In 2008, I decided the time had come to send out “adult Christmas cards.” You know the ones you get customized by William Arthur & Co. with the gold embossing that wish everyone happiness during the holiday season. I made mine up, went to check out, but couldn’t stomach the $500 bill for 100 cards. I thought I could do something better with my money. These cards would be thrown away. I think it’s fair to say that my friends all know I wish them well during this holiday season.
Meeting Muhammad Yunus, the Nobel Prize winner for Economics and grandfather of microfinance loans, was one of the greatest moments of all my life. He inspired me to believe that small things can make a difference. A little effort over a long period of time can change a life, a family, a village, and even a country. Bangladesh is a different country because of Yunus’s effort to give small loans to women to start businesses.
Today, I sent out my “Christmas Cards”–actually e-cards through Kiva to my friends to make their own microfinance loans. I feel it’s money better spent than my sending out some stock card with messages of peace on earth. I hope my friends enjoy it it too.
Maybe you’d rather give the gift of a water buffalo to help poor Thai people produce better crops. You can do that through the Heifer Organization. Or maybe you want to fund a school classroom with art supplies. You can do that through an organization founded by someone who went to my boarding school at Donors Choose.
Today, I made my 25th loan through Kiva. I usually give to people in Cambodia for sentimental reasons. Not sure that I’ve done anything to alter the GDP of that country. But I’ve done a little, and over time, little bits add up. I hope you give a little too.Tweet