Thanksgiving weekend is here: the leaves have all turned lovely colours, there is a chill in the air at nights, moose season opened, our American cousins are celebrating Columbus Day and the cranberries are in season. http://www.twilightbridge.com/hobbies/festivals/thanksgiving/canada/
In Canada we have much for which to be grateful. We find ourselves ranked in most studies among one of the best countries in the World in categories which measure quality of Life. I am sure most will give some thought to the blessings of our natural world, the industry and success of our people and the love and concern for our family and friends as we share in a traditional meal.
I find myself thinking of people around the World who need our assistance. We can do bettter, as a country and as individuals reaching out and helping people achieve just a fraction of what we have.
Have you every thought. . . . . .it would be so nice to be able to help just one individual or family directly with dignity. (I have an American friend, who I have never met, who sends money to a Cuban family through me. It is important to him. Shamefully, it is illegal for Americans to do so from their country.) Such a personal jesture is so gratifying.
Donating money to large international charities is important and encouraging the government to do so much more in international aid outreach in imperative but how wonderful it would be to feel the satisfaction of helping a specific person with whom you can follow with an ongoing interest.
Well there is a way! It is direct personal aid, but not charity.
I recently heard a discussion on the radio about this organization. http://www.kiva.org/ Kiva is an organization which allows individuals to extend micro credit to people who are struggling to better their lives and that of their families. Through it you can lend money, as little as 25 dollars. The repayment rate of these loans to "poor" people is an amazing 99%. You risk little and get to aid someone directly and keep an ongoing interest in their economic progress.
On this Thanksgiving, I encourage everyone to consider becoming a part of the Kiva program. What better way to celebrate the bounty we have by reaching out and personally offering aid to others.
I hope you will visit the Kiva website and give it your consideration. It is an interesting site and you can at least come to understand the nature of micro credit and the kinds of individuals aided in this way.
Happy Thanksgiving to all!