I have $25.00
1. This one is a beauty. You can lend $25.00 and get your start in microfinancing. On the Kiva website you'll find an explanation of how it works, and you'll be able to choose who and what project you want to help finance. The Kiva mission is to connect people, through lending, for the sake of alleviating poverty.
2. If you only have $20, this one is for you, because that's how much it takes to buy a stove for a family in Darfur. Why a stove? For more reasons than you can imagine, so click here to read about it. The Potential Energy (formerly the Darfur Stove Project) is a great example of a collaborative effort that is effective in every aspect of the process from design to production to distribution and to impact.
3. Honestly, this one might cost you less than $25 and will benefit you as well. Are you cleaning out your closet and are you finding clothes that are gently worn but not by you anymore? You could find a place in your community to donate them, but I'm giving you another alternative, that is to mail them to the Native American Heritage Association. They operate in South Dakota and provide vital aid to Lakota (Sioux) Reservations where unemployment rates are at 70%, the average life expectancy is 45 years and infant mortality is ten times the national average. They make clothing deliveries to different reservations and this is certainly a community that will be appreciative of your donation of clothing. It's cold there so winter clothing for all ages is helpful. Click here for specific information on donating clothing.
4. Has anyone you know ever had tuberculosis? Probably not. But thinking more globally you may be surprised to know that somebody dies of tuberculosis every 20 seconds. Stop TB Partnership is associated with the World Health Organization (WHO) and has a vision of a TB-free world. Your $25 will bring the latest TB diagnostics to a whole village in Tanzania.
5. Here's another $20 option. You may have heard of Heifer International since it has been around for almost sixty years. The goal is to end world hunger by providing direct sustainable sources of food and income. A $20 donation is enough to buy a flock of 10-50 chicks. Recipients will pass on the some of the offspring to others so it as a great exponential impact as well as helping with immediate food needs. The chickens also help control insects and fertilize gardens. Your $20 will go very far with this one. Just click here to get directly to the chickens!
6. Okay. You have $25.00 right now. Do you think you could add $5 to that and give $30.00 each month for a year? Yes? Then please use it in this very special way and sponsor a Tibetan refugee that lacks a family to take care of them. You could sponsor a monk, nun, child, or elder. The Tibet Fund will make sure that 100% of your funds go straight to India and Nepal since they underwrite the administrative costs. Click here to read about the many different people you can help!
7. Here's another one that will just cost you $20.00. I think it's going to bring tears to your eyes, too. The Himalayan Cataract Project was founded in 1995 by two ophthalmologists whose priority is to reach the greatest number of un-served blind people, with the highest quality care at the lowest possible cost. And... they are doing it. What does $20 buy for you? It will cover the cost of one sight-restoring cataract surgery. How amazing is that? Click here to donate and to read about what it is like to be blind in the developing world.
8. You'll need $2 more for this one, but it's all about celebrating $27 on the 27th of the month. The Grameen Foundation is fighting global poverty through microfinance and technology. You'll need to visit their very comprehensive website to read just how this is done. The founder of the Grameen Bank started the whole thing with a loan of $27 to a group of Bangladeshi women. And look what happened! Updated 6/25/14: The bad news is that the $27 campaign is gone. The good news is that you can still spend your $25.00 here and support this foundation. Just click here.