Friday, July 09, 2010

Giving Back

Let's get touchy-feely here for a second. Seriously. I'm incredibly blessed in my life. I don't use that word easily or lightly since I'm a non-religious type, but it's the only word I've found that expresses how thankful I am for all the amazing opportunities I have and how overwhelmingly fortunate I feel each and every day. 

Last year, a good friend (and one of my bridesmaids) turned 30. She asked if for her 30th birthday we could all contribute $30 to a charity. How amazing is she?! Again, I am blessed both with beautiful family and friends. I chose to give money to Kiva, a microloan system. In a nutshell, it works like this: You give $____ to one of their entrepreneurs from around the world. You can choose by sex, sector, region, etc. After their fundraising goal has been met, said entrepreneur uses the money for _____ (raising pigs for sale at the local market, starting a general store, etc). As their business grows, they slowly pay back the money. When you start getting your loan back, you can reinvest in other entrepreneurs. It's fairly straightforward and it's awesome! 

My loan from last year was just repaid and I had the opportunity to reinvest. There are literally hundreds of people on the Kiva website and it can be hard to pick. I tend to pick people that are either close to their goal, or close to the expiry date and haven't reached their goal yet. First, I picked a flower grower in rural Phillippines. Everyone loves flowers and she sounds like a woman who works hard. She's separated from her husband and it sounds like she could use a lending hand. I can't imagine how hard it is for her, I'm honoured to help.

Next, I found a lady who wanted to raise money for her daughter's upcoming wedding. How could I not?! As a bride who's biggest problem is whether or not the table linens are the right size, the least I can do is help a mother in the Philippines to give her daughter a wedding. I don't have to decide between feeding my family or a wedding dress. So, if you're out there feeling like a spoiled rotten bride like me, consider helping Carmelita. She's $100 away from her goal. 


  1. What a great idea. It's bookmarked for the future!

  2. Just as an update, Carmelita met her goal this morning! Hooray! I really hope her daughter has a beautiful wedding. I only wish there was a way to get a more personal update from her but in my head, there's going to be lots of delicious local foods, maybe some fireworks, and lots of great music and dancing :)