Long before I started this blog, I had a personal one for my friends and family to keep up on what’s going on in our household. Usually, I don’t mix the two…most of my friends and family aren’t very interested in door hardware, and I’m not sure I want my colleagues knowing that I sometimes squirt my kids with a spray bottle when they’re misbehaving, but occasionally the lines get blurry.
On my other blog, I’m currently almost half-way through the 29 Gifts challenge where I give a gift each day for 29 days. Most of my gifts have been personal, but I have given a few gifts of hardware. I gave our elementary school PTO a Schlage residential keypad lock, which is sure to be the hit of our silent auction. I love mine, and all the mommies want one of their own.
I gave my brother a door closer, when he emailed me to ask for help replacing the closer on the front door of his office because he quickly figured out that he doesn’t speak the language. I’m not in the habit of giving away hardware, but I figured it would make a good blog post if an amateur could successfully install an LCN closer, so I shipped him one and gave him some guidance via email.
He works for ReVision Energy, a renewable energy company that designs and installs solar power and solar hot water systems, and he’s an all-around handy guy, so I knew he could install a closer. He reported that the new closer works like a charm and once he gets the gaping hole patched he’ll be all set (see below).
I think today’s gift is REALLY cool. I found out about a non-profit organization, Kiva, that facilitates micro-loans for entrepreneurs in developing countries. The loans can be as small as $25, and you get to search for lending opportunities by selecting from various criteria. When the entrepreneur repays your loan, you can loan your $25 to someone else.
I happened to find an entrepreneur in Kenya who needed to borrow $675 for, of all things, his HARDWARE STORE!! You can check out his loan request and maybe you’ll even decide to participate. What have you got to lose? Here are some stats from Kiva’s website:
Total value of all loans made through Kiva: $129,498,985
Number of Kiva Users who have funded a loan: 442,524
Number of entrepreneurs that have received a loan through Kiva: 330,313
Number of loans that have been funded through Kiva: 181,141
Percentage of Kiva loans which have been made to women entrepreneurs: 82.29%
Current repayment rate (all partners): 98.47%
Average loan size: $395.59