Branford, CT

Branford Microfund Receives $6,000.00 Grant from Branford Community Foundation

Jen Payne

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Branford Microfund advisory committee member Alice Laurenson, board member Tom Laurenson, and chairp

The Branford Microfund recently received a $6,000 grant from the Branford Community Foundation (BCF) to support its ongoing effort to provide interest free loans to individuals and families who encounter unexpected financial obstacles. As Branford Community Foundation Executive Director Liza Janssen Petra explained, “BCF is honored to support this important initiative that provides a unique service for someone who finds themself in a financial bind. A free loan for an emergency could mean the difference between making it and falling through the cracks.”

The Branford Microfund is a local non-profit organization run by Branford volunteers and community leaders to help its neighbors during difficult times. They provide interest free loans of up to $3,000 to Branford residents to help lighten immediate financial burdens. Repayment is expected over a maximum of 30 months.

The organization represents residents giving each other a helping hand. Their partners include the Blackstone Memorial Library, Branford Counseling & Community Services, Branford Food Pantry, Community Dining Room, First Congregational Church of Branford, Rotary Club of Branford, Willoughby Wallace Library, and the Women & Family Life Center. They work together with the philosophy to “pay it forward” – when a loan recipient repays a loan, the money becomes available to help another person in need.

In its ongoing efforts to reach out to the community, Branford Microfund chairperson Mina West, Tom Laurenson (board member), and Alice Laurenson (advisory committee member) recently attended a reception to welcome new clergy to Branford, including Father Thomas Blake (Trinity Episcopal), Reverend Maria Hammonds (Tabor Lutheran), and Reverend A.J. Smith (First Baptist Church of Branford). The event, hosted by Reverend Joseph Perdue at the First Congregational Church, was an informal evening of sharing and an exchange of ideas for Branford residents in need of support.

This kind of outreach is important, as it connects the BMF with community leaders who work directly with residents in need. As a result, the BMF has supported 14 loans for local families so far this year.

The Branford Microfund can help you, too. Their website, www.branfordmicrofund.org, is a great resource. See HOW TO APPLY to fill out a pre-loan application online or print out and submit one by snail mail. They promise a quick turn-around in the initial process, which can be done online, even on your phone. Then, their highly experienced loan committee meets with qualified applicants to try to figure out a way to help. “Sometimes people just need to discuss their concerns to move forward,” says BMF chairperson Mina West, “Our team can provide information and referrals to other local or government agencies.”

Please visit their website — www.branfordmicrofund.org — to learn more and start the application process today.

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Jen Payne is an author, poet, artist, and community volunteer who writes about our relationships with art, nature, creativity, and mindfulness. She has been the owner of Words by Jen, a graphic design and marketing company in Branford, Connecticut, since 1993.

Branford, CT
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