The Jewish Free Loan Association Opens New Fund for Veterans
The Jewish Free Loan Association (JFLA) of Los Angeles just announced the creation of a loan fund exclusively to assist America’s returning veterans. The special fund, called “Strawberry Jam,” is seeded by large donation from Metabolic Studio. Metabolic Studio is the brainchild of artist and philanthropist Lauren Bon, granddaughter of Walter Annenberg.
The JFLA is beginning an effort to raise additional funds for the Strawberry Jam, both from individuals and other organizations. The fund will provide free loans to returning veterans to help them set up a business, return to school, or for any emergency financial needs they might have.
Strawberry Jam was created to help veterans, who have an unemployment rate of 10 percent, nearly 20 percent higher than the national unemployment rate. According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s report Veteran Status, 2010 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates, nearly 7 percent of veterans live under the poverty level.
According to Mark Meltzer, CEO of the JFLA, “This program comes at a critical time when veterans are seeking assistance more than ever as they return from tours of duty or face financial hardship as a result of the economic downturn.”
Through its Micro-Enterprise Loan Program, the JFLA has extended more than $4.5 million in interest free loans to entrepreneurs throughout the general Los Angeles area. It hopes the Strawberry Jam fund will be able to provide similar support to those who’ve given so much to the country.
The Strawberry Jam fund is limited to providing cost free, interest free loans to people who are permanent residents of either Ventura and Los Angleses counties. However,the International Association of Jewish Free Loans provides similar types of loans to people who need assistance throughout the United States, Israel, Brazil, Argentina, Australia, and Canada.
People interested in contributing to either Strawberry Jam or any of the Jewish Free Loan Funds can do so directly on their websites at www.JFLA.org or www.freeloan.org. The JFLA also participates in iGive.com, which makes a donation to the organization every time you shop at one of the 680 major brands that participate.
About the Author: Menachem was previously a feature article writer for the Milwaukee Journal. He currently runs a small publishing business in Michigan focusing on books and magazines for the tourist industry. He is looking forward to writing for Jewocity and connecting with its readers. More about Menachem