Sunday, February 10, 2008

The Thing About Giving

Is that it is addictive.

My husband and I recently started donating/lending to Kiva.org.  Much has been made of Kiva in the press, but if you haven't heard of them, they are a micro-lending organization, one who makes small dollar loans to help people help themselves, by funding businesses and agriculture.

I love the idea that this organization supports a 'teach a person to fish' poverty eradication approach.

And I love the idea that I can see the face of the person I am helping.  

Right now, we're funding a loan for a gentleman named Haydar Hussein, a grocer in Lebanon who needs $1200.00 to expand his business.  He's a 43 year old father of two, and he'll pay us back within 12 months, on a monthly basis.  Imagine what a difference just $1200 can make in someone's life.  It brings a whole new perspective on things to me, since that $1200 is just another amount of money to add to the savings goals we have.  

And when the loan is repaid, you can then use the money to loan to someone else.  It's a cycle of beauty, this microlending thing.  

I believe strongly in giving, and as we meet our financial goals, giving will become an ever-larger part of it.  I do believe however, that you must make sure that your financial basics are covered before you give.  That means a roof over your head, enough to eat, and so forth.  An emergency fund is a necessity.  So is security for your family, such as life insurance, a will, and so forth.

But once you've got that covered, giving is a great budget line item.  It feels better than almost any other kind of spending.  

It's a direct correlation between you and making the world a better place. 

And what could be better than that?

If you want to help Mr. Hussein, and help us reach our goal of funding 100% of his loan request, go here: 
http://www.kiva.org/app.php?page=businesses&action=about&id=35340

5 comments:

Anna said...

We've been lending with Kiva for over a year. Two of our loans have been payed back and we've relent our portion. It's also an interesting connection to current events. Right now, two of our loans are to people in Kenya. Both were doing great until the recent political unrest. It makes me care more about things going on "far away" when I have something invested there. Not because I care about my fifty bucks... because I "know" someone that's been affected.

Josh & Melissa said...

I guess I don't understand why you would want to support somone in Lebanon, etc. before supporting people that need help in your own country. I know it's a personal choice, and not everyone has the same opinion on giving. However, there are a lot of people in the United States that need our help. Why not help each other out before helping others even farther away?

Ms.Moneypenny said...

josh & melissa;
Need doesn't have borders. May I ask why you assume we don't help/donate to people in our own country as well?

Erroneous assumption, btw.

Kristen said...

It's true, your blog makes my day!

Mandy said...

That's actually one of the things I most look forward to about being debt-free. The ability to be generous when people need it, whether it's through Kiva or our church or just a friend who needs help.

*sigh*

One of these days.