Posts Tagged ‘board member’

Why Serving on the HFL Board is a Special Experience

August 14th, 2013

Blog authored by: Susie Pappas

This may surprise many who know me but I am not a native Detroiter.  I came here from Chicago in 1971 as a new bride and did not know a soul except my husband, Norm.  So what does a “newbie” do to meet some new people?  Join organizations, of course!  Before I knew it, I became very involved in the Jewish community, taking a variety of leadership roles in Federation and other Jewish organizations.  I was fortunate to be asked to serve on several boards, including the JCC, JFS, Women’s Department and Board of Governors of the JFMD as well as being involved with Yad Ezra and JARC.  I even spent a short time on the HFL board but because of time restraints, I had to drop off that one.  Fast forward about 30 years and here I am once again on one of the best boards in town!  Hebrew Free Loan is the place to be!

As a board member, I take my turn about 4-6 times a year to help with interviewing potential borrowers.  I have learned many things while fulfilling this job.

  1. We try to say “yes” as often as we can, which always makes each of us feel proud of a job well done.  Usually as long as the borrower can repay the loan and is able to secure two valid co-signers, we can loan the money that is requested.

  2. People come to Hebrew Free Loan because they have nowhere else to go.

  3. We hear all kinds of stories: many are sad, but we also hear about simchas, as well.

  4. People just like you and me may very well be sitting right across the table from me (and they have, believe me)

  5. We recycle money–yes, it is a loan–but 99% of the time, the loan is paid back and then it can be loaned out again to others in need.

  6. The staff at HFL are among the nicest and most helpful staff I have ever worked with.

  7. I look forward to my interview times and would like to do it more often but everyone on this board feels the same way!

If serving on the Hebrew Free Loan board could be a lifetime position, then sign me up, please!  As I said, it’s one of the best boards in town!!

Earth Day at HFL – We Recycle Dollars

April 22nd, 2013

Post authored by Carolyn Bellinson, a Hebrew Free Loan Board Member

Earth Day 2013 got me thinking about the ways in which we (the collective “we”) have taken care, not only of our physical environment, but also the human environment in which we live.

Hopefully all of us are in the habit of recycling as much of our refuse as possible, so as to free up space in the landfills that dot our landscape.  Recycling our trash also helps alleviate the tearing down of more trees or the production of more rubber, by allowing new goods to be produced using old materials that have been discarded.

Recycling can also occur in our human environment.  In fact, Hebrew Free Loan has been promoting such “recycling” for over 100 years now.  In our long tradition of providing interest free loans to our Jewish community, recycling has been a crucial factor of our continued ability to provide loans to our community.  As loans are paid back, those same dollars go out the door to another loan recipient.  In this manner, HFL is one of the original recyclers aiding  the human environment.

HFL’s Evergreen Legacy Fund (ELF)  highlights just how much recycling impacts our community.  In just one ELF the power of recycling has made possible the following loans for our community:

*security deposit and rent for a woman to leave an abusive marriage

*used car for a woman to get her paralegal certificate from a community college

*home repairs to fix up a house purchased by a recently divorced father

*car repair for a woman to drive her disabled brother to his appointments

So, just as we teach our children the great importance of taking care of our planet, we must also teach our children how crucial it is to take care of our community.  HFL has been playing its part in helping our community.  Have you?

Please visit our website ( and see how you can get involved in the human recycling movement. In addition, you can call us at 248-723-8184.