UU Church West’s “Split the Plate” program is one of outreach and generosity. Each month we give half of all undesignated offerings to a non-profit organization, to help us live out our Unitarian Universalist values and serve our community.

Our Split the Plate partner for May is the Milwaukee Jewish Free Loan Association.  The Association’s mission is to help families and individuals meet a variety of immediate financial needs with interest-free, short-term loans on a non-sectarian basis, the only cost-free financial alternative in Wisconsin.

A relatively small loan at just the right moment can save someone’s life from a potentially unrecoverable downward domino effect. MJFLA’s impact is wide-reaching and provides hope and positive outcomes to people at a most vulnerable time.

One primary focus is removing impediments to education. Consider Tammy’s story: “When my father passed away, my mother was left in a very difficult situation. I was in school full time and working two jobs but as tuition continued to rise, my scholarship and financial aid just weren’t enough so I took time off to help support my family. After leaving, my significant debt kept me from being able to return to school. No one at school would help me to set up a payment plan because they insisted that it had to be paid in full. My mom and I both felt helpless. No one else we talked to seemed to think there was any hope. MJFLA didn’t just give me a handout – they empowered me and gave me the tools I needed to change my life.”

MJFLA helps with many other immediate basic needs, including rent, utilities, transportation, vehicle repair, childcare, and medical or dental emergencies.

The loans are a hand-up instead of a handout, promoting self-sufficiency with dignity. As loans are repaid, the Association recycles those funds into new loans.

To support Milwaukee Jewish Free Loan Association any time this month, go to the UUCW website’s “Donate” tab and select “Split the Plate” from the menu provided. For more information about Milwaukee Jewish Free Loan Association, visit their website. For more information about Split the Plate, contact Kathy Herrewig.