Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Give it away now...

I may, at some point, have mentioned that I'm the cheapest human being alive. This quality has served me pretty well in life, and kept me out of a lot of trouble. But I've come to realize that I'm probably not giving like I should be. I have friends who give of themselves seemingly without limit. On mission work in impoverished countries, to homes where families of sick children stay, to hospice care centers, to children with nowhere to go. They give every day, pushing themselves to give more of their time, money and energy to make the world a better place.

I'm pretty sure I'm not one of those people, but that doesn't mean I can't do something, perhaps a small thing to try and make a difference.

Two things in particular have caught my eye this year. One is Kiva.org, a micro-lending site that empowers individuals in cash-strapped countries to make a better life for themselves. Not only do you have the power to radically change someone's life, but the return on investment is currently around 98%, practically unheard of in lending. So, it's entirely likely that after your money is used to buy a pig in Peru, it will be returned to you, so then you can send it to help someone build a home for their family in Cambodia, and then again and again and again. It's like the cash version of karma. I'm going to sit down with the kids and pick out a couple of folks. Unsure if they'll understand the true power of money when they're this young, but this seems like a good way to start that journey.

Another thing that appeals for a completely different reason is Operation Christmas Child, where you fill a shoebox with nice little Christmas presents and for $7, it goes to "the neediest children regardless of nationality, political background or religious beliefs." The organization is very religious, and I'm not, but anybody who does something that fantastic for children in need will get my support. We learned about this program from Chic-fil-a, and have two shoeboxes sitting here, waiting to be filled and sent off. It makes me cry just thinking about it.

So, here's to creating a better world. One cheapskate at a time.

I'm cheap with time, with money, I'm the cheapest human being alive, I'm all for

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