Lee Initiative

Free Family-Style Meals for JCPS Community

Free Family-Style Meals for JCPS Community

By Tracy L. Hirsch

The Lee Initiative is partnering with JCPS to provide meals for families of four.

The LEE Initiative recently announced a new relief effort that helps families who have been financially impacted by COVID-19.

The LEE Initiative has partnered with JCPS, Louisville Metro, Churchill Downs, Audi, and Humana to provide dinner meals for families who have children enrolled in Jefferson County public schools.

Recent reports state that approximately 8 million Americans are falling into poverty due to the pandemic. Chef Edward Lee, owner of restaurant Magnolia 610 in Old Louisville, is the co-founder and director of programming for The LEE Initiative.

He explains how those recent statistics led him to create his new program:  

“This program is more than just feeding families; it is helping families avoid facing poverty. We hope the entire city will join us in proving that Louisville can be a truly compassionate city, and that we can create innovative solutions to the hunger issues that have become so rampant.”

In addition to feeding families in need, The Lee Initiative is also providing work for cooks who have been laid off due to the pandemic.

They are hiring 50 cooks to work to make 8000 boxed meals a week. The meals will be prepared in the Churchill Downs kitchen, and each box will feed a family of four.

Free meals for entire families are being distributed due to COVID-19 financial hardships.

David Danielson, the Executive Chef of Churchill Downs says, “We love working with The LEE Initiative to take the stigma out of getting a free meal, and making sure families have a high-quality, chef-prepared meal.”

Each boxed meal will be frozen, and will come with instructions on how to reheat the meals in the oven or microwave.

The meals will be distributed on Tuesdays and Thursdays through JCPS’s meal pickup locations as seen in the photo below (the same locations where free student breakfast and lunch meals are distributed).

To find out what time the meals can be picked up, please check the emails that you receive from your children’s school or call your local school for more information.

If you know people who have children in JCPS, please share this article. As Chef Lee said, let’s all come together to prove that Louisville is truly a compassionate city ~ because that’s what we are.

All the best,

Tracy L. Hirsch

Louisville Bankruptcy Attorney

impact of debt louisville ky

The Top 5 Ways that Debt Has a Negative Impact on Your Life

The Top 5 Ways that Debt Has a Negative Impact on Your Life

By Tracy L. Hirsch

Debt doesn’t just affect financial health — it can affect physical and emotional health too.

Having debt can keep you from being able to pay your monthly household bills, but did you know that there are multiple other ways that debt can adversely affect your life? Here are the top five ways that debt can be detrimental to your health, your well-being, and your future:

1.) Debt keeps you from achieving your long-term goals. If you’ve dreamt of home ownership, buying a car, or getting an education, having massive amounts of debt can get in the way of those goals.

Why? You’re unable to save up money, which keeps you from making those long-term investments.

When you have room in your budget to save for a down payment on a vehicle or home, and when you’re able to stock money away in your retirement fund, you can obtain the long-standing goals that you have for you and your family.

When you have debt, your extra cash flow is be rerouted to that debt instead of your dream investments.

2.) Debt creates more debt. Once you accumulate a fair amount of debt, it usually has a domino effect where you end up accumulating more and more debt.

For example, if you have a $3,500 charge on one of your credit cards, you’ll be paying a monthly payment on that debt, which takes away from your monthly household budget.

When your monthly budget no longer covers all of your bills, you’ll end up putting basic necessities on your credit card, like groceries and gas, which will increase your monthly credit card payment.

Often, this spirals out of control, and you end up having high balances on multiple cards, and no way to even make the minimum payments on all of them.

And it’s amazing how quickly it happens!

Debt can negatively affect your health, your long-term goals, and your relationships.

3.) Debt impairs job performance. When you have debts that you can’t pay, your creditors will start to come after you. Receiving phone calls from creditors is never a good feeling, especially when they’re threatening to take your home, car, and/or paycheck.

If you go an extended period of time without (at least) making minimum payments, your creditors will most likely sue you so that they can garnish your wages.

When a creditor obtains permission from the local court to garish your wages, this means that they can legally take up to 25% of each of your paychecks.

When you know that your paychecks are at risk, your level of stress will most likely affect your job performance, as stress causes a lack of focus and drive. This leads us to our next point…

4.) Debt has an impact on mental and physical health. Studies have been conducted that show a correlation between debt and depression (and/or anxiety).

When the brain experiences mental stress, that eventually manifests into physical health issues in the body, such as insomnia, stomach pains, high blood pressure, high glucose levels, and headaches.

If any of those health issues become chronic, you’ll end up at the doctor’s office quite a bit, and the medical bills will not only add more debt, but will also compound your health issues by adding more stress to your life.

5.) Debt harms relationships. One of the top reasons that married couples fight (and get divorced) is differing perspectives on finances. If one views debt as something that’s not a big deal and the other doesn’t view it that way, this can lead to conflict.

When married couples have budgets and each person sticks to that budget, that creates a trusting foundation (as well as no debt!), which helps to minimize conflict and stress.

While going into debt is sometimes unavoidable when it comes to unexpected bills for emergency medical care, a home repair, or a replacement of a car part, it’s important to try to avoid it all costs for non-essential items or services.

However, we understand that life can be unpredictable, and things come up that aren’t covered by the funds in your savings account.

If you’re currently in that situation, you might be wondering, “What’s the best recourse? How can I pay off my debt in a way that makes me feel hopeful and not stressed?”

We recommend the Snowball Method. The Snowball Method is an excellent way to pay off credit card debts and any other debts (medical bills, etc.), mostly because you can see your total debt balance go down quickly.

This reduces stress and gives you hope that you won’t be in debt for decades.

If you’re at a point where you have too much debt for the Snowball Method to work, filing for a personal bankruptcy will most likely be a better alternative.

While bankruptcy tends to carry a stigma, it can actually be one of the wisest financial decisions you’ll ever make.

Bankruptcy can help you pay back some (or all) of your debt while protecting your home, car, and wages from your creditors. In some cases, you can even discharge all of your debts without paying any of it back!

If you want to learn more about bankruptcy in Kentucky, and whether or not it will help your specific situation, I offer free phone consultations.

I understand the stress and anxiety that comes with crushing debt, and I’m here to help. You can text me or call me on my cell phone at (502) 435-2593.

Financial freedom could be closer than you think, and I would love to help you find it.

All the best,

Tracy L. Hirsch

Louisville Bankruptcy Attorney

Need a free consultation? Text or call me at (502) 435-2593!


What’s the Best Way to Pay Off Credit Card Debt? The Snowball Method.

What's the Best Way to Pay Off Credit Card Debt? The Snowball Method.

By Tracy L. Hirsch

If you’ve been searching for an effective way to pay off credit card debt, this is it, and it’s super easy to follow.

Do you have debt on multiple credit cards? Have you been making the minimum payments on all of them, and feel depressed seeing the balances hardly budge? You’re not alone.

According to debt.org, more than 189 million Americans have credit card debts. Out of those millions of Americans, each household has an average of four credit cards with an average total balance of $8,400.

If this describes your situation, you might be feeling hopeless. However, it’s important to know that in many situations, you can pay off your credit card debt, and end up living debt-free.

You can achieve that by looking closely at the numbers. Once you do, you can implement the ‘Snowball Method,’ which is done in three simple steps:

1.) Create a list of your credit card debt information. While sitting down and assessing your debts on multiple credit cards can be overwhelming and daunting, it’s the first step to getting rid of it. First, you need to write or type up a list of all the balances. Type them up in order from smallest balance to largest balance.

Next to each total, you’ll also need to list the minimum monthly payment that is required for each card. It might look something like this:

                               Total          Min. 

American Express:   $548            $25

Mastercard:              $1,307         $35

Visa:                        $2,252          $50

Discover:                 $4,023          $95

The Snowball Method can help you pay off all of your credit card debt in as little as 12 to 24 months.

2.) Assess your budget. Look at your household budget, and see how much money you have left at the end of each month. If you’re bringing in a net income of $2800 a month, and you have $800 left, put 10% of it into your savings account, and put the rest toward your debt. In this example, you would have $720 a month to put toward your debt.

3.) Pay off each debt one at a time. Instead of dividing the $720 four ways and putting $180 toward each of the cards, pay the minimum on the rest of the cards, and put a large lump sum toward the card with the smallest balance.

For example, if we look at the list above, you would pay the minimum payment on the Mastercard, Visa, and Discover cards, and put a large payment toward the American Express balance.

So if you had $720 a month to put toward credit card debt, you would put $180 ($35 + $50 + $95) toward the three cards with the highest balances, and put $540 toward the card with the smallest balance.

By doing this, you would basically pay off the entire balance on the American Express card in one payment!

4.) Continue paying off the credit cards in order of the lowest balance. In this scenario, once you paid off the American Express card, you would put large payments toward the Mastercard balance, and pay the minimum payment on the Visa and Discover cards, and so on.

Why is this method so effective? If you continued this method in our sample scenario, you would pay off $8,130 worth of debt in approximately 12-14 months!

The most important reason that his method works is that it gives you hope that you’ll get out of debt. When you pay off an entire card balance, it’s incredibly encouraging and motivating.

To the contrary, when you put a little amount toward each balance, it seems like there’s not a light at the end of tunnel, as your balance on every single card goes down little by little. When you see that you’ve taken an entire credit card off of your list of debts, it makes you want to pay the rest off so that you can live debt-free.

The other reason is that it forces you to stick to your budget. In the example above, if you have $720 left over each month after paying all of your household bills, it’ll be tempting to pay only the minimum on every single credit card, and then spend the rest on unnecessary items.

While buying the latest gadgets may give you a temporary serotonin boost, it won’t give you an escape from your credit card debt.

Now more than ever, it’s important to continue to pay off debt so that we can save for any unexpected expenses that may arise in the future. When utilizing the ‘Snowball Method,’ you could potentially pay off all of your credit card debt in as little as 12 to 24 months.

If you’re in a place where you have more than $10,000 in credit card debt, plus other debts that you are unable to pay, it could be beneficial to consider filing for bankruptcy. It’s important to consider that when you can’t afford to pay the minimum payments on all of your balances, as not making payments will have negative repercussions.

If that describes your situation, please text me or call me at (502) 435-2593. I offer free consultations to help you decide if your debt is manageable (where you can pay it off yourself), or if it’s too high to the point that you’re in danger of having your home go into foreclosure or having your wages garnished.

There’s no shame in asking for help, and I’m happy to provide you with the information that you need so that you have a stable financial future.

All the best,

Tracy L. Hirsch


Need a free consultation? Text or call me at (502) 435-2593!