This is Hope. Literally and figuratively.
In less than a year, Hope used our loan to expand her business, then paid us back in eight equal installments, using her new profits. Hope's increased profits are now perpetually hers to help keep her family fed; to keep her kids in school. And my $25 is right back in my pocket like it never left.
In my life, $25 is a tip after a nice dinner out. A couple of canisters of Trader Joe's French Roast. Mindlessly EZ-PASS-paid tolls on a drive to Boston.
In someone else's life, a $25 loan is a lifeline. It is empowerment. The difference between persistent, endless, grinding poverty and a sustainable way out. It is hope. It is a brave admission that by asking for this help, this temporary access to a small amount of business capital, someone knows they can be self-sufficient.
If you choose to take your initial repaid $25 loan and continue lending it again and again, over the course of its lending lifetime, that same $25 can directly help hundreds of people. You can significantly and sustainably improve the standard of life for someone else in the world, someone whose name you'll know, whose picture you'll see and whose legitimacy is vetted by Kiva's on-the-ground partners, and it effectively ends up costing you nothing at all.
Sustainable philanthropy. Short of making money by giving money away (I'm still working on that one, give me time), it's the best thing going. While I'm looking for one-off opportunities that offer extraordinary philanthropic value, Kiva is a brilliant, always-available option.
For the first 10 people who sign up for Kiva via this link, I will match your first $25 loan. Shoot me an email at email@example.com, tell me which loan you've helped to fund, and I'll invest alongside you.
Please note that I have no affiliation with Kiva other than as an active lender.