Monday, September 22, 2008

100th Post Give Away

100th Post Give-Away!


I thought a lot about what I could give-away to celebrate my 100th post. And I came up with an idea that will be a gift to at least two people, and possibly more. I will be giving away a $50 gift certificate to Kiva. Kiva is the world's first person-to-person micro-lending web site. In other words, Kiva lets lots of "ordinary" people like you and me pool our money to make small loans to struggling entrepreneurs in third world countries.

Here is how it works: You will receive a gift certificate for $50 to Kiva. You browse through the descriptions of the people requesting loans. The list of entrepreneurs changes daily, so if you don't find someone whose dream speaks to you immediately, just keep checking back until you do. (I am currently loaning to two seamstresses - more on them below.) Once you find someone, you assign the gift certificate to that person, and that money is combined with money from other lenders, until there is enough to cover the loan. At that point, the money is disbursed.

The really cool thing about this is that it is a LOAN. That means that, over time, it will be repaid to you. At that point in time, you may collect this money (sorry, no interest) and put it into your own sewing! (Or whatever you want...) Thus, this single gift becomes a gift for two! :)

Alternatively, you may leave it in Kiva and loan it out to another entrepreneur. It is completely up to you. :)

Of course, there is some risk involved. However, Kiva does its best to assess the risk ahead of time and gives you as much information as possible about the likelihood of repayment.

I have two loans in my "portfolio". My first loan was to Miss Adjo Adimah, a seamstress in Togo, who requested $1,025 to purchase additional sewing machines and other materials to help her train four apprentice seamstresses. Twenty-five lenders contributed to fund this loan, which Miss Adimah will pay off in one year. She has already made her first two monthly repayments right on schedule.


My second loan was to Ms. Berha Aurora Rios Chota in Peru. She also supports herself as a seamstress, and requested $400, to be repaid in 6 months, in order to buy more materials - fabric, thread, zippers, etc. Twelve lenders contributed to fund this loan.


If you would like to be entered in the drawing for this give-away, just leave your name in a comment on this post. I will randomly select one name next weekend and announce the winner. Good luck!

And thank-you to everyone for keeping me going for 100 posts! I wouldn't still be doing this if I didn't know that people were reading me... :)

14 comments:

mamafitz said...

what a wonderful concept! put my name in the hat.

kasizzle said...

How unselfish and generous of you!

quitecontrary1977 said...

This is such a good thing!!! Thanks for doing this giveaway!!

Summerset said...

What a great concept! Add my name to the drawing!

Christina said...

This is such a cool idea. I'd choose a seamstress also.

SunnyQ said...

WOW Gwen! That is awesome. I've heard of Kiva but never contributed. Add my name in, but I now I'm going to contribute either way! :) You're amazing!!!! Have fun in the Fabric District this week!!!!

and sew it begins... said...

Having just left the fabric district (literally just walked out of the stores 10 minutes ago) I really appreciate how expensive materials are! I think I would definitely have to support a seamstress. Please add me to the drawing.

Vicki said...

What a fabulous idea! Count me in.

Anonymous said...

Add me to the list! What a wonderful cause!
-Natalie

Anonymous said...

Kiva sounds like a great idea. Please add my name to the drawing.
Doreen

Shelly said...

Hi all, I have a KIVA account too because I saw it on Gwen's Facebook page. Mine is to a group in Bolivia, I've had it a few months and it's 17% paid back. So when it's all paid back I can loan it elsewhere. I did some research on micro lending and KIVA is legit. Registered charity. Several credible articles in the news, that kind of thing. Their website is easy to use too.

Caity said...

Please add me to the KIVA draw too - what a fabooo idea!

AmeliaSews said...

It's been said before, but what a great idea! Count me in.

Becky said...

Ooh, I like this idea. I'm in!