04/13/2009 - A recent study found that 5,000 Gaithersburg residents stow their money at home, just like Charles Herman Rabbitt, a wealthy city landowner who died in 1972.
Legend has it that the wealthy landowner did not trust banks, and he buried his money in milk cans. After his death, more than $540,000 in cash and $250,000 in silver coins were found on his property, according to county historians. Another $70,000 was found buried in milk cans in the 1970s, said Assistant City Manager Tony Tomasello, who believes the tale holds a valuable lesson.
Research by The Pew Charitable Trusts, done at the city's request, recently found that an estimated 5,000 residents do not have checking or savings accounts. Drawing on an idea he saw at a conference, City Councilman Ryan Spiegel has spearheaded an initiative to help residents open bank accounts at Gaithersburg banks, so they can better protect their finances and build the credit histories they need for long-term financial stability. The city's goal is to keep their dollars moving in the local economy.
Read the full article Gaithersburg Wants Residents to Bank on It on the Gaithersburg Business Gazette's Web site.
Pew is no longer active in this line of work, but for more information visit the Safe Banking Opportunities Project on PewHealth.org.