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Tis the Season to Open Your Wallet

The Encyclopedist of Hockey, Joe Pelletier, has issued a challenge to us hockey bloggers, one that's particularly appropriate during this holiday season.  From Joe's email:
 
"I wrote about eye injuries in hockey, and tied it in with the
degenerative disease glaucoma, which unfortunately I'm becoming an
expert on. I also introduced my readers to my charity of choice: the
Canadian National Institute for the Blind.

I also posted a public challenge to other hockey bloggers to adopt a
charity of their choosing. It can be hockey related, or it can be
something bigger. It can be simply a logo on a side column, or a full
feature piece. Whatever you choose do, or whether you choose to do
anything at all, I hope you fully realize how important your hockey
blog is to many people, and that you can use your platform for even
more important things."
 
Joe's charity of choice is the Canadian National Institute for the Blind, but today I want to introduce you to a charity I added to the left sidebar here a few weeks ago; Kiva.org.  Kiva is a charitable organization that helps facilitate one of the most promising international anti-poverty measures we've ever seen; Microfinance.  The idea here isn't that you don't just give money away to someone in need, but instead provide a loan (as little as $25) to a person in a developing nation that is trying to establish a steady income.  These people tend not to have access to traditional banking services, and as a group, have proven over time to be responsible debtors; microfinance provides them the opportunity to get on their feet.  Instances include a Cambodian fisherman who used his loan to purchase a fishing net and repair his boat, a Peruvian family seeking funds to purchase a clay mixer for the piggybanks they make, or a mother of six in Mozambique who has used previous loans to start a personal sewing business, and now is seeking to expand and open up a shop.  And to think, Mrs. Forechecker won't even darn my socks.

After all, what's the old saying?  "Make a man a fire and you keep him warm for a day; set him on fire and he'll be warm for the rest of his life."*
 
No, that's not quite it.  But you get the point.  Head on over to Kiva.org, check out some of the stories, and make an investment in the developing world.
 
*stolen from someone's sig on Slashdot, I can't recall whom