What's Christmas without a little giving? I cannot (cannot, cannot, cannot) say enough good things about this next favorite thing. Kiva is the coolest organization of all time, people. I'm serious. I think a lot of organizations have administrative costs, delays, and other things that keep the money you're donating from actually getting to where you think it's getting (that sentence is for you, Amanda!) but not so with Kiva. Kiva is a micro-lending organization where you log-in, check out various profiles of men and women all over the globe, see what their business plan/purpose is, and decide whether you want to lend to them. You can also see how close they are to their goal. Then, they eventually begin to make money as their business gets off the ground, and pay you back. At that point, you can withdraw the money or, better still, relend it! By using Kiva, I've been a small part of a bunch of businesses getting their start from Tanzania to Guatemala. Is that not the coolest? Finally, when you check out, you can choose to donate a small amount to the actual people making Kiva work behind the scenes. But, if you don't, it's ALL going to the people (though, the people who make the whole thing work deserve something, right?).
It's the best.
Here's a little video in case anything I was saying didn't make sense.