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50 for 50, Day 22:

June 8, 2011

A Nicaraguan woman I loaned to so she could improve her car wash business. Photo from

I have said it before and I will say it again…Thanks for stopping by my 50th Birthday Celebration, Day 22.

Here’s the background story: because I feel so blessed and have pretty much everything I could ever need, I am asking people to get involved with charities, if they are so inspired, in lieu of any fabulous birthday presents you were planning on sending me (or not).

I am featuring a different charity every day for 50 days leading up to my 50th birthday to give you plenty of chances to get involved. I started on May 18. I wanted to give a voice to different good works around the globe. If you ARE inspired to take action, please leave me a comment and let me know that you did. This is all I want for my birthday – to spread some love and kindness. Thank you, my dear friends. is my little not-guilty pleasure. Sometimes when I feel the jingle of change in my pockets, instead of buying yet another necklace on or going book shopping, I go give a micro-loan.

You’ve probably heard of Kiva. People band together via the internet to help small entrepreneurs fund business projects around the world. The minimum loan amount is $25. To me, it is really fun to go shop for someone to give a loan to.

It isn’t a donation. It is a loan that carries risk – you may get paid back, you may not. I imagine that most people roll their repaid loans over into new loans to other people, so the money keeps doing good over and over.

So, go, make some loans!

Previously featured organizations:
The Carter Center
Bikes Not Bombs
Friends of Maddie
Surfrider Foundation
United Through Reading
Operation Shower
The Liz Logelin Foundation
American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
Kids Vs Global Warming
Help a Mother Out
Direct Relief International
Accelerated Cure for Multiple Sclerosis
Women for Women
Epic Change
Amnesty International

  1. June 8, 2011 13:52

    Kiva is excellent – and I too love “shopping” for loans.

    • June 9, 2011 06:09

      I like to think of these small businesses blossoming all over the world.

  2. June 8, 2011 13:58

    I’ve been reading your daily birthday posts, anxiously waiting to get paid so I could do something to celebrate your big day (and what an awesome day to celebrate, buy the way). Yesterday, I was cleaning out a storage closet at work and found the briefcase I took to BlogHer in Chicago, which is where I met you for the first time (I doubt you remember it — I’m quite forgettable). I noticed the straps were about to break on the briefcase, so I proceeded to clean it out and toss it. Lo and behold, in a front pocket was a $100 bill I’d ferreted away before I left for the conference (My parents taught me to hide cash in a separate bag in case my wallet ever got stolen while traveling).

    I was thrilled to put a portion of my awesome find toward a Kiva loan for a Mongolian woman wanting to expand her used clothing business.

    Happy Birthday my dear. The world is a far better place with you in it.

    • June 9, 2011 06:08

      I love that story! $100 of magic money! Thank you so much for making a Kiva loan. You have made my day.

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