I am not an expert on finances of our nation, or the global community by any means. However, we all have to be experts on our own finances in order to survive todays economic weather. One of the first things to go by the wayside in times of less cash flow is philanthropic giving. We all want to feel as though we are giving something back, and yet how can we do that when our resources are low?
If you belong to a church you most likely tithe. I am not going to try to change your mind on tithing, it is a personal decision. Also if you don’t belong to a church or synagogue that isn’t an option. But often we do not have a choice about where that money goes to and it has a limited scope. With very little outlay (and in some cases none) we can still help those less fortunate (which face it, might be one of us someday).
With very little research I found two ways to give back while still on a limited income. One is this little button to the left that you see (not the one in the post but on my left sidebar)-it is linked to a site that lists several charities that can be helped just by clicking this little button. I happened to choose clean water as it is something that we here in the states take for granted, and a friend just opened my eyes to that.
Another is Kiva, a new way of helping people help themselves through loans, not hand-outs. For as little as $25 you can make a loan to a farmer in Peru to buy livestock or someone else who may be trying to bring clean water to their village. You get to choose where and to whom the money goes. Twenty-five dollars may not seem like a lot but when it is combined it can become a large amount. Take that amount and multiply it by several donors and it makes a real impact. Once the farmer has started to show a return the loan is paid back in to a Kiva account. I just got an email recently that $3.20 has been paid back on my initial $25. Now that might not seem like a lot, but if you think about it that just shows how much it is needed. By going to Kiva’s site you will get a much better explanation, plus it shows you all the good that is being done around the globe. When my loan is paid back I can choose to leave it sit (this is the painless part) to be used again or I can take it back. But really why would I? We who have so much (truly we do) could do without one Starbucks a day, or the gym membership that we really aren’t using (yes Kathy I am talking to you) and put that money to a good use.
So when you are finished reading this, look to the left sidebar and give it a click. Then check out Kiva.org for another way to help. Go ahead, it won’t hurt and I promise your heart will feel better for it.