PINK MONDAY

putting our money where our heart is


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Micro-Lending with Kiva

This is the Bethleem 2.1 Group I chose for my 2nd Kiva loan:  Edoxie, Ida, Eléonore, Marie Noëlle, Bricia, Isabelle, Chouchouna, Valerie and  Carlène

This year I wanted to celebrate Christmas in my family a little differently.  I asked for donations made in my name instead of gifts.  I also decided to give back something that would promote philanthropy and further involvement in charity with my family members.  I sent them Kiva gift cards. Through Kiva, they can provide a micro-loan, providing opportunities that alleviate poverty to people all over the world.  

You can choose any date you want them to receive the gift confirmation so I chose Christmas eve, because in my family, that’s when we have always opened our gifts. I was able to do four gifts in one transaction and they will each receive their own separate email and Kiva Card. I chose the same amount for all so that made it easy. If you are giving different amounts, you will need to do separate transactions.

Now each of them can browse through all the different individuals and groups who are asking for micro-loans, and they can choose who to give to.  If the lendee they chose is successful with their venture, the loan will be paid back and they can re-lend to someone else in the future.  It’s the gift that keeps on giving!

I’ve given my own micro-loan too.  It’s my second one.  The first one I gave to a woman in Tanzania who was using it to buy cattle. This time I’m giving a little more and lending to a group from Brazzaville, Congo.  One of the leaders of the group, Edoxie, is the leader of this nine member micro-entrepreneur group. She sells fish and her goal is to diversify the quality and variety of fish to attract more customers and grow her business. Her future plans are to become a wholesaler and save money for her children.

I found this group by using the Kiva filters – I chose to give to women, then a group, then to those in an area of conflict. Their are many attributes to help narrow down your lending interests such as youth, water and sanitation, job creation or fair trade.  You can also chose a sector such as agriculture, construction, retail or health (among others).

“Knowing that someone out there wishes the best for you is enough to give you drive to achieve your dream.” – Sammy, a Kiva borrower in Kenya.

Sammy’s sentiments are reflected in the repayment rate – an astounding 99.01%  Here’s a cute little animated video that explains how micro-lending works:  http://vimeo.com/16991128

Try it!  www.kiva.org  – browse through the available loans and read some of the success stories.  Maybe there’s still someone on your Christmas list who would be the perfect recipient for a Kiva gift card.

Happy Holidays!

Theresa

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My Favourite Charity Hubs

Support charity in honour of a loved one this Christmas and don't leave the comfort of your own home!

Support charity in honour of a loved one this Christmas and don’t leave the comfort of your own home!

The greatest thing about giving to a charity in honour of a loved one is you can wait till the last minute!  I’m doing a bit of both this year for my family but to send the real presents on time out of province, I had to finish all my shopping, wrapping and parcelling this weekend.  I did it!  I’m ready!  It’s going to the post office today.  Whew!

So if you ask someone else to give to charity in your name, you’re giving them a gift too – the gift of time!!!  The gift of not having to compete with the other holiday shoppers and stand in long lines!  The gift of never even having to step foot in a post office!  The gift of not driving around for 28 minutes just looking for parking!

But where to start?  I wanted my family to choose a charity on their own so I didn’t give too much direction.  I thought it might be helpful though if I posted links to a few websites that are charity hubs – that represent a variety of causes where you can browse, as if in a virtual charity mall, to find the cause that you think will be the best fit.  This list includes Canadian specific sites and some from other countries as well. I’ve used many of these sites and some were referred.  None are from a random google search.  Though you can try that too!

I know there are more than these so if you know of some great ones, please let me know! Like this page sent to me by my friend Rayna.  It’s an article in Best Health Magazine about gifts that help others.

Happy Shopping!


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Honey Bees for Christmas

For $30 you can buy a gift of honey bees

For $30 you can buy a gift of honey bees

Yesterday I collected Christmas lists for my neices and nephew.  My sisters asked what I wanted and I suggested they make a donation in my name.

I said, “Doesn’t have to be much. Anywhere you want. I really like causes in Africa. Do some online research. It’s educational. That’s partly why I like suggesting it. It’s good for people in Africa. It’s good for me (makes me feel good), It’s good for you as you’ll learn something and be philanthropic, It’s good for your kids cause they can learn from it too. Everybody wins!”

My sister Kimberly responded with this, “Hahaha, really? That’s what you’d like? That’s a really selfless suggestion- and it almost made me teary. Almost. But I’m made of stone.”

We talked about it a bit more and by the end she was really excited.  She thought it was a great idea.  What a relief!  I said I was glad she liked the idea because she might get something similar for Christmas from me.

I told her that I’d heard you could buy Honey Bees for someone in Africa and make your donation in honour of a loved one.  To this she said, “That is incredible! Ok! I’m seriously stoked.”

I had no idea it would go over so well!!!  And to my other sister, Jennifer, I explained that I’m turning into one of those little old ladies who just doesn’t have any room in her apartment for more stuff.  To this she replied, “Tell me about it. I have no room for anything like my impending second child. Literally.”

So, Honey Bees for Christmas – here’s what I found online:  http://www.heifer.org/gift-catalog/animals-nutrition/honeybees-donation.html