Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Getting More Than You Give, Part II ...

A while back, I wrote this post about Kiva.org.

Kiva enables micro-loans to individuals all over the world who are trying to start a business or sustain a business. I made my first loans about a year and a half ago, and the two women to whom I loaned have been paying their loans back ever since. Each woman has repaid 83 percent of her loan, to date.

As money is repaid, it's returned to the Kiva accounts of the lendees, who can then reloan the money or withdraw it and receive a check.

I never intended to take the money back. I always thought I'd keep loaning it in a perpetual loop.

But the last time I went to Kiva's site, I thought something was wrong with the search function, because there were no requests for loans.

Turns out, every loan had been funded. Every loan! Every person who was asking for a loan to help better their lives and the lives of their families had received all the money they needed! I was completely blown away.

Today, I received an e-mail update from Kiva and surfed on over to see if there were loans to be funded. And were there ever. Hundreds of them. So I loaned $25 to Mariam Camara in Mali to help her with her cereal business.

As I wrote on my Kiva profile page: "... while I am not wealthy monetarily, I have been blessed with a rich life. The least I can do is loan a few dollars to someone who is trying to begin or grow a business. They inspire me. And, selfishly, it makes me feel good to do something for someone else."

I encourage you to visit Kiva.org. If you have a few dollars to spare, a small loan can make a big difference.

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