December Peace and Justice Newsletter

Written on: December 1, 2014

Advent is above all a time to revisit Hope. It’s so easy to be gloom and doom, to slip into an attitude of “what’s the use”. If we only read the daily news we’d be hard pressed to find much to give us hope. Fortunately there are more hopeful happenings than make the news.

As you know, the Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart have a strong commitment to social justice. We place our lives and our resources at the service of creating a more compassionate and just world. This includes using our investment portfolio to influence change in the corporate and global world as well as to provide for the needs of our Sisters and to continue our mission.

To this end we engage in two types of investing:

  1. Negative by which we hold shares in those companies whose practices violate our stated values in order to have a proxy vote or enter into dialogue or co- file resolutions against those companies.
  2. Positive whereby we actively promote our values by supporting companies that promote any of our stated values as well as invest in competent organizations that promote and create sustainable living while respecting the dignity of individuals and/or communities.

In this letter I want to highlight one of our positive investments. The New Hampshire Community Loan Fund’s mission is “to serve as a catalyst, leveraging financial, human and civic resources to enable traditionally underserved people to participate more fully in New Hampshire’s economy.” They do this by providing relatively small loans, capital and technical assistance that complement conventional lenders, and that bring people and institutions together to solve problems and create better communities. They turn our investment into loans and educational opportunities that transform lives across New Hampshire.

Following is just one of the many 2014 success stories of the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund.

This is a story of how a man, who grew up in a poor family, early on learned the difference between waste and opportunity and carried that lesson into his adult life. At the bidding of his machine shop boss, he turned the mess of the metal waste from the shop, into a new business called Simple Life Recycling. Not long after his company opened, it needed an infusion of capital. That’s where the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund’s Vested for Growth enters. With this loan he was able to purchase new equipment, hire key staff and better market his business. In turn he can provide good jobs and a more sustainable and environmentally friendly option for machine shops in New Hampshire. For more of these success stories visit www.communityloanfund.org.

In this kind of positive investing, investors may choose to receive anywhere from 0% to 5% interest on their loan. This is obviously a win/win venture and one that creates a ripple effect of hope both to individuals and to entire communities.

Let us be Advent People of Hope this season.   We wish you Advent blessings!


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