Thursday, December 20, 2012
Give Fashionable: Kiva Loans
This year, I'd like to talk to you about Kiva. Kiva isn't a traditional charity because you don't give money; you lend it. Kiva allows anyone to make a loan as small at $25 to help create opportunity around the world. The struggle in many developing areas is the lack of access to traditional banking systems. Without banks, people can't get loans. Without loans, they can't get the money they need to start or continue businesses. Without businesses, they can't earn a living or build their economy.
But we can change that. We can help people build their businesses. Best of all, the money gets paid back* so you can loan it out again or, if you need it, you can withdraw it. I recently had a chance to try out Kiva for free through a promotion that has sadly ended. I was able to pick who received $25 toward their loan and watch it get paid back (the money went back to Kiva, not me because it wasn't mine to start with). It was paid it full in just a few months!
It was amazing getting to help a women restock her shoe store (see this is fashion related!) in the Ukraine, especially because I'd was unemployed/severally under-employed and had been for the better part of 5 years. But I started a new job this week (YAY!) so I want to pass the opportunities along. I've decided to help fund Scarlett Del Carmen (pictured) in Nicaragua. I've been to Nicaragua! They could use a boost. She is a 28-year-old wife, mother and business owner. She needs a $400 loan to buy clothes and shoes to stock her store. I'm going to help, and I invite you to help as well.
I know money can be tight, especially this time of year, but I encourage you to give if you can. If you have money in your savings account (which probably isn't collecting any meaningful interest anyway) that you could spare for a few months, try funding one of these Kiva loans. After all, most of us have misplaced a $20 in a coat pocket or purse for a few months. This is a lot like that, only the money is helping someone rather than hanging out with pocket lint and loose change.
For every person who signs up using any of the above Kiva links and makes a loan, I will get to distribute another $25. If you leave the loan you chose in the comments, I will add that $25 to it or to one similar if that one has been fully funded already. (But you can sign up any way you like. You don't have to use my links.) If you're looking to fund Scarlett too, sign up through that page and search for her or find her on my profile which will be at the top of the linked page. However, loans go fast so she may be funded by the time you read this. If you can't make a loan (I understand, I've been there), share this post and encourage those who can to try it.
I will see you all on Saturday with my Project Runway recap, which will be delayed until Saturdays from now on because I have to get up early and go to work on Fridays!
*There is a slight risk in loaning money. Less than 1% of Kiva loans aren't fully paid back. You can read more here (this link isn't linked to my account like those above).