Legion of Good Will in the USA


The Legion of Good Will (LGW) was founded in Brazil in1950 and was established as a501c3 in the United States in 1986.


  • In 2018, LGW’s programs assisted 15,261 individuals including 7,789 children. 
  • The new Ironbound site will provide early care services and after-school programs to some 100 children and assist some 1,300 families each year.
  • Funding for these programs comes almost entirely from contributions and donations.

The Paiva Netto Educational andSocial Assistance Center inNewark, NJ will provide:

  • Quality Day Care to enable parents to work
  • Early Childhood Education
  • LGW’s value-based curriculum emphasizes academic excellence and character building
  • Family Health and Wellness
  • Support to Help Families move out of poverty
  • 30% of area families live below the poverty line, more than twice the national average
  • Job Training
  • Food Security
  • Layettes with Infant Care Items
  • School Supplies

Bringing Hope to Children in Newark’s Ironbound District

Newark’s Ironbound District is a community of 50,000 that since the 19th century has attracted immigrants from around the world, with a large Portuguese-speaking population of immigrants from Portugal, Brazil and Cape Verde. But today, the children in this close-knit neighborhood face significant challenges. The Ironbound’s elementary schools are so crowded that each year many children are unable to attend kindergarten due to the lack of space.

That’s why the Legion of Good Will has chosen this community for its first Early Learning Center inthe United States. 

With financial support and technical assistance from Leviticus Fund, LGW is developing the Paiva Netto Educational and Social Assistance Center, a new community facility that will provide early learning and after-school programs for children in the Ironbound as well as a variety of humanitarian programs and services for local residents. 

According to the LGW, the Ironbound District is a “child care desert” where the lack of day care opportunities endangers children’s health and education. The center will provide quality education and care for children, while supporting parents and community members with additional assistance to help them break the cycle of poverty. 

Leviticus provided a $626,020 construction-to-mini-permanent loan — our first loan to LGW — for the development of the new center. We provided extensive technical assistance on structuring and managing construction financing. LGW’s office in New York also benefited from Leviticus’ support in managing a real estate development project through the loan closing

When a nonprofit looks to Leviticus to help finance a project in their community, we treat them as true partners in the shared cause of promoting social justice and serving those in need. Our free technical assistance helps our borrowers strengthen their projects and build their capacity. Throughout the process, we help them access other resources that bolster their ability to succeed.

Greg Maher, Executive Director of The Leviticus Fund and Danilo Parmegiani, Executive Director of the Legion of Good Will in the USA in 2019.