40 Stories for 40 Years – Profilee 7
Saving for a Rainy Day
The first time Donna saw New Ventures Maine’s name was on a Rainy Day Savings Account flyer. After seeing the flyer, she was interested in learning more but was nervous. “I was afraid there would be strings attached and hoops to jump through,” Donna shares. After a year of thinking about the program, she found the courage to reach out. Once connected, she found the program much less intimidating than she originally expected.
Rainy Day Savings proved to be an accurate description when Donna’s roof began to leak! “When it started raining inside my house, my matched savings helped replace the roof. It kept me warm and dry,” she illustrates.
A Path Forward
After completing a two-year degree program, she realized she didn’t want to pursue a career in that field. “I felt defeated and lost.” Feeling this way, Donna knew she needed support in choosing a path forward. She remembered that NVME also offers career planning help and decided to enroll in a class to figure out her next steps.
In the class, “I learned that I had always been a people person and a problem solver,” Donna explains. She wanted to get back into the working community, to stop being reliant on her disability income, and be productive again. The class helped her identify ways to reach those goals. “That’s a scary step. New Ventures Maine had faith in me. They helped me have faith in myself after not being able to work for close to twenty years,” she shares.
During her time with NVME, Donna learned about a job posting with the Midcoast CA$H Coalition. After successfully interviewing, she became a part-time employee. Her position focused on connecting people with financial education resources. “What better way to pay it forward than to help others as NVME helped me,” Donna says.
In 2018, Donna joined Bath Housing as a full-time Resident Services Coordinator. Now she works to connect elderly and disabled people to resources and programs. Her goal is to keep them housed and enrich their lives. Donna shares, “It only took me four years! I am working a full-time job with benefits and earning twice what I got on SSDI. The feeling of accomplishment and sense of success are invaluable.”