Monday, February 2, 2009

Our first donation to Kiva

Wifey and I had heard about Kiva, a micro-lending service, a while back but for a variety of reasons hadn't done anything about it. I must admit, I have been stuck in the mindset that while our finances move in a negative direction we were in no shape to be helping anyone else out. That is an easy rationalization to make to oneself, and I don't think many people would argue too much with it. However, making a difference doesn't have to break the bank, even if that bank is (not so) slowly deflating.

My good friend Geoff really hit me hard today, right in the gut. And not even once. Twice he made this old stone heart soften today. First, and this doesn't have anything to do with the micro-lending part of my post, he sent me a link to a video created by friends/colleagues of his relating the urgent need for global change when it comes to water policy. Everyone needs to check this out...
(below is the video posted to YouTube. I'd really encourage you to go to their site by clicking on this link)

So, as if Geoff's scare-the-crap-out-of-all-of-us video didn't do enough to get me thinking globally, his post on the latest developments at the Berga school definitely did. Although I asked him about the ability for folks like us to assist in the collection of medical supplies for the village's health extension workers, my thoughts turned to Kiva and the likelihood that a site such as that might be able to help those wonderful women doing so much with practically nothing. That, of course, made me interested in finally getting off my virtual duff and check out Kiva's site. Gotta say it was one of the best things I've done lately.

Seriously! Everyone can help! It's silly not to! What really got me going was the fact they use PayPal to handle their donations. I logged into my PayPal account and found out that I had $11 in there from who-knows-when. It was like finding a $10 bill in your pant's pocket after they go through the wash. All I had to do was sign up for a Kiva account, pick my intended beneficiary, and donate through PayPal. I credited that $11 from my account, added a bit as a donation to Kiva to help them cover their costs, and now 4 lovely young women from Mali will benefit from our $25. I know, it isn't much, but the point is to get everyone to help just a little. We'll eventually get the money back and then it can be passed on to the next folks who we find on Kiva's site.

This is a no-brainer of the highest order.

So, do me a favor... go check out my newest African friends and see if you can help them out. It will help them out and make you feel fantastic. Nice way to feel right before going to bed.

***Update*** Apparently my new African BFF's have reached their fundraising goal!!! Not sure if any of you out there donated to their cause (I wouldn't mind if you left a comment of two letting me know) but as you can see this little Kiva announcement widget has moved on to other worthy candidates. Pretty cool little program - when one person or group reaches their goal the widget automatically moves on to another candidate. So, whomever the widget shows, please consider donating, it really is painless.

1 comment:

morninglight mama said...

Did you see that they are now 100% funded?! This is so cool.

You'll have to check out my book club's selection next month- all about microlending. :)

I love you-- thanks for pushing this 'thought' into action for us!