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On June 14, United Way of West Alabama hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony and lunch for Ola Mae Hobson of Greensboro at her home.  Ms. Hobson is the first investor in West Alabama to complete United Way’s Individual Development Account (IDA) program.

The IDA is a federal grant program administered by the Office of Community Services of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. The program assists qualifying individuals who open an IDA by matching earned income with local United Way funds and federal funds. The IDA promotes savings and financial stability and enables participants to acquire a lasting asset to purchase a first-time home, to earn a college education, or to start or expand a small business.  (See more information about the IDA program below.)

“I feel blessed, very blessed,” said Ola Mae Hobson about her investment in the IDA program and the purchase of her home.  When asked about opening an IDA and her experience in the program, Hobson said, “I don’t think it was difficult.  I think it was just putting your mind to what you wanted to do, and this is what I wanted.”

Jackie Wuska, United Way of West Alabama President/CPO, said, “United Way is thrilled to help West Alabamians like Ola Mae realize a lifelong dream by participating in the IDA program.”  Commenting on the value of the program, Wuska added, “It is most rewarding for us to give back to hard working individuals and families who are the backbone of our community, and a program such as IDA allows United Way to directly affect our community with funds which are reinvested and make an economic impact on West Alabama.”

“I am proud United Way of West Alabama is reaching beyond Tuscaloosa to help those in all the West Alabama counties we serve,” said Robert Kuhn, Capstone Bank President and UWWA’s Board President.  He added, “By providing opportunities to Ola Mae and others investing with the IDA program, United Way is able to fulfill its mission of offering long term solutions to needs in our community.”