On Thursday, when we gather to celebrate Thanksgiving, our plates will be overflowing with turkey, stuffing, gravy, and all sorts goodies We'll eat till we're too full, and then have dessert.
... All of which is stark contrast to the daily struggles faced by billions.
This year, for Thanksgiving, I invite you to support KIVA, an organization that lends to people across the globe who need a loan for their business - like raising goats, selling vegetables or making bricks.
Here are just a few of the people to whom I loaned $25 tonight:
Bibiane from Rwanda works as wholesaler of charcoal. For over 2 year, she's worked from 6 AM to 8 PM, six days per week. She hopes that her loan will allow her to buy a greater volume of charcoal at lower prices and give her some extra working capital to operate her business.
Lutfullo Hoshimov from Tajikistan needs a loan for his electronic repair business. This 30 year old father of three, has been fixing technical equipment for over 10 years. He is requesting a loan for the purchase of raw materials in order to provide quality service
.The Santa Marta Women’s Committee of Paraguay supports a consortium of women entrepreneurs. The members use their loans for the sale of food, dry goods, beverages, cosmetics, clothes, growing/selling of pigs, etc. They help each other reach their business growth goals.
When you visit the KIVA site, you'll see the full listing of people who are seeking loans at this time. The maximum you can give any one person is only $25.
I love reading their stories. These people inspire me. They have so little, and all they want is an opportunity to support their families.
If you have kids, have them pick out the entrepreneurs they want to support. Get them involved. Let them see what's happening in the world beyond their neighborhoods. It will certainly change their perspective!
Here's the best part: When the entrepreneur pays back their loan you get your money back - or, you can reinvest it again. And, because Kiva's loans are managed by microfinance institutions, you can trust that your money is being handled responsibly.
Once again, I invite you to join me in giving thanks
by making loans to global entrepreneurs.