My friend in Birmingham has two daughters who are living wonderfully exploratory lives. They travel with school (for some reason, insurance issues keep my children from...crossing the street, it would seem) and do adventuresome camps and excursions and such. I try to pay attention.
Which is why this, Kiva, is just about the coolest thing I've ever heard of.
I am REALLY lucky about my kids and gifts...they honestly don't care what they get for Christmas. Or birthdays. They just want to see the lights and parades and have a party and see lots of people. I take no credit for this...I just got fortunate here and you damn well better believe I am thankful. They are a joy to celebrate with...whatever you might be celebrating.
Which brings us to Kiva.
For my friend's oldest daughter's birthday last year, someone gave her a donation to Kiva. Kiva, to quote the site, lets you lend to a specific entrepreneur in the developing world--empowering them to lift themselves out of poverty.
What a great gift!! You make, say, a $25 donation. The donation goes into the pot and your entrepreneur uses the money to establish a business. When the loan is repaid, your $25 goes to another needy and industrious person, and the cycle continues. You track the progress online.
This is SOOO much better than a bubblegum pillow. Or a manicure set. Or a gift card to Target so that we can go buy ANOTHER purse, that will end up in the bedroom floor in four days and in a box in four weeks. Now I'll grant you...you're not going to get too many six-year-olds excited about this. But older kids? What a great learning tool!! What wonderful inspiration and, keeping in mind that I am the Parent Who Believes In Volunteering Out The Ass, what a great way to make a difference!
Do No Harm is a great starting life goal, but there are a lot of ways to embellish along the way.
Ooooh, The Inmates hate it when I get all preachy.