As a young, fairly broke American, I can't do much of anything for anyone. I do have a lot of opinions, though. I like to worry that I could be buying things made by mistreated sweatshop workers, and when I think about it, I buy fair-trade chocolate. But what's worry good for?
Recently, my pal John Green (he's coming up a lot lately) told the Nerdfighters that something amazing was happening--a rich dude donated a ton of free twenty-five-dollar loans to Kiva. Kiva, for those not in the loop, is a magical web site that allows people to lend a mere twenty-five dollars at a time to entrepreneurs all over the world so they can better their situations. Mostly in developing countries, but there are people in the United States, too, for the days you feel especially patriotic.
I used my free loan to help a woman in Peru who grows bananas. I think bananas are great, so the choice was pretty easy. Later on I'm going to use my real money to finance some other enterprising individual in hiring a sheep wrangler or buying more merchandise for the store or repairing the roof. It'll make me feel a little like a fancy banker.
Some people take issue with the way Kiva does business. So while I'm here specifically because of the free loans, I'm not advocating one microfinance organization over another--I haven't done enough research for that. I just enjoy that I can do a little to help entrepreneurs while I'm hiding out in continuing education because I'm afraid of the real world.
Get your free Kiva loan today before they run out.