For the Love of January

In Family, Kids on January 31, 2012 at 12:01 AM

So, the time has come to say goodbye to January.  Not quite sure exactly how it came and went so fast but, we’re here and we made it through the first month of 2012.  So, how did your “Love Revolution” go for January?  I see we ate, we laughed and paid tribute to the Honorable Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. For those who missed the opportunity to give a day of service and show love to your fellow humans on earth during the King holiday or during the month of January, it’s not too late.  It’s NEVER too late to show love!

We both work and, unfortunately, neither of our companies gave us the “official” day off for the King holiday.  We did, however, have the option of taking a “personal holiday” for our discretionary use but worked out a different way to work and serve and do so with our kids.

Last Christmas (2010), we gave our oldest two daughters Kiva gift cards.  It was a way to teach them the true meaning of Christmas and to act in the way that Jesus taught us and led us to act.  We didn’t give it to the youngest simply because we thought she was too young to truly understand all of the issues going on.  And, mind you, we may have underestimated her a little.  But, considering that she was only in pre-K, we just thought we wouldn’t exactly push the social issues on her too much and just let her observe her older sisters.

So, we sat down that Christmas evening and the two oldest decided on a struggling entrepreneur they would support.  After reading bios and looking in different areas of the world, they finally narrowed it down to Maribel Ávila Arizmendi in Mexico.

She had daughters and wanted to build another room onto her house so that her daughters could have their own bedroom.  Considering that our girls are so blessed to have their own room, our daughters emphasized and decided that her girls should have their own room too.  She was then selected for their micro-loan. She only needed $875 in total.  With their two $25 loans and 28 other lenders, she was able to reach her goal.

And, Maribel kept her promise.  Each month, she repaid her loan back $4-10 at a time.  (In fact, 98.88% of borrowers pay back their loans to Kiva.  That’s better than most of our major financial institutions!)  Each month our girls were able to see that she kept good on her loan.  On January 16, 2012 (and coincidentally Dr. King day), Maribel repaid her last amount so that she had repaid the entire $50.  So for the King holiday, the girls decided to take their repaid loan and reinvest it for another woman.  This time our youngest daughter was excited to get involved.  I also put in a micro loan to help get the funding of this woman to her full 100%.

Along with 27 other lenders, we are now helping Robinah who is 38 years old and lives in Masindi, Uganda.  She is responsible for taking care of her three children. Robinah runs a general store and she used a previous Kiva loan to start her current business.  Robinah requested this loan to buy rice, sugar, and salt to sell.  She would like to use the profits from her loan to educate her children and build a permanent house. In the future, she would like to diversify her business and buy land to grow crops.

The beautiful thing about Kiva is that they are able to help people help themselves using a worldwide network of microfinance institutions and lenders.  And, once the loan is repaid in part or in full, you can take your money and put it back in your wallet, you can gift it to another person to expose them to Kiva or you can do what our girls did and reinvest.  It’s easy, it’s affordable and it’s for a great cause.  What better way to spread your love for another across the seas and around the world.

Although we do our share in helping our fellow Americans through charities, food banks and other local volunteer services, Kiva is a way to help people and touch lives in areas where just being “poor” would be nice.  We encourage you to get involved with this or other charitable organizations that touch your heart and another’s.

“12 For 12 Love Revolution”: January: Kiva.  That’s What’s Up!


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