Offering No-Interest Loans to Individuals & Families in Need | A Project to Serve the Ossining Community


The Ossining Micro Fund (OMF) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, established in 2004, offering interest–free loans to individuals and families who encounter unexpected financial challenges. The OMF, co-founded by Dana Levenberg and Catherine Borgia, was inspired by the Eleanor Roosevelt No Interest Loan Fund (ERNILF), formed by a collaboration between a mosque, temple and church in Ithaca, NY that was founded by Dana’s relatives, survivors of the Holocaust.

Dana’s family experienced the challenges faced by refugees needing financial assistance. Wanting to give back, they provided structure to the concept of granting no-interest loans with little paperwork, to identify trustworthy recipients, to get donors, and to partner with organizations to make this philanthropy sustainable.

Nearly 20 years ago, Dana and Catherine saw the need for interest-free loans in Ossining. Henry Atterbury at the Ossining Rotary Club contributed the initial starting donation. Before long, Sue Donnelley and Sandy Galef joined, to inform, engage, and attract partner organizations, donors, and professionals to establish operational procedures.

Currently, the OMF has approximately 90 outstanding loans exceeding $130,000. The organization has over a dozen volunteers providing diverse skills: screening applicants, raising money, and providing leadership. Capital raised from private donations is used for loans; repayments by recipients are recycled into new loans.