As some of you already know, I volunteer as an on-line editor for Kiva. I am also a lender -- and these are just a few of the entrepreneurs around the world that I have lent money. Not much money -- just $25. But this $25 combined with that of many others, has made a big difference to each of these ladies. And each time my loan is repaid, I lend it to someone else. And I do it all on-line at Kiva.
OK, so I'm not asking you to be a lender, although it would be great if you did that. I'm just asking you to help Kiva win $1 million in Sam's Club Charitable Giving Event. The organization with the most votes by May 2 wins $1 million. All you have to do is be a Sam's Club member and vote in the store and/or on-line once a day. Right now, Kiva is in first place, but we need all the votes we can get to stay in first place till the very end. Click here to read more and then vote! And since we don't have any Sam's clubs here on the Big Island, I can't even vote myself. So please help and vote in my place!
Here is how Kiva works: (These statements are copied from the Kiva.org website)
1) It all starts with our Field Partners, which are microfinance institutions operating around the world. Our Field Partners approve and disburse a microloan to an entrepreneur in their community. They take a picture of the entrepreneur and write down the entrepreneur’s story.
2) The Field Partner uploads the entrepreneur’s profile to Kiva’s website. The profile, if it’s not in English, is translated by one of our hundreds of volunteer translators. After translation, the profile appears live on Kiva.org
3) Lenders like you browse the entrepreneurs’ profiles and choose someone to lend to, using PayPal or their credit cards.
4) Kiva provides the funds to our Field Partners by aggregating the loan funds from all contributing lenders. Most Field Partners then use the Kiva lender funds to backfill the loan they’ve already disbursed to the entrepreneur. Disbursals can happen up to 30 days before, or 30 days after a loan request is uploaded to the Kiva website.
5) Over time, the entrepreneur repays her loan. The Field Partner collects those repayments and lets Kiva know if a repayment was not made as scheduled. We give Field Partners the option to cover both currency losses and entrepreneur default.
All you have to do is be a Sam's Club member and vote in the store or on-line once a day. This is a great organization and I want to do whatever I can to help them win.