I {heart} Kiva

I like the concept behind Kiva.org - people with small amounts of money (usually $25) lending to people in developing countries to help them start or grow a business. I give to established charities, but I really like the one-on-one feeling you get when donating through Kiva. And I like the fact that the money will be paid back; it isn't a free ride but rather a helping hand.

I also like that I can pick the businesses and entrepreneurs I want to fund. So far, my choices have all been women; I look for those who share my interest in fiber arts (weaving, spinning, tailoring), or who raise food (my first loan was to buy cattle in Azerbaijan) or will fund education - going to school or paying for their kids' education. Who knows, maybe someday I'll find a crocheter or knitter looking for funds to buy sheep or alpaca so they can spin the fiber and weave items to pay for their kids education. The perfect opportunity.

Hey. It could happen.