Today We Get to Make it Rain

Screen Shot 2017-03-03 at 12.47.00 PM

There’s a person at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation who has one of the coolest jobs in the world. They spend the day going through applications and handing out money to worthy causes. (I wonder if they ever have an Oprah moment – YOU get funding! And you get funding!) Imagine being faced with thousands of people who need help and you’ve got literally millions of dollars to give away. Nice gig!

Today there’s a chance for the rest of us to get to see a little of what that feels like. Kiva.org is an organization that provides micro loans to individuals and groups all over the world. They’re setting up businesses, going to school, and in the process building their families and communities.

With International Women’s Day coming up Kiva has set a goal to fund $3 million in loans to women and here’s where it gets really fun. Kiva has pulled together funds for 10,000 $25 loans for new Kiva supporters. That means YOU can dive in and choose who gets a loan and it doesn’t cost you a thing.

Ready to make it rain?

Here’s how it works:

  1. Go to Kiva.org and click on “start your free trial”.
  2. Scroll through hundreds of women and learn about their story and what they’re planning to do with the loan.
  3. Click “Lend Free $25” and you’ll go to an account page. Fill in your contact info and you’re all set. It costs you nothing.

One of the coolest things about Kiva is that these are loans, not gifts, so the $25 will get paid back into your Kiva account and you can loan it out again. I received a gift of $25 on Kiva a year and a half ago that I just loaned out for the third time the other day.

Here’s a little more about Kiva:

where_map

Kiva grants loans to people living in poverty who have little access to financial services. They “envision a world where all people hold the power to create opportunity for themselves and others.”

Kiva provides loans in more than 80 countries on 5 continents. All borrowers are screened by local field partners, and each loan has a risk repayment score. The current repayment rate for all loans is 97%. You can learn more about Kiva’s commitment to due diligence here.

Christmas 2015

Screen Shot 2015-12-05 at 3.26.02 PM

 

Merry Christmas!

If you’ve found your way to this page, it probably means that your Christmas card has arrived and didn’t get lost in the mail. Hurrah! As promised, here is a recording of my speech. It was done at home with GarageBand so please excuse the messy bits.


May the hope, the joy, the mystery and the peace of Christmas find you and give your heart strength as we step into the new year.

The Light Between Oceans (book review)

oceans-book

I finished reading The Light Between Oceans a couple of hours ago and I’m still dealing with a book hangover. M. L. Stedman has woven a tale I won’t soon forget.

Set in Australia in the years after the Great War, The Light Between Oceans is the story of Tom and Isabel Sherbourne, two people trying to build a life with the pieces the war leftover. It starts out on Janus Rock where Tom mans the lighthouse. Each night he climbs the step to light the light, warning ships of the dangers of the ocean below. But the ocean is relentless, and full of terrors.

One morning as Isabel plants rosemary bush on the grave of yet another child who came too soon she sees a rowboat wrecked on the beach below. Tom runs down and finds the body of a stranger in the boat, and miraculously, a small child wrapped in a lavender cardigan, alone but alive.

Tom is the first to ask the question, “What should we do?” It will take the rest of the book to answer.

This is a story of blurred lines and grey places, where heros and villains are not so easy to spot. I found myself unsure of who to root for, hoping for both possible endings while knowing, as Tom does from the start, that you can’t have both.

This book reminds me of The Dive from Clauson’s Pier. Love may be the answer, but which love is stronger – the one that holds on or the one that lets go?

All I know for now is that The Light Between Oceans hasn’t let go of me yet.

1 2 3 126