Sunday, December 20, 2009

Help others


As Christmas draws near and the season for purchasing gifts draws to an end (just before the sales of the New Year start) I’d urge you to stop and have a think about those who may not be going to have such a merry Christmas this year.

Sure we can all sit here and dwell on the issues at hand but that achieves very little in the end. I reckon that taking action is the best method of actually making things better. As I have mentioned before, one of my favourite ways of making a difference is Kiva.org. It is a system where you can contribute small amounts together with others that is lent out to small business people all over the world.

I like this system for a number of reasons. Firstly the money that you give is an investment rather than an donation. The recipients of the funds use it as loans for their business. They are obliged to pay the amount back (and to date everyone I have lent to has done just that – see my donor page). This means that once the money has been repaid it can be withdrawn or re-lent. If you choose to re-loan the money it means that same amount is working over and over again. The other reason I like Kiva is that a business operator I feel a close association with those working in a business and trying to get a leg up. Finally, I think Kiva is a really great example of the power of the Internet for good. It shows you how technology can be utilized to provide benefit to many of the most disadvantaged on our planet.

If you haven’t see Kiva then I’d ask that you at least have a look at the site and see what it is all about. I’d also encourage you to take the opportunity to look around your community and see what assistance you maybe able to offer someone in need this Christmas. Even if it is just a friendly ear because there are more people in need out there that we realize.