About six months ago, I read about an organization called Kiva that makes microloans to groups and individuals in economically disadvantaged countries all over the world. These loans, ranging from several hundred dollars to several thousand, represent people trying to improve their business and lives. Microloans are a great way to provide capital to small businesses that are otherwise ignored by financial institutions. (Read about the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh; this Nobel Peace Prize winning organization started lending to the poor in Bangladesh.) Over time, the loans are repaid to your account; you can take the money out or you can re-loan it to other applicants. It is not without its risk. For myself, it’s a worthwhile calculated risk. At best I get paid back so I can make another loan; at worst, I tried and it didn’t work.
The reason for this post is not simply to sing the praises of a remarkable organization and their lofty goals, but I was delighted to find out about a lending team called Lending Librarians. I’ve joined the team and I’d like to encourage others to join as well. It doesn’t have to be much ($25 is the minimum), but that $25 can literally make a world of difference in someone’s life. You choose who you can lend to; by joining the team, you can give credit to the team. Also, team members can post about who they are lending to, so we can throw our support behind someone who may be a few bucks short.
Give it a whirl. I’m glad I’m did. And it’s nice to find something new to lend that can change their lives forever.