December 1, 2011 Kiva
My friend recently gave me a gift, a gift that really does keep on giving and I decided I would share this idea on my blog. I have always been a big advocate for ‘charity’ gifts so this one really made an impact on me. I had never heard of Kiva before; it is a non-profit organization which allows people to lend funds through micro loans to help alleviate poverty. By way of a worldwide network of these micro-lending institutions, Kiva lets individuals donate funds to endless causes creating opportunities around the world.
100% of every dollar you lend on Kiva goes directly towards funding loans; Kiva does not take a cut. Kiva also does not charge interest to the Field Partners, who administer the loans. Once the loans are paid back you can even re-lend the money! So the gift really DOES keep on giving!
So, my friend stayed with me for about 2 weeks in between new housing and I always try to be the best hostess when it comes to my house guests. We had a great time doing dinners, talking, hanging out watching the favorite shows… (Playing Dexter catch up!) And here is how he repaid me:
I redeemed my gift by lending to a woman named Mary from Kenya, here is her story…
Mary is 37 years old, married and has two children in school. To earn a living, she sells natural medicine and health products. She has been in the business for four years and has employed one person. Even though she runs her business in a very competitive environment, she has retained her business because of her good customer care. Mary hopes to expand her business into wholesale in five years. She needs a loan of 80, 000 Kenya shillings to add stock of medicine. (Mary’s Story)
In a few short days, the loan had been fully funded, I was so happy for this woman! And I really felt I made a small difference for someone who needed a little help. The causes are endless so if you choose to give, you can direct the funds to causes that mean the most to you.
I think next year I may do some X-mas shopping on Kiva, so I want to thank my friend for opening my eyes to this awesome opportunity and I encourage all to try it out! Feel free to use this link to get started: KIVA INVITATION