Monday, April 09, 2012

Kiva (Paying it forward)

A few months ago my friend, Lori, mentioned Kiva in an email. I didn't know anything about Kiva so I decided to check out their website:

In a nutshell, Kiva works with banks all over the world and gives loans to people (usually in third world countries) who cannot get conventional loans. The amount of the loans vary, but we can "give" in increments of $25.00.

For example, Alba in Peru is asking for a loan of $650 to purchase a new loom for the blankets she weaves and sells at the local market. She works with a "Kiva" bank and is approved. Then her profile and picture is placed on the Kiva website and people all over the world can donate money to fund her loan. I decide to loan her $25.00 (with a $3.75 handling charge for Kiva's expenses) When her loan is fully funded, she has repayment plan and I will eventually be paid back my $25.00, usually in monthly installments, which goes into my "account." The premise is that I will take that money and reinvest it in another person. While my $25.00 is not tax deductible as it is paid back, the $3.75 is. Of course, you can pull out of Kiva and get your money back. This is all explained much better on the website.

I started working with Kiva in January and I've made six Kiva loans to men and woman all over the globe. And, several of them have started paying me back. I am finding it very rewarding to see how my small loan of $25.00 can have an impact all over the world and really make a difference to one person and their family.

What amazes me is how many people world-wide give to Kiva. When a loan is made, you can see how many others have donated. While some choose to remain anonymous, many have their pictures on the website with their location and maybe a small description of why they donate to Kiva. I find it interesting to see who else is lending to a particular person and where they are from. So many of my fellow "lenders" have made loans to 30, 40, 50 or more people.

I don't have a lot of money, but this year forward I am making a very conscientious effort to donate to charities I feel strongly about.  While I donate to several different charitable organizations, Kiva is definitely the front runner.  Check it out and see how you, too, can make a difference.

Monday, April 02, 2012

On the Fence (Quilts, that is!)

I love pictures of quilts displayed in nature.  Before I started washing my quilts as part of spring cleaning, I threw some over the fence in my yard.  I love the results!

I had to get a picture of my bottle tree!

Little four patch quilt
Elizabeth's Sampler quilt

My purple (Farrow Fields) quilt

Underground Railroad quilt

Underground Railroad quilt, shot from the slope.

Dogwood Trees

To continue on my "springtime in the South" thoughts,
 the dogwood has been in bloom. 
These pictures were all taken when you first enter my subdivision.

 Dogwood here in northern Georgia borders on the treeline and woods. 
While you can plant it where ever you wish, the wild dogwood likes other trees around it. 

And, when it blooms, the delicate flowers look like lace against the
other trees that have not yet or just started to bud out. 

The flowers are so pretty and delicate.

 It's my favorite.  Enjoy the pictures.