Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Giving More Than Thanks

Last year I wrote a couple of posts about Kiva, so I'll keep this one fairly short (please go read those two posts if you want more context).

In a nutshell, this is the time of year when lots of folks in my neck of the woods are celebrating holidays, and many of us have lots to be thankful for. So, here's what I did last year and am doing again this year:
First, I’ve donated $25 to an entrepreneur ($25 is the minimum they accept). But I’ve also purchased two $25 gift certificates that I then emailed to two members of my PLN. I’m asking those folks to then do two things. First, they can choose which entrepreneur to loan the $25 to. Then I’m asking them to consider doing the same thing – purchasing two $25 gift certificates and emailing them to two members of their PLN (with the same request that those folks continue the cycle, a Kiva Pay It Forward plan). It would also be great if they blogged about it and left a comment on this post.

Since I’m apparently always going to be connected to the phrase Shift Happens, I thought I’d try to use that to do some good, so I created Team Shift Happens on the Kiva site:
We loan because Shift Happens, and we want to be the change we want to see.
So, those email requests will also ask that when they make those loans they add them to Team Shift Happens so that we can keep track of the total (they still direct where the loan goes, it just gets aggregated under the team).
Team Shift Happens has loaned $3900 so far. You don't have to join the team, but please consider giving. I'll be sending out my gift certificates tomorrow (Thanksgiving here in the U.S.), but these obviously make great gifts for many of the holidays coming up.

There are many worthy causes out there, this is obviously not the only one. But, if you're like my family and you already have more than enough "stuff," perhaps you could dedicate some of that disposable income to this cause.

Update: Bill Ferriter has compiled some nice classroom resources you can use with students around microlending.


  1. I just posted about my Thanksgiving present to myself. Check it out Isn't Kiva the best??? When I started writing my post early this morning the entire $250 loan amount was unfunded and now as I write this comment to you, the entire loan amount has been funded.

    Another wonderful microloan will be made and I can't think of another TDay present that would be as good as this one.

  2. @takefive - Thanks, and nice post. The link you left doesn't seem to work for me, so here's one that does

  3. hello Karl, your post made me think to this image

    from the artist Ben Turnbull, what are we teaching to our children? do we know how to manage emotions, how to minimize conflicts... or we just teach how to attak? thanks for your posts :)

  4. Karl,

    Wonderful idea, and I am joining today.

    So hard to choose from all the potential loans. How does one pick?

    (btw, one of our teachers did a project last year and her class did a Kiva loan when they were doing a unit in English on poverty.)

  5. I have a swear-jar in my classroom... say a swear word, drop a quarter in the jar. My students are not particularly potty-mouthed, so it takes a while to build up enough cash to send a check to, but we agreed that that's where we're sending the results of our poor speechifying. :-)