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New loan program is model of community partnership that will be administered by Northern Virginia Family Service and includes support from Area Businesses, Community Foundation for Northern Virginia and Others
Leesburg, VA – June 16, 2020 – A new fund will make $2,000 emergency cash assistance available to Loudoun County residents unable to meet expenses, such as housing, utility, car payments, medical, childcare or other needs. The Pay It Forward Direct Assistance Loan Fund, powered by 100WomenStrong, is funded and spearheaded by the philanthropic group, and other funding comes from a combination of businesses, foundations and nonprofit organizations, including the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia. The short-term loans will be administered by Northern Virginia Family Service (NVFS) and are designed to be flexible and responsive, with a low interest rate. Re-payment will go back into the fund to make it sustainable to assist others in need.
“COVID-19 has created extreme financial hardship for some of the most vulnerable in our community, who may be enticed by predatory lenders. Many of our neighbors may not be able to make ends meet and may not be eligible for other loan programs,” Karen G. Schaufeld, Founder and President of 100WomenStrong, said. “We wanted to help them while creating a way that they can, in return, help their neighbors. When recipients repay their loans, their money will go back into Pay It Forward, so another person can use those funds. We see this program lasting much longer than the COVID crisis and hope it becomes a sustainable, useful tool for hard-working families in our area experiencing temporary financial setbacks.”
Pay it Forward is designed to be a viable and desirable alternative to high-interest lending programs. These loans will be no interest for the first six months and then will bear a 2-percent simple interest rate. All distributions will be made by NVFS directly to vendors on behalf of the approved applicant, and NVFS will work with applicants to identify required documentation for Fund payment.
“We are proud to partner with 100WomenStrong to address the surge in financial hardship among our Loudoun County neighbors. 100WomenStrong’s leadership in recognizing the critical needs around us, coupled with dedicated investments from the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia and a network of community-minded supporters, is an incredible gift,” said Stephanie Berkowitz, President and CEO of Northern Virginia Family Service. “The creative partnership fueling this innovative, self-sustaining program will help ensure that our neighbors have the food, medications, and supplies they need to weather these unprecedented and challenging times.”
- Must be a current Loudoun County
- Distributions are made on behalf of individuals/families only.
- Loan amounts are capped at $2,000, per loan.
- Loans will be interest-free for the first 6 months. After 6 months, the simple interest rate will be 2% until the loan is fully re-paid.
- Additional loans will be considered following full repayment of an existing loan.
- The maximum duration of the loan will be 36 months.
The Pay it Forward Direct Assistance Loan Fund, powered by 100WomenStrong currently has $141,000 in available funding. This includes $50,000 from 100WomenStrong, $40,000 from Community Foundation for Northern Virginia and $20,000 from an anonymous donor. The Schaufeld Family Foundation, The Bosserman Family Fund, The McCall-Hellman Family Fund, Bobbi Schaufeld and John and Jessica Wood donated $2,500 each. Businesses that donated $2,500 include Custom Ink, Bank of Charles Town, Bank of Clarke County, MainStreet Bank, Sandy Spring Bank, Summit Bank and SWaN & Legend. Langhorne Custom Homes donated $1,000.
Funds from Community Foundation for Northern Virginia were given as part of Round 4 of its COVID-19 Response Fund for Northern Virginia program. The Fund has distributed more than $1.4 million in grants to 72 local nonprofit organizations providing much needed services to individuals and families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Community Foundation for Northern Virginia.
“So many individuals and families in our region continue to suffer terribly under the health and economic impacts of the coronavirus and its fallout. Applications for unemployment benefits are at an all-time high, and local human service nonprofits now report a 3- to 5-fold increase in demand for their services,” said Eileen Ellsworth, President and CEO at the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia. “Direct financial assistance to individuals and families hardest hit by the crisis remains a top priority for our COVID-19 Response Fund.”
How to Get Help or Donate Funds
- Requests for assistance from Pay It Forward, Powered by 100WomenStrong should be submitted to NVFS, per application guidance at nvfs.org/payitforward
- Businesses or others who would like to contribute to the fund can contact Pam Ray at Pam@OneHundredWomenStrong.org
Formed in 2008, 100WomenStrong is a group of concerned philanthropists seeking to strategically invest in organizations and programs that enrich the lives of Loudoun County residents. They are committed to improving the quality of life for residents of Loudoun County, Virginia, through strategic grants to nonprofits working in the areas of shelter, health, hunger and education. Members of 100WomenStrong connect and collaborate to leverage their philanthropic resources as a component fund of the Community Foundation for Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties.
About Community Foundation for Northern Virginia
The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia grows philanthropy to respond to critical need, seed innovation and lead and convene the community. Comprised of donor advised funds, permanent funds, giving circles, and other charitable endowments, the Community Foundation connects donors to community and promotes a more equitable and inclusive prosperity that marries our economic strength with the full breadth of our diverse community. In 2019 the Community Foundation awarded more than $5.4 million in grants and scholarships and reported more than $72 million in managed philanthropic assets. For more information please visit us at www.cfnova.org, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.
About Northern Virginia Family Service (NVFS)
Northern Virginia Family Service’s (nvfs.org) breadth, depth and scope of services ensures that everyone in need, at every stage of life, maximizes their potential and fully contributes to a thriving community. We provide the essential building blocks for financial, emotional and physical well-being, serving as leaders and innovators for the Northern Virginia community. Every year, we empower 42,000 individuals and families to achieve self-sufficiency.