Friday, June 29, 2007

Kiva and Honduras

Its seems like a while since I've made a loan to Honduras, but I did today. Senovia Lopez wants $200 for her fruit business, and I'm happy to help with my small part. I hope others will join me.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Obama and Kiva Gift Certificates

Just made a donation to the Obama campaign to help their second quarter numbers. I think they are going to be very good. I was at our weekly Obama meeting last night and heard some things, including the fact the campaign is closely watching our group. Apparently we are one of the most active with weekly meetings and lots of events. We meet at a really cool place that has great food and ambiance, which is why the weekly meetings aren't that hard to do. I really enjoy hanging out with smart people who are actually committed and caring about the world.

I also got a few Kiva gift certificates for some people who work in my sewing business. They are all hard-working. The business is great to have, because it allows me to help people like stay-home-moms and people who have emergency fund needs. So when people come and say 'help, my car died and I need $200 this weekend to fix it', I can give them work to do to make the money. And we pay about 4-5 times minimum wage, the business was set up to give them work, not to make me profit. (Though I must say I am profiting, business is very good). Having this hobby business also keeps my scavenge friends away, the ones who just want my money but don't want to work for it. They used to try to give me grief and go on about how them and their families are deserving, and since I give to others they should get some. People like that tend to disappear when you actually offer them jobs to do, so its made my life a lot easier. Now I mostly get contacted by people who are actually willing to work. Today I got 2 emails for new sewers, and was happy to see one was a stay-home-mom. I'm not sure how many kids we are currently helping feed (I don't even know how many sewers we have, I'm not involved in production) but I think the record was 21 kids. And I've set up a few college funds (my own bank accounts I'm designating for them for college), 'cause schooling in the US is EXPENSIVE. I graduated with over $55,000 US in debt, mostly from grad school where I got 75% of it funded. (I paid it off by day-trading the stock market, which is not something I advise people to do). So I'm setting up college funds for the kids. ING does direct withdrawal, so we don't even notice it missing. And it so insignificant when compared to the UPS bill! (I pay the bills of the business, that's my 'job', I also do the web work).

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Arcehaelogical Conservancy

I just made a donation to the Archaeological Conservancy to their POINT-3 program. That's a fund they are trying to create so they can afford to buy land when its available, to ensure that it gets conserved. It would be nice to keep things for the next generation.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Kiva loan to Mexico

I have been doing some crafty things for sale today, and that inspired me to lend to JUANA PEREZ PEREZ. She does embroidery and will use her loan money to purchase supplies wholesale.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Sesame Street in other countries

I made a donation today to Sesame Street to help its international programs. They are celebrating that they just started programming in India. The programs are always country specific, and devloped by local individuals with the workshops guidance. I think muppets can help make the world a better place.

This blog has been sponsored by the letter K. For Kindness. Lets try making more in the world.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Fair Trade Coffee Subscription

I started a subscription for fair trade coffee today. I found a place through the Coop America's National Green Pages. The Vashon Island Coffee Roasterie is located in Washington, and they believe that the small act of buying coffee beans can be part of the giant act of positive change in the world.

They go into detail where they buy their beans from, and apparently they started Peets Coffee so they probably know how to roast the beans well. I ordered a 3 month supply to start, getting delivered monthly. Even with shipping its only a few dollars more than I currently spend.

My Sandbox

Well I just read some nasty stuff written about me and this blog. I didn't read all of it because I didn't see the need. Its amazing that there is such meanness around, not only that people get in a discussion, but also that someone felt the need to notify me that I was being trashed. I don't understand people like that, but I'm thinking they don't lead very happy lives and need to express their own hurt.

I write this blog for my own amusement. For me its a way of keeping track of all that I do, its helpful to know when I pay my annual memberships, donate, etc. It also forces me to think about the world every day, and what I can do to help. Its very easy to get caught up in thinking only about individuals needs and wants, and forgetting that we still need to make progress on making the world a better place. I have been gifted with a lot of skills and talents that have led to a good accumulation of wealth. I have always shared what I have, even when I was poor and didn't have much. I have been an activist most of my life.

I appreciate all the positive comments I have got on this blog, and I am thrilled that people have learned about some great charities through me. I know Futures for Children appreciates all the new mentors. I know my posts tend to be very Kiva oriented, and that often is due to lack of time to come up with anything else. I am really glad there are other people like me in the world. And some of them are good friends of mine, and I also keep this blog for them, 'cause they keep asking 'what can I help you with now'?

It does seem like I brag on this blog, and this is much more detailed information that I would ever give anyone in person. I can't talk about all I do to my friends 'cause it overwhelms them, most lead normal lives where they don't devote most of their time to 'doing good' (my job is helping cure diseases, everything I do is for public health). My hobbies relate around activism. I overwhelm people sometimes with all that I do. So I try not to do that and use my blog as my outlet. But I figured, its my blog, so I can talk about me?

So this is MY sandbox, and if you're going to be mean don't play in it. The web is a very big place and I don't have room in my life for negativity.

By the way, if you need a loan you can go to Send me the link and I'll probably bid on it. 'Cause I'm like that.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

The United Way

Today I sent in my yearly contribution to the United Way. The United Way is an interesting charity because its actually a charity that collects for other charities. I have a special fondess for the United Way because I worked at one in NH ages ago.

Most of the charities are local, the United Way LA helps 35 agencies that service the very poor in our city. AS the letter states, as the sun goes down tonight, more than 90,000 homeless people (including 20,000 children) will look for a safe place to sleep.

This is just not right for a rich city in a rich country. PATH has some great solutions (Joel's book is a great read), but as they point out we need more people doing things. Its hard to know what to do. Giving money helps. I try to do other things, I give away fleece blankets and toiletry kits to the guys at the freeway exits/entrances (especially at the Veterans Administration hospital). I buy homeless people food or coffee if I see them when I get it (I probably buy about 2-5 meals/week), and yes, I give people money if they ask. I know its not good. I know they spend it on cigs and booze sometimes. But who am I to judge what they do with it, and it means so much more to them. And if I lived on the street I'd probably want to smoke and drink too.

I also paid a big tax bill to the City of Calgary today, hopefully some of that funds will go to helping hard working Canadians.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

More used clothings stores in Honduras

It so great waking up to new Honduran loans. Sohor Lorena Cardenas needs $250 for her used clothing business. I'm helping her out.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Another day, another Honduran loan

Another day, another loan to Honduras. It is so exciting to see all the loans there. I have accepted the fact that I can't be in on all of them, I must share.

The loan today was to Maria Ventura Paz for her clothing business in Choluceta.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Close to Julia

Today I did not bid on all the Honduran loans I saw, there were just too many pages of them. So I held off for a few hours, and it dwindled, then I bid on Julieta Rodriguez Mejia for her used clothing business. She is in Choluteca.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Groceries in Honduras

I found two Honduran loans today to bid on, both are for grocery stores in Choluteca, Honduras. Sandra Elizabeth Gutierrez is borrowing $400, while Adriana Zelaya is borrowing $250.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Seamstresses in Honduras

In Teguigalpa, Honduras, Glenda Patricia Amador and Francisca Antonia Meza both want to borrow $150 for their seamstress business.
As someone who uses a sewing machine a lot, I am happy to lend her the money. I hope their businesses do as well as mine.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Four more Honduran Loans

I'm back from San Francisco, I saved lots of tax payers money.

I found a few Honduran loans this morning, what a great way to start the day. These loans are all in Teguigalpa, (do I get points for being able to both say AND spell it?).

Rosa Antonia Valladares wants $300 to increase her clothing business.
Domitila Ardon wants $375 for her tortilla business. Santos Irma Lopez Alvarez wants $500 to increase her products.

Karen Melissa Obando
wants $275 for her coconut milk business, she's going to buy more coconuts and machetes.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Kiva Gift Certificates to Celebrities

I wrote a letter to Paris Hilton today because injustice bothers me always. I know the LA jail system well enough to know that someone who did what she did would be out already. If it was me, I would be out. So she is not being treated fair.

I sent her a Kiva gift certificate, along with several loan pages that I had printed out of the AoC event so she could get an idea of what Kiva is and who she can lend to. I'm hoping she'll get involved, even if anonymously.

I am leaving for San Francisco in a few hours to attend an NIH study section. I will be reviewing grant proposals and helping decide which ones to prioritize to fund. So that's how I will be changing the world on Monday and Tuesday, and I probably won't have time to post about it. The meeting on Monday will be over 10 hours I'm sure. Lots of intense thinking.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

I took some time out of second life to do some real life loaning to Guatemala. Maria Sajbochol consisted herself a spirited, fighting women and want to expand her business. I would love to wear her clothes. I'm wearing Guatemalan pants right now!

Friday, June 08, 2007

More on the Kiva Friends site

The new Kiva friends Second Life Hang out place is coming along. I made my first cut out today, and she will be selling tomatoes.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Second Life and Kiva Friends

Today I set up a virtual place for Kiva Friends to hang in Second Life. We still have a lot of work to do at the place, but so far a few people have dropped by including a president of a NGO in South Africa.

I think it will be a productive, fun place. Can't wait till the Grand Opening Party.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Agents of Change

The Agents of Change came today, the Riders for Change. They were a lot of fun and it was great meeting them.

We had an event in Santa Monica (at Kelly's place). And I'm tired!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Two more Honduras loans

I made two more loans to Honduras today, but will have to wait to put up pictures. The ABC special aired tonight (that I was interviewed for) and it seems to have crashed the site. And its only aired in the East.


Monday, June 04, 2007


I'm lending to a new country today - Edilia Areco in Paraguay wants to expand her store and needs a little capital. This is a new country for Kiva also.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Two quick Sunday loans to Honduras

Made two quick loans today, one to Alba Alicia Garmendia Lopez who wants money for her clothing store, the other to Mercedes Funes Velasquez for her clothing store. Both are in Dani.

I'm thinking if I ever make it to Dani, Honduras, I'm going to be buying clothes.

41.4% of my Kiva loans are to Honduras.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Another day of Sunshine

I loaned to Maria Consuelo Moncada today, she is from Danli, Honduras and wants $500 for her store.

40.5% for Honduras

Friday, June 01, 2007

More Honduran Loans

These ones really were hard. There were paypal issues. But I persevered. I got to lend to Gloria Cecilia Cubas Mejia who wants $600 for her store in Danli.

Ada wants $150 for her tortilla business. She is very happy her daughters are both professionals.

Ruth wants $250 for her clothing store.

And Reina wants $500 for her cookie and bread shop.

40% of our loans are currently to Honduras.

New Honduran loans

I managed to get in on these Honduran loans, thanks to my obsessive checking and a head's up from a friend. These loans tend to go fast, they might even be funded by the time I finish this post. From Danli, I loaned to Brenda

Hernandez for supplies for her store, and I sure would like some of those baked goods. I can see donuts there.

Catalina del Carmen Sandoval wants $325 to fund her firewood sales and tortilla making business. Iris Martinez wants some capital to stock her home store.

Francisa sells appliances, Joel has a home store,

Ramon wants new tires for his bus, and Aida wants more inventory for her store.

These seven loans got our Honduras portfolio up to 38%. I love Honduras.