Kiva's mission is "to connect people, through lending, for the sake of alleviating poverty."
Kiva is using the internet to create a global communities of people connected through lending. With Kiva, individuals can make microloans to entrepreneurs across the globe and those in need.
Kiva was born of the following beliefs:
People are by nature generous, and will help others if given the opportunity to do so in a transparent, accountable way.
The poor are highly motivated and can be very successful when given an opportunity.
By connecting people we can create relationships beyond financial transactions, and build a global community expressing support and encouragement of one another.
This is a great way to help people, as, by giving, you are allowing someone in need the necessary materials and motivation to sustain themself and their family. Rather than giving a one-time donation, you lend them money to help them build a business, which is a better long-term solution to poverty and need. And in most cases, you get your money back! You can lend in teams or individually, and join others in the lending community that is Kiva.
This is a great choice for those on a budget who may or may not be able to donate themselves to a cause this year. The Salvation Army is offering a way for people to get out and ring the red bell without having to leave the comfort of their beds. Put on your slippers and sign up to carry a red kettle, online! Using teams or individually, you can send emails to friends and family, use facebook or twitter to ask for donations for the Salvation Army. It's as easy as using a few keyboard strokes to help make a difference in the lives of millions.
This website connects people who have something to donate to the causes that need donations. You sign up on the site with what you would like to donate (clothes, furniture, blankets, office supplies, food, etc), and the site matches you with a charity in your area (or out of your area) that needs what you are donating. What a great way to get rid of your clutter while helping charities during the crisis that is this recession.
Please consider donating by using the above examples or by simply reaching out to your favorite charity or your local community in need this Christmas. It's a small step to creating a better future for all of us.