Today - apparently - is blog action day, where everyone with a blog is encouraged to post on the same topic in order to hopefully change the conversation that day. This year, the topic is poverty.
Ohhh - poverty. Here's the deal with poverty - it makes me super tired. Yeah? Anyone else feel that way? Its overwhelming. Absolutely overwhelming. I have dozens of horrific stories of things I've seen that have brought me to tears - but really, I don't want to talk about that right now. Instead, I want to talk about some things that are a) not exhausting and b) super exciting.
And that would be-------- what we can do, right now, sitting at our computers.... ready?
One of the best presents I have ever received was from my dear and wonderful friend Ms. Pears, who for my birthday gave me a certificate to Kiva, a microfinance institution. The amazing thing about this present is that I was able to go online, and see dozens of people who wanted loans to start up small businesses to get themselves out of poverty. I then lent them the money that Ms. Pears had given me as a gift, and when they were finished with it - they paid it back. I was then able to lend it to the next person. It is truly one of the most beautiful, fulfilling gifts I could ever imagine receiving.
Another amazing site is Heifer International, where you can buy a cow, a goat, a pig, a bunch of chickens, etc. for a family that lives in poverty. Gifts like this are amazing as they not only provide once, but over and over again as the family is able to use the animals for their milk/eggs/meat/wool/etc. They are also able to breed their animals and create a sustainable source of income and food for themselves. AND, if you can't afford a whole cow, you can buy a share - no donation is too small.
Or what about buying a malaria net for only $10 - Malaria is one of the top killers in the entire world - and is entirely preventable. Just sleeping under a net decreases the chances of contracting malaria exponentially. You buy a kid a malaria net, you can save a life - poof! Just like that, with $10.
And there are tons of other organizations just like those out there. So, there. Writing about those organizations just made me happy. First of all - it is a way to combat poverty, right now - this very second. Second of all - if you are like me and never think more than about 12 hours ahead - they are a GREAT AMAZING BEAUTIFUL present for people. What better gift could you give someone than to tell them that in their name, you just made someone else's life better. All of those sites even have super amazing cards you can print off or email right to whoever's name you make the purchase for. Keep it in mind for stockings over Christmas.
Much love to you all.