|A woman in Africa that I support through Kiva |
While searching the internet for likely causes to support I was overwhelmed by the numbers of registered charities. I had to narrow down my search and decided to concentrate on women and children. I have read that women in developing countries, especially in African nations, will use $$ given to them more wisely than men. The women will use it to feed and educate their children while the man of the family, if indeed he is still with his family, tends to drink/gamble it away. So I came across Kiva, a microfinancing organization and coincidentally one of Oprah's "favourite things" for 2010.
So far in the past year I have made 14 $25.00 loans, mostly to women in Africa. The $$ goes to help them in a small cottage industry and usually I get paid back in full. Then I reloan the money out again. I try to average one new loan each month. Also, last year on the anniversary of my mother's birthday I gave a $25.00 Kiva gift card to each of my 4 siblings so they could experience the joy of picking a deserving person to help with their business. Its so much more worthwhile I feel to help someone develop a self-sustaining business than to just give $$ away.
Number of Loans Made 14
Number of Kiva Cards Given 4
*Updated as of Dec 08, 2010 12:12 am
The other charity I support on a monthly basis is the World Food Programme. I have set up a monthly withdrawal of $100.00 from my account and I have chosen to have it distributed to wherever it is needed the most. My money has gone to support the people of Pakistan who were devastated by the huge flood and to Haiti and Afghanistan.
I chose the World Food Programme because they are among the "first responders" to any emergency in the world. When the earthquake hit Haiti WFP workers were on the ground dispersing food and water within 24 hours. I decided I want my $$ to have an immediate impact as well as a long-lasting impact (Kiva).
There are many other charities I support also with one-time donations, but these are the main two. I wanted to share them with you in case you are undecided as to where to direct your charitable dollars. These are two that I feel very strongly about. Every little bit counts.
There are also many places online you can go to and "click" for charities and it costs absolutely nothing at all, but a little of your time. One site I have my students go to on a regular basis is http://www.freerice.com/. By playing games (all subject related like math and english) they win "grains of rice" which is donated to where it is needed most. It's one of the best ideas EVER!!
If you go waaaaaaay down on my sidebar you will see widgits for my Kiva loans, World Food Programme and Free Rice in case you want to explore them further.
There - I never mentioned the weather even once....oops!