Welcome to Part III of how we spread the Christmas Spirit. If you want to read Part I, you will find it Here, Part II is Here and the balance of Part II is Here
So now on to the third and final post on how we celebrate Christmas at our home.
My husband and I have been together for nearly 12 years. Before that, he had raised a family with his first wife and during those holidays, very little was given to charity. His ex has since remarried but to this day, is very proud to share with everyone how many items she receives for Christmas. Sadly, she determines her value to others based on the price tags attached to the gifts under the tree for her each Christmas.
It wasn't easy for my husband to catch on to my own disinterest in receiving big ticket items after experiencing the holidays with his first wife. While we were dating, he did purchase lovely jewelry for me but after we married, as long as I had a wedding ring set that I loved, I already had a favorite right-hand ring. Anything else he purchased would just sit in my jewelry box unworn which to me represented a total waste of money. He too was uninterested in receiving gifts from me which I found out when he would roll his eyes at whatever I purchased for him those first few holidays we spent together.
It wasn't long before we realized that going through this charade each Christmas was a waste of our time and money. Then we discovered Kiva Loans That Change Lives. It was like a lightbulb moment for us and we decided right then and there that this was what we would be doing with any money we felt we wanted to spend on one another during the holidays.
One Kiva story that stands out is one about a hard working mother in Africa who was grinding peanuts by hand to make peanut butter to sell. She could not keep up with the demand for her product as she could only grind a limited amount of peanuts in the run of a day. She applied to Kiva for an interest-free loan to buy a grinder so she could increase her production while at the same time saving her hands. Thanks to that loan, she did exactly that while paying back every cent over the period of one year. She was then able to expand her small business, buy more grinders and now employs other mothers who are now able to provide for their own families. All of this spinoff was created because she was able to borrow the money to obtain a simple grinder.
This is an organization I can stand behind. I have never been a fan of throwing money at a problem or at poverty. The majority of people don't want to be dependent on a regular handout, they want the ability to earn an honest living and support their families which is exactly what Kiva offers.
To date, my husband and I have helped finance 33 interest-free loans. So far, that has amounted to $900 with the majority of those loans now repaid allowing that same money to be re-loaned to others. Not one loan has been defaulted on and we get the story of each individual and also get to choose the country, the person and the business to assist.
So sometime on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, my husband and I will sit down at the computer, sign into our Kiva account and help finance more loans. I can tell you with complete honesty, the joy I feel knowing we are a small link in a very important chain far outweighs any thrill I would get from unwrapping a piece of jewelry on Christmas morning.
Happy Holidays Everyone!