Helping St. Louis

A Blog About Helping Each Other

Posts Tagged ‘Kiva’

New Kiva Loan

Posted by Schevus on February 27, 2009

I had $18 sitting in my Kiva account, so I threw in $7 to make a new loan. I have been considering this for about a week now, but until I looked today every single loan listed had been fully funded. I find this very exciting as it means the level of support for Kiva is tremendous. I hope they and their partners are able to continue to expand their operations to continue to meet the increased demand for donation options.

This loan is my sixth loan to Kiva and my first loan to a group of entrepreneurs. I used to be irrationally wary of loaning to the groups on Kiva, but after reading Muhammad Yunus’ Banker to the Poor I have been converted to the lending group idea. Every member of the group is accountable and responsible for not only their loan, but also every other member’s loan. They must support and encourage each other to ensure that their loans are paid back appropriately.

I decided to loan to this group of women in Pakistan. Pakistan is a region plagued by problems and I feel that improving local conditions and economies can only bring good to the country. If a family is able to provide for themselves legitimately, they will be less likely to turn to illegal means to do so.

There appears to be a swath of new loans available today on Kiva, so I encourage you to take a look and consider donating.

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Helping Hand Contest Results

Posted by Schevus on December 20, 2008

I have selected Lartdejournalier’s story as the winner of the Helping Hand Contest! I think both stories submitted had something of a comparable impact, but hers was more eloquently and emotionally described.

As a consolation prize for being the only other submission, I will purchase a mosquito net in Jwaire’s name through Nothing But Nets. Thank you again to the participants and those who stopped by to chime in (participate next time!). Check back for future contests!

Posted in Contests | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Helping Hand Contest – Last Day!!

Posted by Schevus on December 19, 2008

Today is the last day for submissions to my Helping Hand Contest. I must admit that even with my meager readership I expected a few more submissions. Come on, share your goodwill stories! I know you have at least one! Currently there are only two submissions, so if you do participate there is a good chance you could win the $25 Kiva gift certificate.

Today is also the last day for this event. Stop over and leave a comment if you have not already and $1 will be donated to Second Harvest Food Bank. Thanks to those who have participated and weighed in on both events!

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Helping Hand Contest

Posted by Schevus on December 12, 2008

I have been wanting to do something to encourage more dialog and discussion on this blog, so I have decided on the Helping Hand Contest. All you have to do is leave a comment on this post sharing what you feel is your best story about helping someone or being helped yourself. The story does not have to be about the holidays, but those are more than welcome. Please add “Contest Submission” at the top of your comment.

I will take submissions until 11:59 PM CST next Friday Dec 19th. I will accept up to three submissions per person. The winner, as judged by me, will receive a $25 Kiva Gift Certificate. For those of you unfamiliar with Kiva, check out Holiday Gift Ideas. If you are not excited about helping out a poor entrepreneur (which you should be!), you will be happy to know that once the loan is paid back you will be free to deposit your Kiva credit into a PayPal account for use as you see fit.

For those of you worried about contact information, all that will be required is an email address. I’m sure you can create a disposable one to receive your gift certificate if necessary.

I will probably conduct more of this type of contest in the future, so check back often! I already have a few ideas and themes for future contests in mind. =) Good luck!

Posted in Contests | Tagged: , , , , | 10 Comments »

Holiday Gift Ideas

Posted by Schevus on November 25, 2008

I’m sure gift ideas are on everyone’s mind as Christmas draws inexorably closer. If you are interested in a gift that will have a real impact, consider these ideas.

Kiva Gift Certificate:

For those of you who don’t know, Kiva is a wonderful online micro-lending organization. Individuals loan money in increments of $25 to entrepreneurs in developing parts of the world to help them expand their businesses. This allows them to better provide for their families and increases the local economy, improving their country from the ground up. These loans are disbursed through local partners at much lower interest rates than traditional loans, which are often prohibitive for extremely poor entrepreneurs. Surprisingly, Kiva has amazingly low rates of default and delinquency.

Kiva has a partnership with PayPal, so 100% of your loan goes to the entrepreneur. As the loan is repaid, you are free to re-loan the money you get back, or reclaim it. I have personally made 5 Kiva loans, and my earliest was just recently paid back in full! It’s rare to find a way to help financially that isn’t just a donation.

Heifer International Gift:

Heifer International (HI) is a unique effort to end global hunger. Through HI people pay to donate livestock and other developmental aids, such as trees and honeybees, to developing communities. The unique thing about Heifer International is that the recipients agree to share the offspring of donated animals with others who are in need. This is a very literal example of paying it forward.

You can pay for a gift (or part of a gift) through HI and make the donation in someone’s name. HI provides several options of gift cards when making a donation, whether it be an e-card or a physical card. I have not yet had the opportunity to donate through HI, but I have been eying a flock of chicks (only $20) for a couple of months now, so I’m sure it won’t be much longer.

Mosquito Net:

With a donation of only $10 you can donate a mosquito net, pesticide, and instruction on how to use it through Nothing But Nets. Nothing But Nets is a partnership with the UN Foundation. A mosquito net is the proven best method to prevent Malaria. Malaria is transmitted when a carrier mosquito bites an infected individual and then bites a non-infected individual, giving them the disease. It is one of the biggest health epidemics in Africa and parts of South America and Asia. A bed net works in two ways. It physically stops the disease carrying mosquito from biting a healthy individual. Also, the nets are soaked with a pesticide, which kills the mosquito when it lands on the net.

Due to the unique transmission of Malaria, many lives can be saved with one bed net. First there are the 2 or 3 people who may sleep under the net. How many more might be saved from the disease that might be carried from those 2 or 3 people should they be infected?

If you purchase a net through Nothing But Nets, you can designate your gift in honor of someone, and send an e-card to them letting them know of your gift.

These are just a few examples of excellent gifts you could give that would make a tremendous difference in someone’s life. Do you have any other good suggestions?

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