8 years ago, my husband and I, who were journalists, were exiled from Ukraine. We moved to America as refugees and began a new life. At that time, we spoke very little English, which made our career opportunities limited. We were grateful at that time to learn about the Hebrew Free Loan Society’s interest-free loans that help immigrants like us get settled in New York.
Our initial loan was paid off some years later, but now, almost a decade later, we found ourselves taking out a new loan – this time to relocate my husband’s parents from war-torn Ukraine to Brooklyn, NY. The cost of moving my in-laws to America was very expensive. Relocation for refugees often requires several modes of transportation: trains, buses, and airplanes. Then when arriving here, we had to cover the cost of rent, security deposit, and additional fees. Not to mention other basic living expenses like food, new clothes, electricity, and medical bills.
If not for the Hebrew Free Loan Society’s support for New Yorkers with families in Ukraine, I don’t know what we would have done. We might have had to take out loans from a bank with high interest, or we might have borrowed from friends, potentially putting a strain on relationships. We were determined to rescue my husband’s parents no matter the outcome, and we were grateful to HFLS for allowing us to do so while retaining financial stability and dignity.