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Northwest Michigan Community Action Agency Offers Two Matched Savings Programs

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A Northern Michigan nonprofit has two new savings programs, and you’ll earn money just for participating.

The Northwest Michigan Community Action Agency got a grant to help people open two types of savings accounts — one for adults and one for kids.

The savings program for adults is called "Nest Egg Savings," and the one for children under 17 is "Early Bird Savings."

Programs the agency hopes will help families have somewhere to turn when facing hard times.

“Had I not had a little bit in savings when I retired my daycare in February, I would not have been able to make it through the past two months,” said Benzie County resident Sheryl Baker.

Sheryl Baker and her daughter Ema Pearl Francis know what it’s like not to know where your next dollar is coming from.

They’re facing foreclosure in June.

“When I came in here and learned that they could match my savings, it was a bigger incentive to go ‘Yes, savings is important.’”

Sheryl opened a Nest Egg Savings, which is open to adults.

If you deposit at least $300 of your tax return, NMCAA will match $100.

That can be huge when you’re strapped for cash.

“Because people that are in poverty, savings is something that’s way out of their imagination because they’re living on just such a small budget.”

Ema’s homeschooling right now, and is excited to use her early bird account to save up for college.

Kids will get $50 from NMCAA and 10 from Chemical Bank — so they start out with $60 dollars in the bank.

“In four years when I graduate I want to go to Hillsong College in Australia,” Ema said.

Families can have one Nest Egg account, and as many early bird accounts as there are kids in the household.

There are still Nest Egg spots and 48 Early Bird spots open.

Available for those who need them.

“All of us could be one crisis away from being in a total disaster,” NMCAA Utility Program Coordinator Tish Garthe-Shiner said.  

A household of four must make $2,500 a month or less to qualify for the program. You can call the NMCAA at (231) 947-3780 for more information.