Over the last few years I have found a great place to help – Kiva.org.
This reminds me of a song from the 1970s that I enjoy and occasionally find myself singing:
I Can Help by Billy Swan
You Can Listen/Watch Here.
I’ll come back to the song later.
I Can Help is a great phrase. How often do we use it? Or do it?
One of the great things I’ve found by using Kiva to help is that I get to see faces of people from faraway places and realize that I’m making a quantifiable difference in their lives. It would not be cost effective to go to Samoa and hand someone money, but I can LOAN them money and receive no interest and that will be a big, big help to these micro-business owners from around the world.
I started by loaning $50 and the first woman I loaned to was Malia in Samoa. You can start for as little as $25, but right now you can do it for zero dollars of your own money! That’s right. You can try it out by loaning someone else’s money! If you are wondering, the first person to make this possible this year was Reid Hoffman, the founder of LinkedIn. He let people loan a total of nearly a MILLION dollars of his money and after that a second round of these free trials started. As I write this there are still over 5,000 opportunities for YOU to loan out someone else’s money to benefit these mostly third-world entrepreneurs.
By the way, Malia in Samoa borrowed a total of $425 from 17 of us. Each of us loaned her $25 and I’m pretty sure the term of her loan was 13 months. I remember that she paid it off early.
What are you waiting for? It only takes a few minutes to start a free trial. Do it now! FREE TRIAL!
Here’s some more information about my experience:
Including Samoa, I have loaned to people in 18 countries so far like Ghana, Mexico, Costa Rica, Colombia, Ecuador, Cambodia, Tanzania, Philippines, El Salvador and more.
So far everyone is continuing to pay back the money and there have been no defaults. The average loan term of my borrowers is around 13 months. You will find people borrowing for as little as 6 or 8 months or as much as 3 years. I prefer to make the shorter term loans so that I can re-loan the money faster.
Because of people paying me back and re-loaning money I have made 40 loans of $25 each. That’s not all from the original $50 I put in as I have little by little increased the amount of money I have at Kiva. When I have been paid back by several people I might have $22.76 in cash in my Kiva account in addition to what is owed me. When that happens I typically send the other $2.24 or whatever through Paypal to Kiva so I can make the next loan faster and I figure that that little bit of money is no big deal. Now I have a total of $256.00 invested in Kiva. At zero percent interest. And it feels good.
Join me now with a FREE TRIAL!
Each loan is accompanied by a photo of the person or the group and you can choose what kind of person/business you wish to support.
The sectors that I have supported so far are:
By the way, Malia in Samoa borrowed her $425 so she could buy more seeds and the like to plant in her garden and then she sold the vegetables she grew to make a profit to support her family.
You might want to help someone who has a store or who makes clothing. Your choice.
Here’s the choice that I frankly do not understand with this offer. When someone else is giving money for you to loan so that you can experience what it feels like to do good in this way, why NOT?
You can check out the site and see lots of statistics and I understand that completely if it’s your money. If you loan YOUR money I’m sure you want to check out all the numbers and the results like the repayment rate of over 98%. Keep in mind that my repayment rate so far is 100%. I’ve gotten every penny back that I’ve loaned out. It’s just that I choose to keep reloaning that money over and over. That’s how I could make 40 loans of $25 each with only $256 in my Kiva account.
Since you’re loaning someone else’s money with this promotion, please join me in helping others RIGHT NOW!
So that’s my pitch. Sort of. You can contact me on Facebook at Facebook.com/BigManWalking or you can comment on this blog.
Now for more about the song – I Can Help by Billy Swan.
I know that this song is about being helpful to a woman who’s a single mother, but it does apply.
There’s a line or three in there about:
If your child needs a daddy, I can help
It would sure do me good, to do you good
When you hear the words, and I urge you to give it a listen through the link near the beginning of this post, the phrase “to do you good” is really quite innocuous. It’s innocent, in my opinion. Back when Billy Swan recorded this song people did not refer to doing someone the way we do today. You’re just going to have to trust me on this. If anyone was using this phrase the way many people do today, it was a small isolated group, so please listen to the song from a more innocent (though not completely innocent) time. It’s similar to the way The Zombies sang, “Who’s Your Daddy?” It didn’t mean then what it does today to so many people.
So listen to it with innocent ears. You remember. Like when you were in kindergarten or preschool? You remember.
And that’s how I want you to join me in helping people on Kiva. With innocent intentions.