Over Christmas I gave my nephews (ages 15 & 12) Kiva gift cards as part of their holiday gift. If you aren’t familiar with Kiva this organization “connects people through lending to alleviate poverty.”
In the past I have given them cash and asked they give half to their favourite cause and kept half to do as they liked. It got them both interested in GIVING at a very young age and gave them choice to GIVE their money to a cause they felt good about.
This year after discovering Kiva myself, I decided I was going to GIVE a Kiva card so they could not only GIVE once during the year but make a choice when the loan was paid back to GIVE it again or keep it for themselves. Big decisions for a pre-teen and teenager but I thought they were valuable lessons.
I also asked them one more thing – to please send me a note about their experience while using their Kiva cards. I was amazed the response I got and wanted to share it with you. This is their guest post after using their Kiva cards.
Day 147: Give 147
Alex (age 12):
It was interesting to get a KIVA gift, as I felt I could make a difference in someone else’s life. I chose to give it to a Peruvian farmer named Heraclio because I felt some sympathy for him. He has separated from his partner, and he has custody for his five children. Loaning the money felt exciting, and wasn’t hard to do. In the age of technology, donating is really easy (especially when you get this as a gift!)
Ben: (age 15)
I didn’t know what KIVA was when I got this gift. I looked through the lists of people to lend money to for someone who really seemed to need the money. I choose to give more money to this person than my aunt had given me in the gift because I really want to help him and his family. The extra money from me isn’t a lot from my side, but I know it would be a lot for him. I chose this person to loan money to because it seemed like he wanted it for the right reasons, (sending his kids to school) and I wanted to help to someone who is just trying to make a living and is trying to support his family.
Hilary: (the boys Mom – my sister)
I love that Jacqueline gave my kids KIVA gift certificates to engage them in the process of helping others help themselves. I started loaning money via KIVA a few years ago, and often give this as a gift to others when I want to thank them or recognize a special event like a birthday. Certainly my kids don’t need any more stuff in their lives, so giving them the gift of helping others is a powerful reminder that giving is better than receiving!
Way to go family! I am so proud you learned something new and felt the compassion and understanding for others in need. This is a great ethical gift to GIVE consider it next time for a birthday gift or special occasion instead of more “stuff.”
Time Commitment: 5 minutes on line purchasing Kiva cards
Cost: 2 x $25 gift cards