March 20th is many things. First day of spring. Persian new year! Last day of Pisces. And my birthday! This is how I celebrate!
reading this post after March 20th and still want to put in a challenge.
It's not too late! Let's extend this sucker. I don't mind another
couple weeks to celebrate my birthday!
Last year on my birthday, I posted a birthday challenge for myself. I asked for everyone out there reading to let me know what I can do for them. It made for such a great birthday, I had do it again.
It starts with a Native American tradition I learned while on a road trip in college. I spent three weeks traveling across the United States. I heard of this tradition over coffee at Melvina and Louis Winter's house on the Pine Ridge reservation.
On your birthday, you give presents, not receive. Initially, that sounds counter-intuitive if you're not used to it, but the more I think about it, the more sense it makes. The more you give, the more you ultimately get. Although, what you get isn't always material.
Last year on my birthday, I spent hours responding to e-mails, comments and tweets asking questions and for suggestions. Help me plan a cheap vacation. Do Jorgito blanco alfajores still exist in Argentina? I want a coconut!
I promise, I had a coconut delivered to someone in NYC. How I did it is another story.
I loved being in touch with everyone, but it seemed that no one wanted to ask for too much.
This year, I ask again what I can do for you! Please ask. There's no challenge if you don't.
One simple rule! It can't cost money. In the spirit of this crazy world economy, let's see how much I can do for you without spending a centavo!
Do you need a blog entry edited? Or help finding a home for a cat you found on the street? Or something else? Let me know, e-mail, comment on the blog using the link below, or send it to me through Twitter @thefutureisred.
As long as I can write, do, act, ask or tell, send your request my way. If I can't do it myself, I will find someone who can.
And at the end, I'll post a list of all challenges presented! Please, it's my birthday, give me a long list of challenges to post.
This year, I'm upping the ante, literally.
This is where money comes in!
This year, for each challenge I receive, I will lend one dollar to Kiva -- a wonderful organization that provides microfinance loans to small businesses worldwide. The small loans funded through Kiva make an amazing difference to the businesses and communities that receive them. Two hundred dollars can help a woman in Bolivia work with others in her community to develop a pharmacy. Or $1000 allows a man in Yemen sustain his grocery store and remain competitive against big business ventures that come from outside the country.
How with this work?
As I said, I'll lend one dollar to Kiva for every challenge I receive. When the loan is repaid -- and it's shown that a full 98.47% of Kiva loan recipients repay their loans -- all money we invest as part of this birthday challenge will then be reinvested in other Kiva businesses.
In the off chance the amount of people commenting and sending requests grows to be greater than I can afford, I'll cap the donation amount at $1000 for now. But I will still keep track of all requests and add money as I am able.
How will I choose which Kiva small business?
I'm going to ask you! As soon as I have a final tally of comments and challenges, I'll post here with some lender possibilities. Of course, if you already have a small business or lending team in mind, please let me know.
So challenge me! I'm ready! Spread the word and let people know!
You have from the time you read this post until the time I finish celebrating my birthday, which will be some time next Friday, give or take a day.
Yes, Happy Birthday to me! Happy Birthday to me!
Thank you for being part of my celebration!