Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.
- Leo Buscaglia

Friday, December 28, 2012

What's a Kiva Card?

     I've written multiple times this year, including a couple of weeks ago, about the amazing organization  This is the organization that helps aggregate and distribute funds from thousands of people to create micro loans to thousands of small borrowers in third world nations.  Incredibly, in 2012, Kiva surpassed $380 million in loans to over 940,000 borrowers in 66 countries, all while maintaining a 99% repayment rate.  Traditional banks only wish they did as well.  
     Well I recently learned about a great way to spread the Kiva "opportunity" to help even more people.  Today I bought "Kiva cards" as gifts for my son and daughter.  It's incredibly simple to do and yet incredibly powerful as well.  You can buy a Kiva card as a gift for someone for as little as $25.  The card can be mailed or e-mailed to the recipient.  When the person receives the card, they simply go on the site and use that money to participate in making a Kiva loan.  The reason I'm so excited about this is that it gives Ben and Hannah a chance to experience the process of choosing a person to lend money to, helping to make that loan a reality, and then seeing the repayments come in over the ensuing months.  Hopefully this will start them on a path to making many more loans on their own.  What a great way to get people hooked.
     I love things like this because of its "leveraging" effect.  I'm giving a gift to my kids.  At the same time, they're giving a gift to someone across the globe, who in turn will be better able to take care of their own family.  And perhaps most importantly, my kids are getting a firsthand lesson on the power of kindness.  Can't beat that.  Gets me thinking about giving Kiva cards to many more people over the coming year.  What a great birthday gift, "thinking of you" gift, or celebration of anything gift.

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