Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Kiva loan

Julia is 36 years old and she is married. She has two children. She has a kiosk to generate income for her family. She has been thinking about how to run a big business but she does not have enough working capital. She felt better when she applied for her first loan and now she is applying for her second loan of $1,000. She will buy some additional supplies to keep in her store such as cigarettes, noodles, bread, water, eggs and hard and soft drinks.

Made a Kiva.ore loan today to her. 

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Made another kiva loan to an Ana Julia. This one is also in El Salvador.

Ana is 61 years old, a very responsible woman with regard to her home, and she has always been characterized as providing the best for her family. Today she lives with her husband and two children, she is very hard-working, and always works happily and with enthusiasm. She grows basic grain crops every year typical to her area such as corn and beans. Ana wishes to increase her sales and therefore she visited the INTEGRAL offices to seek a loan which will enable her to buy seeds, manure, fertilizers, pesticides, and other supplies. She wishes to rely on the solicited loan as she doesn't have other monetary income, and in this way she will be able to continue providing for her family without difficulty.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Kiva loan to an Ana Julia

Made another loan to a Julia, an Ana Julia

Ana Julia is 48 years old and lives in her own house with her husband and her daughter. She has a business selling underwear in the market that is near her place of residence. With the earnings that she receives, she is able to cover some household expenses. 

Ana is applying for a loan to be able to able to buy underwear for ladies and gentlemen wholesale so that she can stock her business and increase her earnings in order to give her family more economic stability.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Kiva loan to a Julia in Colombia - Cheese making

Made a loan to 

Carmen Julia

Santa Fe de Antioquia, Colombia Food | Cheese Making

Carmen, 64, is married and mother of three children. Since a very young age she’s worked selling milk, cheese and ‘quesito’ [Colombian soft cheese] that she makes herself. She learned this activity from her mother since they lived on a dairy farm. In this way, Carmen has earned income sufficient to provide daily sustenance at home and to move her children forward.

Carmen’s a very hardworking woman who spends many hours a day manufacturing her products to then sell and earn income. She’s currently asking for the loan to do some site improvements to the space she works in, to buy a stainless steel table and a refrigerator to store the products she makes prior to selling them. This is how Carmen seeks opportunities day to day to reach her main dream of making home improvements to have better quality of life and a tranquil old-age.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Curing Epilepsy

Been working all day, and for many hours over the last decade, on thinking of ways to find genes for epilepsy.  I've helped find a few so far, but there are still many more to discover.  

Finding genes helps us understand the disease mechanisms better. Once we find the gene we can study how it functions, and then try to correct the mistake so it no longer causes epilepsy. That's a very simplistic version.

This is actually my day job, what I do for my career.  And one of the marks I want to make on the world is helping cure epilepsy.  For all the people who have it, especially my family members.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Recurring donations to PATH - People Assisting the Homeless.

I set up a recurring monthly donation to PATH - People Assisting the Homeless. I started giving them the money I don't give directly to the homeless years ago.  I will buy people food or gas, I've been approached at gas stations and asked to put a bit in a vehicle. If I buy someone food I try to sit and eat with them.  I always try to acknowledge them too, because too many people turn away.

I have never been homeless, but I have seen how they are treated. As soon as you sit with a homeless person you see it. Everyone who walks by happens to be looking away. No one makes eye contact. Everyone treats you like you aren't there. And some are openly hostile and negative.  Judgmental.  And fear.
Even if you're just sitting on a bench.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Helping a student in Ghana through Education Generation

Just made a contribution towards the education of a student in Ghana who wants to study statistics. Education Generation is a great non-profit that helps remarkable students get education that usually isn't available to them.  The amount they need isn't that large, and they make a significant contribution back to the world. Great return on Investment.

Ashimatu is a twenty-two year old student of the Tamale Polytechnic. She is doing a Diploma course in Statistics and hopes to be a planner in the near future.
She and her family have always relied on whatever comes out of her fathers’ farming for sustenance. Her father is now too old to engage in any meaningful farming and her mother is a housewife.
Ashimatu and her twelve siblings have had to face life on their own for some time now and their education has suffered a huge blow.
Ashimatu is fortunate to have come this far and it is only your support that can ensure that she successfully completes the Polytechnic.

Thursday, July 11, 2013


I got one of the nicest 'thank you' letters of my life. Its from a friend, actually a daughter of a friend who I have known since her birth. She is now going off to college. She wrote:

 "I would like to thank you without question and express incredible gratitude to you. It is because of you that I have kept the same career path in mind since I was 9 years old. You are an incredible person, brilliant beyond words and you deserve and award for making a lasting impression like this on a 9 year old ... I would probably be so lost if it wasn't for you! Thank you. Love forever"

What a wonderful letter.
I took her to my work for the 'bring your daughter to work' day and it made quite the impression apparently. She's going off to study for a great career, and will be making the world a better place.

Monday, July 08, 2013

Kiva and Kiva ZIP

Made a loan to a Julia in Peru today. She is going to buy fertilizer for her coca harvest.

I also made my first kiva zip loan - to City Bees. Zero interest loan to really help a local entrepreneur. One who even lives in my state.
I am going to investigate the zip program more.

Sunday, July 07, 2013

Personal help

I helped some friends and family today.  I bought a Trader Joe's gift card for a friend who is having a hard time buying groceries.  Another friend posted a link to her etsy shop on facebook and asked if people could re-post it, she needed a few dollars to pay bills this month. I decided to commission some work for her. She makes Viking jewelry including wire wrapping. Her shop is here.

Yesterday I wired some money to a family member who had never asked before, and needs to buy groceries and diapers.

It made their worlds a better place.

Saturday, July 06, 2013

Kiva loan to a Julia

Made a loan to a Julia in Nicaragua today.

Julia Petrona is married with two children, both of whom are under 18 years old and still under Julia's charge. Julia is originally from a town in the Chinandega area, which is known for its businesses and where one of the country's best known talent exists. Julia makes a living buying general merchandise, such as a variety of new clothes, shoes, make-up and others. She buys in cash and in bulk in various markets. She sells her products for cash or on credit both to regular customers and passers-by. She is a street vendor and, on some occasions, she sells her products from her home. Julia started her business in order to cover some household costs. She has fought to get her children ahead and to provide them with a better future. One of her dreams is to improve her home and give her children a decent place to live. This loan will be used to invest in working capital and to stock-up her business buying and selling merchandise, such as make-up, clothing items for adults and children, and more. Julia is very grateful to Kiva lenders for their support to people of low financial resources.

Friday, July 05, 2013

Futures for Children

Made a donation today to Futures for Children. I mentored a student for years.

Honoring Native Traditions, Creating Native Leaders, Building Native Futures
Futures for ChildrenSince 1968, Futures for Children has provided mentoring, training, and programs in Hopi, Navajo, and New Mexico Pueblo tribal communities to more than 20,000 American Indian students and their families.

Futures for Children provides educational services through our Three Circles of Support: Youth Leadership, Mentorship, and Families in Action. More than 180 volunteers from tribal communities work with Futures for Children to deliver and monitor the programs and to encourage educational success for their children.

Our Youth Leadership Program has enjoyed great success and growth in the past few years; the program has grown from 200 students five years ago to over 1,100 students today. In our Mentorship Program over 1,200 mentors worldwide provide support and encouragement to promote positive educational achievements.

Unfortunately, across the country too many American Indian children miss out due to high poverty levels and remote locations among other things.

Futures has a history of success: 98% of Friendship students graduate high school; 54% of Futures' students go on to college or post-secondary educational pursuits. 

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Kiva loan to a Julia in Peru

Made a loan to a Julia in Peru.

Julia is 43 years old. She is a single mother and lives in her mother's house with her two sons. She sells groceries such as rice, sugar, and flour. Her shop is located at her house. Her older son helps her tend to the customers in his spare time. The number of customers grows by the day. Julia has had this store for one year now. She likes it as a business because it is an easy way to bring in the money she needs for household expenses. Julia wants to expand her business by properly managing her profits and by patiently dedicating a lot of work to this endeavour. She asks for 1,000 peruvian soles and is very grateful for this chance at financial support, which will enable her to keep on with her work. She promises to always be on time for her repayments. With the funds, she will buy more of the most sought-after items, which are rice, sugar, cooking oil, eggs, milk, and bread.

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Molecular Lab

Made a major step in my research today, toured my first molecular laboratory. I am hoping my research makes the world a better place.

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Alley Cat Allies

Made a donation to Alley Cat Allies, a group I've been donating to for years that helps homeless cats.

Alley Cat Allies is the only national advocacy organization dedicated to the protection and humane treatment of cats. An engine for social change, Alley Cat Allies was the first organization to introduce and advocate for humane methods of feral cat care, particularly Trap-Neuter-Return, in the American animal protection community. By establishing and promoting standards of care, our organization has brought humane treatment of cats into the national spotlight, now embraced by major cities and animal protection organizations coast to coast. In 20 short years, we’ve changed America to better understand and respect the lives of cats.
Today, more than 500,000 supporters look to Alley Cat Allies for leadership in the movement to protect cats’ lives. We promote progressive policies for cats in communities all over America and we work towards a world that values the lives of all animals. Our two decades of experience in grassroots organizing, hands-on activism, and education has empowered policymakers, veterinarians, nonprofit and volunteer groups, activists, and caregivers nationwide with the tools and knowledge to practice, teach, and advocate for humane care for cats in their own communities. From a headquarters in Bethesda, Maryland, Alley Cat Allies’ staff of nearly 30 people provides the national voice for cats and the millions of Americans that value cats’ lives.

Monday, July 01, 2013

Kiva loan to Israel

I made a loan today to Israel, my first to that country.
It went to Regina. Regia is a 42-year-old separated mother of five from Israel’s Negev region. She works part-time as a kindergarten teacher and has a clothing store, which is open in the afternoons and evenings. The store is located on a main street and has a good customer base. However, Regia needs to update her stock to meet her customers' demands.

She needs this loan to pay for electrical work, lighting and new stock of clothes.

Regia wants to continue and strengthen her business but, most importantly, she wants to ensure her children’s education and strong future.