worked directly with Chris to develop a budget that would afford him a cushion so that he’ll have the funds available to keep his car in good repair.

After completing all the program requirements, Chris was eligible for $1,000 in matching funds. Along with his savings, this was enough for Chris to purchase a new-to-him car that will get him to wherever he needs to go. Upon reaching his goal, Chris felt such a sense of accomplishment and empowerment and expressed how this vehicle will allow him to decrease his reliance on others and increase his sense of autonomy. Moreover, Chris acknowledged how beneficial it was for him to participate in the financial education because he felt armed with the knowledge and confidence to make an informed purchase.

Open Hearth thanks all the donors who made Chris’s success story possible!