Saturday, December 29, 2012

Saturday Short Subjects: Giving for Good

A few nights ago we watched Happy, a film in  which director Roko Belic travels the world in search of the answer to the question: What makes a person happy? He discovered some of the happiest people in some of the most surprising situations and places [surprising to me, at least, with my with First World Problems]. There was, however, a common characteristic among the happiest people the world over. They all found joy in doing good for others.

Doing a bit of good might be just the thing to lift your spirits if you find yourself in a post-holiday funk.

Here’s an easy way to get started.

Share the joy of Kiva, an organization founded to “empower people around the world with a $25 loan.” You can make a donation yourself, or share the joy of Kiva with a loved one.

The founders of Kiva “envision a world where all people - even in the most remote areas of the globe - hold the power to create opportunity for themselves and others.” They “believe providing safe, affordable access to capital to those in need helps people create better lives for themselves and their families.”

Here’s how a gift to Kiva works.
  • In brief, you, the lender, select a project from the catalog of loan requests available on the Kiva site, which includes information about the project and the person who is requesting the loan. You can peruse all the projects or narrow your search based on geographical area or project type. 
  • You then add your donation to the funding request. 
  • When the project goal is met, Kiva funds the project. 
  • The borrower repays the loan. 
  • Once your loan is repaid, you can make another loan, donate the money to Kiva, or get your original loan amount back.

Since Kiva was founded in 2005, nearly 867,000 Kiva lenders have provided loans totaling over $389,000, with a repayment rate of over 99%.

Kiva has achieved a very high rating from the Charity Navigator site. 

May we all find peace and happiness in the days ahead.

Why Saturday Short Subjects? Some readers may recall  being dropped at the movie theater for the Saturday matinee — two action-packed feature films with a series of short subjects (cartoons or short movies, sometimes a serial cliffhanger) sandwiched in between. Often the short subjects were the most memorable, and enjoyable, part of the morning. That explains the name. The reason behind these particular posts is that we are all short on time. My Short Subject posts should not take me as long to write or you as long to read (or try).

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