Press Releases: October 20, 2020
UWGH Launches “Houston Saves” Matching Funds Campaign to Help Houstonians
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United Way of Greater Houston Launches “Houston Saves” Matching Funds Campaign to Help Houstonians Build Emergency Savings
HOUSTON, TX (Oct. 15, 2020) – United Way of Greater Houston today launches the Houston Saves campaign aimed at improving the financial stability and emergency savings of Houstonians by matching their monthly savings. The campaign is a partnership between United Way and national nonprofit SaverLife, with grant support from JPMorgan Chase, that rewards qualifying individuals in Greater Houston who set aside at least $30 monthly with a $20 monthly match for up to six months, along with a $5 gift for signing up at saverlife.org/houstonsaves. Due to the impact that the pandemic has had on income and savings among small businesses and their employees, the campaign is focusing on that audience, however anyone who is interested in participating is invited to sign up.
“Many Houstonians were unprepared financially for the sudden and ongoing economic crisis created by the COVID-19 pandemic, so our hope is that Houston Saves will help individuals regain some savings through this matching opportunity so that they have some funds in reserve for the next emergency,” said Becca Fritze, a manager for United Way of Greater Houston’s THRIVE program. “Not only are financially stable families better equipped to handle an emergency, but they are also able to contribute to our local economy and, with greater peace of mind, better able to focus on the health and well-being of their families and themselves.”
According to data from the 2020 Kinder Houston Area Survey, 39 percent of households in Harris County don’t have the $400 needed to weather an emergency, such as a natural disaster, medical payment, or car repair. Houston Saves encourages participants to create savings habits that will help them plan for a future emergency or save for future goals. Of the 252 participants in a January 2019 pilot matched savings program, 65 percent increased their savings and on average, saved $712. The total savings to date from the pilot is $98,191.
“It’s crisis moments like these that renew people’s focus on building financial stability,” says Leigh Phillips, CEO of SaverLife. “We are pleased to partner with United Way of Greater Houston and JPMorgan Chase to provide the SaverLife platform - an incentivized and proven way for working families to start building a critical emergency fund.”
Houston Saves participants will also have access to one-on-one financial coaching through United Way THRIVE, a collaborative approach to financial stability that leverages 20 nonprofit partners and partnerships with employers, community colleges, financial institutions and city and state agencies to provide families with comprehensive resources to reach real and lasting financial stability. Since its inception, United Way THRIVE has helped more than 211,000 families on the path to financial stability.
For more information and to sign up for Houston Saves, visit www.saverlife.org/houstonsaves.
About United Way of Greater Houston
For nearly 100 years, United Way of Greater Houston has brought together diverse partners and approaches to address the complex challenges holding people back. We are a driving force for good that connects our neighbors with opportunities to thrive. We help our neighbors achieve financial stability. We provide services that support the physical and behavioral health of families and youth along with educational services that expand their skills and horizons. We provide a safety net that catches the most vulnerable. We manage every donation with care to make the greatest impact across the four-county region of Fort Bend, Harris, Montgomery and Waller counties. We connect neighbors with help 24/7 through our 211 Texas/United Way HELPLINE. For more information, please visit, www.unitedwayhouston.org.
SaverLife (formerly EARN) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit on a mission—to inspire, inform, and reward the millions of Americans who need help saving money. Through engaging technologies and strategic partnerships, we give working people the methods and motivation to take control of their financial future. SaverLife has a number of esteemed investor partners including Intuit Financial Freedom Foundation, MetLife Foundation, Prudential, JPMorgan Chase & Co., MasterCard and Capital One. For more information or to join the SaverLife Movement, please visit www.saverlife.org.