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 (MJFLA). When you support MJFLA, you are helping hundreds of people in our community each year to remain self-sufficient and resolve their own financial challenges without having to give up their dignity. An interest-free loan at just the right time can provide a moment of kindness that sets someone on a better path. MJFLA is the only non-sectarian, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in Wisconsin offering interest-free loans.

Last year, a loan provided by MJFLA helped Olivia. Here is her story:

Olivia was working two jobs, as a fourth-grade teacher and part-time in retail sales. She was doing okay until someone crashed into and totaled her car while it was parked on the street. Her son had just moved back in with her after losing his job of six years when his employer, a family business, went under and closed.

Supporting herself and her son, Olivia had to be able to get to work. She took out a high-interest loan to get another car. Several weeks later, her son got sick and she feared a burst appendix. He was doubled over in pain outside of Urgent Care because, he said, “Mom, we can’t afford this.”

She knew she had to find a solution. Olivia got a third job working nights. Then, she found MJFLA. Her MJFLA loan made it possible for her to escape the debt cycle and become financially stable.

The day we wrote the checks to pay off her Payday loan and other bills she said she was “so excited to go back to only two jobs!”

Thanks to community members like you, hundred of stories like Olivia’s are being heard, and individuals and families are being helped – with a hand up – not a handout.

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.