A crowd of two dozen gathered this morning at the NCJW office to hear anecdotes and hard facts about Healing Hearts Bank, a growing community service project spearheaded by the NCJW-St. Louis Section. This nationally recognized micro-lending program provides non-traditional loans of up to $500 to women transitioning from domestic violence situations. The loans further the independence of the women and their children by providing for such things as transportation, work-related clothing, and education. One woman started a jewelry business with a Healing Hearts loan. She sells her pieces at flea markets and private parties. Another woman used a $350 Healing Hearts loan to purchase work clothing and pay off daycare expenses. Both loans have been repaid, and the women now have steady incomes.
Bonus: Because NCJW is a member of the Credit Builders Alliance, borrowers may report their loan payments to build or repair their credit scores.
“Don’t stop doing what you’re doing,” said the woman with the new jewelry business. “It really does make a difference.”
Thanks to project chair Marilyn Ratkin; team leaders Eve Frank Bensky, Lori Goldberg, and Sue Rundblad; and volunteer bankers Dee Berman, Phyllis Cantor, Jen Deutsch, Susie Edelstein, Jo Ann Frazier, Debbie Gilula, Toby Katz, Gail Lapin, Sandy Meyer, Katie Silversmith, Jane Tarlow, and Marilyn Werner.
Support Healing Hearts Bank by sending an NCJW tribute, becoming a key donor to expand the program, or volunteering as a “banker.” Learn more by contacting NCJW.