We all know that this weekend has been great for sales. “Black Friday” sales started unfurling early last week, and today is Cyber Monday, which means there is still money to be saved. In fact, we’ve still got deals live for AncestryDNA, conflict-free diamonds and Etsy gifts.
What you may or may not be familiar with is that tomorrow is Giving Tuesday. Today, I wanted to throw a giving option onto your list you may not have heard of before. It’s not only a positive way to support others in their finances, but also makes the most of your dollar as it’s a gift that keeps on giving.
Sustainable Giving through the HFLA
Last year I was fortunate enough to meet the good folks at our local chapter of the Hebrew Free Loan Association (HFLA) here in Pittsburgh. Southwestern PA’s chapter was the first to be established, and their mission is kind of genius.
The HFLA provides interest-free loans to community members who need money for:
- College tuition and expenses (Seriously! Solving the student loan problem!!!)
- Private/parochial school tuition
- Continuing education and job training
- Summer camp
- Small businesses
- Home improvements and renovations (Bye-bye HELOCs!)
- Medical and dental expenses
- Adoption expenses
- Fertility treatments
- Vehicle repairs and purchases (No more interest-bearing car notes!)
- Family emergencies
- Funeral expenses
- Wedding expenses
- Bar Mitzvah and Bat Mitzvah expenses
- Debt consolidation
- And more. If you need a loan, ask and see if you qualify.
At least here in Pittsburgh, you don’t have to be Jewish to get a loan.
Let’s just let that sink in for a minute.
How much money could people save by getting an interest-free loan for these expenses?
While some of these events I’d argue you should save for, a lot of these things can’t be planned, or are unobtainable for many without an upfront loan. Typically those loans bear interest, which really messes a lot of people’s finances up loan-term.
Give the gift that keeps on giving this Giving Tuesday
The HFLA runs on donations and grants. Because these are loans and not gifts, eventually they see all that money come right back to them. That means that when you give to the HFLA, your dollar won’t be spent today to be forever gone. It will come back, helping more and more students, families and individuals for years to come.
They call this recycling their money, and it’s brilliant.
They are a 501(c)(3), which means that all of your donations are tax deductible.
If You Need to Receive
I know I have some readers that may not be in a position to donate, but could desperately use the help the HFLA provides. They don’t give out micro loans, but if your need is for some type of life event similar to what’s listed above, you may want to apply.
Be aware that before you get approved, you will need to have some type of way to pay the loan back. That means you have some income that shows them you will be able to repay.
They need to do this because while they’re not profiting off of you, they need to see those dollars back so they can recycle them and help more people.
For the Pittsburgh chapter, you do have to live in Allegheny county, but if you live elsewhere read on.
Give to the HFLA this Tuesday and Help Your Community with their Finances
I’m so excited to have found an organization that has a like-mission of helping their communities with their finances. If you’re excited about the idea, too, I’d highly encourage you to donate this Tuesday to the HFLA.
Of course, I am partial to you donating here in Pittsburgh. It’s my community and I love it. But if there’s another chapter in your area that you’d like to support, I’ll understand.
Some chapters only lend to those of the Jewish faith. This list of chapters is sorted by those that have non-sectarian lending practices and those that only lend to the Jewish community. But all of the loans sit at zero percent interest.
- Hebrew Free Loan Society New York City
- Jewish Free Loan Association Los Angeles
- Hebrew Free Loan Association San Fransisco
- Hebrew Free Loan Association Montreal*
- Hebrew Free Loan Association Northeast Ohio
Hebrew Free Loan Society Philadelphia
Hebrew Free Loan Association Tucson
Jewish Free Loan Association Milwaukee
Chapters that only lend to Jewish people
- Hebrew Free Loan Detroit
- Jewish Free Loan Toronto*
- Jewish Free Loan Phoenix
- Hebrew Free Loan Association Ottawa*
- Jewish Interest Free Loan Denver
No website, but the listed phone number is (303) 759-0841.
- Hebrew Free Loan Dallas
- Hebrew Free Loan Association Vancouver*
- Hebrew Free Loan Association Miami
- Hebrew Benevolent Loan Association Buffalo
- Hebrew Free Loan Association Seattle
- Jewish Free Loan Program Minnetonka/Twin Cities
- Jewish Family Service Hand Up Loan San Diego
- Tarrant County Hebrew Free Loan Association Fort Worth
- Hebrew Free Loan Association Austin
- Ruth and Norma Rales Jewish Family Services Boca Raton
*I don’t know how taxes in Canada work.