Monday, December 14, 2009

Giving Back, part 2

Last week, Franki wrote about Giving Back at this time of year:
It is the time of year where lots of people give back to families and organizations. We all have causes that are important to us and we support those causes in many ways.
She wrote about two of the organizations she'll be supporting this year and asked blog readers (and me) to share some of the organizations we'll be supporting.

One organization I'll support this year is Kiva. Last year, Franki gave me a gift certificate to Kiva and I used this gift to help a farmer in Cambodia buy two oxen for use in his rice field so that he would not have to hire laborers with oxen to plow his field. All year I have received email notifications of the repayment of this small loan and I've thought about the big ways I was helping someone across the world with what was, to me, such a small amount of money. This year I'll reinvest the money Franki gave me last year, I'll add some more of my own, and I'll be giving at least one gift certificate so that another person has the chance to change a life across the world.

Another organization I'll support is the Kit Carson County (Colorado) Cattlewomen's Pink Chaps fund. When I was back home in November helping my mom after her surgery, we were sitting at the kitchen table one afternoon as she was opening get well cards that had come in the mail that day. She opened one envelope and gasped. Inside was a check for an incredibly generous amount of money; an amount that will be a significant help with medical bills and other costs in the coming months. It was from the KCCW Pink Chaps. A little research into the group and how they disperse these funds revealed that they do fundraising all year and then divide the money they raise by the number of people who have been nominated to receive help. I'll contribute to their fund so that another cancer survivor in a rural area where the network of support seems as sparse as the trees will be able to gasp with surprise when they open an envelope and sigh with relief when they realize that there are lots of people who directly and indirectly care about them.

In the comments of Franki's post, Jenny told us about Students Helping Honduras, and Andi reminded us about Greg Mortenson's (Three Cups of Tea) Central Asia Institute that helps build schools for girls in remote Pakistan and Afghanistan.

How about you? How are you planning to give back (locally or globally) this holiday season or in the New Year?

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