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For many years I’ve made donations (cash, goods, and time spent as a volunteer) to a variety of organizations, most of them with humanitarian objectives. But when Groupon recently offered $12 for $25 worth of lending at Kiva, I decided to add a new layer to my philanthropy, and today I made my first Kiva micro-loan! 🙂 I chose to participate in funding a loan for a young woman in the Philippines so she can buy more fruits and vegetables to sell in the small shop she runs. This woman’s loan is now fully funded, and I’m excited to think that shortly she’ll be able to make the desired purchases to expand her little business.

Giving has its place, and so does lending. Entrepreneurs have a special place in my heart, and it really makes me smile to be able to support a woman who’s doing the best she can to earn an honest living that provides for her own needs and those of her family. A hand up, not a hand-out, right? There’s a lot of dignity in being able to repay someone else’s generosity; we’re not always able to repay our benefactors directly, but we can always pay it forward.

I’m grateful for the resources I have that allow me to bless the lives of other people this way, and I look forward to expanding my new Kiva portfolio to help even more entrepreneurs build better lives for themselves and their families. What do you do to help those in need, in your community and/or around the world?