Jerry Bernard


State Treasurer Curtis Loftis presents Jerry Bernard, CEO of the Charles Lea Center, with a certificate proclaiming the organization as an Ambassador of the Palmetto ABLE Savings Program

Recently, State Treasurer Curtis Loftis had the pleasure of visiting the Charles Lea Center in Spartanburg. The Center provides a variety of programs and services that help over 1,500 individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities in the Upstate.

One of the Center’s main objectives is to help clients achieve greater inclusion in the communities where they live, work and play. The Center has designated areas where clients can learn what it’s like to visit a doctor or dentist office. There is also a simulated bank, grocery store and fast-food restaurant where clients can learn life and job skills so they can gain greater independence. 

Another resource the Center has recently introduced is the Palmetto ABLE Savings Program which allows individuals with disabilities an opportunity to save money without losing benefits. This is a new program available through the South Carolina Treasurer’s Office. 

“We were so excited to learn about the Palmetto ABLE Savings Program. Prior to this program, our clients could only have $2,000 in resources before losing healthcare and other important benefits. Independence is difficult when you have limited resources,” said Jerry Bernard, CEO of the Charles Lea Center. “ABLE accounts have been a game changer for our clients.”

During his visit, Treasurer Loftis presented Mr. Bernard with a certificate proclaiming the Charles Lea Center as an Ambassador of the Palmetto ABLE Savings Program in recognition of their efforts to assist clients with opening accounts.

“We greatly appreciate the efforts made by the staff of the Charles Lea Center to help us inform their clients and family members about this valuable financial product. These accounts provide a pathway to financial independence that didn’t exist before,” Treasurer Loftis explained. “Palmetto ABLE® accounts are easy to open and allow individuals to save for both short and long-term needs. We are grateful to our disability partners like the Charles Lea Center for their support, and I am pleased to thank them publicly for their assistance.”

To find out if you or a loved one is eligible to open a Palmetto ABLE account, visit