I know I’ve mentioned kiva.org here before, but if you haven’t yet taken a look, I encourage you to do so.
I sometimes get questions from people about my religion/spiritual views, and I always just say it’s private. It’s a leap for me to share this information, but this has become one of my personal spiritual practices.
All major religions share some caveats and one of those is to help the poor. Many people do that through their churches or other methods. I don’t attend church, and I view this as one way to support the work of religion without going through the church organization. I like this more direct approach.
I don’t think most churches are very effective at this sort of work because they’re engaged in other things. That is completely at the discretion of church members, and it’s not mine to judge, but I want to direct my resources to the specific work I think we’re all charged with – regardless of faith or lack thereof. I think all humans who have “enough” should be sharing. Note I didn’t say “plenty,” but “enough.” I truly believe it’s part of being a responsible member of the human race to take care of each other.
I love the idea of directly supporting an individual who is poor only because they have not had the oppportunities others have had.
Kiva.org sends 100% of your donation on. They are supported through donations. You’ll have an opportunity to make a gift to them as well, but it’s up to you. I always make $25 loans, and the suggested gift to kiva is 2.50 on that. Sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t.
I hope I don’t come off as preachy. I love other things like Habitat for Humanity, too. Maybe because I’ve travelled a little bit and seen how rich we are in the US compared to much of the world, I feel a need to share. Much of the world lives on less than a dollar a day and it’s a meager living. We have no concept of how fortunate we are to be living in our climate controlled homes, driving our cars around and buying all of what we need and most of what we want.
I live a very average life – probably a lower middle class life by some people’s standards – and I know I am incredibly blessed. Amazingly blessed. I am so thankful. And being able to loan through kiva.org is yet another thing to be thankful for – that I found it, that it’s simple and inexpensive enough to do, that I have an internet connection with which to do it, and the list could go on and on.
And, please don’t think I’m sharing so much it hurts. That’s not the case. I’m making a loan – not even a donation, but a loan – of $25 every few weeks to another person around the world. It’s simple. And when the loan is repaid you’ll have the chance to take your cash or reloan it. I love to have the opportunity to reloan – it feels like that money is working harder than it ever could in a money market account.
Well, I’ve gone on and on and on but take a look at it and maybe it will appeal to you as well. Maybe not, but it’s worth a look.