A Different Way of Giving

Forgive me if I’ve written about this before.  Sometimes I’m afraid I may repeat myself with all that’s going on.  Sometimes I’m afraid I may repeat myself with all that’s going on.

We’ve decided to cut back on gift-giving this year.  It can get pretty nutty and excessive and really, we have all we need.  After merging households, we’ve given away bags and bags of stuff so, why bring more “stuff” into an already stuffed home?  Instead, we’re going to try to change some lives through www.kiva.org.

We first read about Kiva in the Toronto Star. It’s a worldwide initiative that’s based on the honour system, to give a hand up – not a hand out – to budding business people in third world countries.  After reading their profiles and their business plans, you choose whom you’d like to help finance.  Perhaps a grocer needs $500 to expand their store.  Or a single Mother wants to buy supplies so she can do clothes mending from her home.  It’s up to you to give a little or a lot toward their goal. 

There are set terms for repayment of the interest-free loan.  Think about how grateful you would be if no bank would touch you but somebody thousands of kilometres away found it in their heart and their bank account to give your dream a jump start? 

Is there some risk?  Absolutely, but there have been very few defaults on payback terms.  Is it worth the risk?  Yes, because if we all only held out and waited for sure things, we’d never get off our buns and help anyone.   Somehow it just seems to work out.

The Salvation Army needs funding for its holiday meals for the homeless.  Animal rescue organizations here at home are always short of cash.  Sure, there are many ways you could make a difference this year.  For us, it’s loaning the cash for a budding entrepreneur whose aspirations may be a little more within reach because we helped.