There are 2 inspiring organizations on my mind today, so instead of them rattling around in my head, I’ll put the knowledge to better use by sharing them here:

1) Small Fortunes: Microcredit and the Future of Poverty


This is a wonderful documentary I saw the other night on TV. Here is a description from the documentary website:

Millions of the world’s poorest—mostly women—who are unable to provide the necessary collateral to secure a traditional loan are turning to microcredit institutions for help. These institutions give “micro” loans, often for less than $100, to those for whom the entrepreneurial spirit is still in its purest, most basic form. Whether it’s through milking a buffalo, selling tortillas, or weaving cloth, most borrowers are able to pay back their loans—and have enough profits to reinvest in their businesses, their homes, and their children.

Produced by award-winning filmmakers Sterling Van Wagenen and Matt Whitaker, Small Fortunes explores the issues of poverty and microcredit as it features interviews with numerous recipients of small loans in locales ranging from India to the Philippines to New York City. The documentary tells the stories of how short-term loans of even a few dollars have resulted in dramatic changes in lifestyles for families who otherwise would have no means of lifting themselves out of their poverty.

Wow. If you can, see this film. You can click on a link on the webpage to encourage your local TV station to air it. Or become involved. The smallest amount of money seems to go an incredibly far way. What I found so interesting about this film and the subject of MICROCREDIT is that 95% of the loans are given to women only. This is because, statistically, woman pay back the loans– at a rate of about 98%! And statistically, if you empower a woman with opportunity, her priority is the entire family, primarily her children. She will make sure 1) her family is fed and 2) her children are EDUCATED. In turn, EDUCATION is the strongest tool to combat poverty. This is not always the case with men– statistically– no offense, chaps. I’m just regurgitating information.

Greg Mortenson, the American who builds schools in the poorest of the poor communities in rural Pakistan and Afganistan, and the subject of the PHENOMENAL book Three Cups of Tea, also believes this to be the case. He purports that the only real way to fight terrorism, extremism, and poverty is through education. Primarily, the education of woman. Read that book too. It’s great.

2) http://www.usaservice.org

In Obama’s plea to the nation to get involved and make a difference in the improvement of our country, his team of superstars has created this website to connect people with volunteer opportunities available throughout the US. You can search by zip code, distance, and type of opportunity. Check it out.

Until next time…


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One Response to “SPIRIT OF GIVING”

  1. Lesley Dewar Says:

    Congratulations on this post. We have just set up the No Tall Poppies group from Australia on kiva.org.

    Lesley Dewar invites you to visit the No Tall Poppies group on Kiva.org here http://is.gd/iTHN

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