Christmas shopping dilemma solved!

Have you finished your Christmas shopping yet or are you still trying to figure out what to get for that impossible to buy for person on your list? You know the one; the person who seems to have everything already and who, when they actually want or need something, goes out and buys it for themselves. Gift cards have helped alleviate some of that last minute Christmas shopping angst, but perhaps that solution seems a bit impersonal to you. Are shopping days rapidly disappearing while you fret over what to do?

Perhaps I have the perfect solution!

Why not give them a Kiva Card? With a Kiva Card, your loved one can help a third world artisan buy supplies, a farmer purchase equipment, a student continue their education… the possibilities are endless!

I’ve written about Kiva before, but this is a great time to plug one of my favourite charities again, especially since it might help someone with the last minute Christmas shopping blues. Kiva is a non-profit organization that allows a person to lend as little as $25 to a specific low-income entrepreneur in one of more than 80 countries around the world. Each time the borrower makes a payment on the loan, a portion of that payment is deposited back in the lender’s Kiva account and they receive an email notifying them of their updated balance. That money can be withdrawn at any time but instead, as soon as most lenders have recovered their $25, they search the Kiva database and choose another borrower to lend it to. That way the initial investment truly becomes the gift that keeps on giving!

I originally invested $100 in Kiva in early 2010 and added another $25 in 2012. By lending and relending, I’ve now helped fund 38 loans to entrepreneurs in 19 different countries. I’ve invested in livestock, solar panels, a flour mill, several sewing machines, a food cart, stoves,  refrigerators, a freezer, restaurant furniture, and the list goes on.

Purchasing a Kiva Card is easy. Simply click here. You can choose to print the card yourself or have it emailed or sent to your loved one via snail mail (although it may be too late to have it delivered in time for Christmas that way). You can add a personal message and when the recipient receives your gift, they can choose who to support. When their loans are repaid, they can use those funds again and again to continue making a greater impact long after Christmas has passed.

If you’re interested in becoming a Kiva lender yourself, visit kiva.org or click on the banner in the sidebar.

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