Tuesday, December 1, 2009


For Henry's birthday, my brother gave him a $25 gift certificate to Kiva.org.  This is what the website says about itself...

We Let You Loan to Low Income Entrepreneurs

Kiva is the world's first person-to-person micro-lending website, empowering individuals to lend to unique entrepreneurs around the globe.Kiva's mission is to connect people through lending for the sake of alleviating poverty.
The people you see on Kiva's site are real individuals. When you browse entrepreneurs' profiles on Kiva, choose someone to lend to, and then make a loan, you are helping a real person make great strides towards economic independence and improve life for themselves, their family, and their community. Throughout the course of the loan (usually 6-12 months), you can receive email journal updates and track repayments. Then, when you get your loan money back, you can relend to someone else.

Basically, you donate money to people across the world who use the money as a small business loan.  It enables people to get loans to further their business so they can support themselves and their families.  Then, they pay the money back and you get your money back and can reinvest in someone else.

I think it is so great.  Kiva doesn't take any of the money you lend either; 100% of it goes toward the entrepreneur you choose.  You get to pick who your money goes to.  I picked a musician who plays a drum at weddings.  He wants to get more instruments so he will be in more demand.  I picked him because Henry loves music so I thought he would be happy with this choice.  Also, this man has a wife and 2 kids to support so I feel really good about helping him.

Anyway, I just wanted to post about this site because I think it is a great way to help people.  For one, it's a loan, not a donation so your money will be returned and you can continue to help person after person with the same money.  Also, seeing pictures and reading about these people who are asking for help makes me realize how blessed I am.  I have an amazing live and am so thankful.

Thanks, Joshua, for a great gift.  And thanks for your example of charity.  Jaxon and Henry are so blessed to have you as an uncle.  I love you, brother!

1 comment:

shirley elizabeth said...

Wow what a new way for entrepreneurship to thrive. This is a very new dynamic: where the angels are people you don't even know, and who don't know you. I have to think more about what this implies. Because, see, in economic downturns, the sure way to pull the economy out is to have a boom in entrepreneurship, but it's hard to get that going because the individuals themselves don't have money to bootstrap it and angel and venture capital money is scarce and faithless.
But in this scenario, anyone is giving any amount (even just a little) and to any venture. I wonder how quickly someone's pool of funding is built up. Are all the donations smaller sums? I can't imagine people getting the thousands that many ventures need.


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