In response to the growing $1.3 trillion student loan debt crisis in the U.S., Shared Harvest Fund, (https://www.sharedharvestfund.org/), is introducing practical, impactful, and sustainable opportunities for professionals saddled with student debt to pay back their loans.
According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, about 44 million Americans are carrying some form of student loan debt. The new company has created a platform for skillful professionals to give back to impactful organizations by engaging in volunteer work to benefit the social causes they believe in while reducing their own student debt.
“I wanted to combine a way to help alleviate our troubling debt burden and the detrimental health cycles we see daily rooted in stress while being able to help nonprofits who so desperately need it,” said NanaEfua B.A.M, founder and CEO of Shared Harvest Fund. “Shared Harvest Fund came from our team’s deep desire to create a meaningful side hustle that would change the discourse from not making enough to giving back and making a difference. Our approach simply starts with investing in people who do good work, so we can be the change and beauty we want to see in the world.”
For a small membership fee, volunteer users sign up for the platform, build a profile page, post their skills, social causes of interest, and start building their network. Once volunteers are paired with a nonprofit organization and complete the service, Shared Harvest Fund will award a stipend to the user and make a payment directly to the student lender in $500 denominations. Users can complete as many projects they desire, earning up to $5,000 a year max up to the maximum amount of their student loan debt.
Shared Harvest Fund benefits include:
- Student loan debt relief
- Student loan debt management education
- Promoting and supporting a culture of volunteerism
- Nurturing emotional, mental, and physical health through service
- Building a positive community network around a shared societal burden
- Organizations in need get the qualified help they deserve
- Changing the culture of employee benefit packages by promoting and supporting jobs that offer student loan repayment options
B.A.M was inspired to start the company after realizing that even as established professionals, she and her husband were not able to afford to have her stay home with her newborn son because of their combined student loan burden.
Shared Harvest Fund Co-founder Briana DeCuir added, “Learning how to live a debt-free lifestyle offers the opportunity to avoid some of the emotional and physical health burdens that occur with the level of stress attributed to excessive debt.”
Shared Harvest Fund is launching a Kickstarter campaign (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/sharedharvestfund/shared-harvest-fund-shf) to seek investments to launch its platform and will start paying down the student loan debt of their subscribers as early as July 2018.