Six coffees at Starbucks.
Twelve cups of tea at Starbucks.
Two shirts at Target.
Dinner at Denny's on Kids Eat Free Night (Tuesdays and Saturdays).
One and 1/2 visits to McDonalds for you and your kids.
Five issues of People Magazine.
Movie tickets and a popcorn for you and your hubby.
A hardcover book from Borders.
My late fees at my local library.
What do all of the items listed above have in common? They all cost about $25. It doesn't go far. Right? It does. It really does.
Check out Kiva.org.
Kiva is an amazing organization that helps people around the world loan money to help others. We're not talking about crazy Washington politics here. We're talking about an organization that helps the world's poorest people. These people are too poor to apply for loans from banks. And instead of that relative that never returns the $25 you lent him last year, the people on Kiva pay you back. Yes, they pay you back.
I was just paid back last week. I nearly forgot about lending the money. I lent it last year. The best past for me was relending it. I didn't have to worry about spending the money again. I already spent it last year. When I first joined Kiva, I offered a loan to a Mexican man. He wrote on the Kiva site:
"I urgently need to add another room to my home and install a floor because my family needs more space. My home is very small and only has 2 rooms: the living room, a bathroom and a kitchen. I am asking for $1000 to build a room and lay a floor."
So, my $25 was added to money from others to help reach his $1000. He then paid it back in installments throughout the year.
My next $25 was loaned to a woman from Cambodia. On the site its states that the woman and her husband were married in 1997 and have three children: one daughter and two sons. One of her sons is in school.
The woman has been a silk weaver for nine years, a skill she learned from her sister-in-law. She sells her finished products to the middle man in the village, who takes them to sell in Phnom Penh, while her husband drives a horse cart to haul dirt for leveling house foundations. Now, she is requesting a loan of $250 to purchase cows for raising.
Money is tight for everyone. I don't have a lot of money to give to just any organization that moves me. This organization is different. Kiva states that it empowers the world's poor. You can help change the life of someone with a few clicks of your mouse. I can't tell you how satisfying it was for me to be repaid for this loan. It was the best $25 I have spent in a long time. I often feel so blessed and wish I could do more to help others. This site helps you do just that. It connects you to real people with real needs. I can skip a few visits to Starbucks and Target to pay for a loan that changes people's lives. And they pay you back. Amazing.
The Open Road
4 years ago