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The BFF’s Boxing Day Challenge

The BFF was half awake this morning but he still remembered what he wanted to do today.  His first words this morning were, “Boxing Day”.  In UK countries, the day after Christmas is known as Boxing Day.  This is the day when those of us with stuff give some of it away to our favorite charitable institutions.

Last night, the BFF showed me his Kiva map.  It looked like one of those maps you see in the back of your in-flight magazine.  My jaw dropped.  “Ok”, he said, “Let’s see yours.  What did you say the name of your group was called?”

I’m feeling the heat guys.  We need to put up or shut up.

He also gave me a very nice Christmas present.  This year, we are helping to sponsor a modern dance company from Los Angeles.  They’ll be coming to the NYC area in March and we hope to see them perform.

Then, there’s always the gift of sustenance.  While I was pigging out on roast beast and Yorkshire pudding, there were American’s all over the country who were just getting by.  Food insecurity is a big problem in this country these days.

These are just three recommendations for fulfilling your Boxing Day obligations.  And it is an obligation, guys.  You can’t expect people to pull themselves up by their bootstraps if you don’t give them boots.  The money you send to organizations like Kiva will help entrepreneurs all over the world as they put that money to work.  For those of you who want to help a starving artist bring beauty to the world, kickstarter can help you connect.  And if we want to help that young physicist solve the energy crisis someday, let’s make sure her brain is well fed with FeedingAmerica.

Can you spare $25?  These organizations can make your money go a long way.  Combined with other donations, we can make a lot of people more happy and hopeful in the year to come.

Here are my suggestions for your Boxing Day contributions:

The Confluence Kiva Team


Feeding America

If you don’t have the filthy lucre but you have some useful things to give away, consider Freecycle.

cx4800 recommends modestneeds.org for people facing financial emergencies.

Help me wipe that smirk off of the BFF’s face.

44 Responses

  1. Ok, I threw some more money to Kiva and set up a $25.00 monthly donation to Feeding America.
    Whaddaya got?

  2. I just did an additional kiva loan.

  3. I recently read about ModestNeeds.org. I like the concept so they got my contribution.

    • Excellent. I can add them to the list. Also, there’s freecycle for those of you who have things to give away.

  4. Where is everyone? Even a tiny contribution goes a long way.

  5. Love this idea! Thank you, RD.

    I picked a couple of women run businesses to loan to and donated a little to Kiva as well.

    A wonderful woman helped me out when I first started a business years ago. Feels good to spread that energy out into the world.

  6. Donation to Feeding America in the name of latest grandson. More grandchildren are going to break me 😉

  7. Good on ya for thinking home when you think how to help. It’s all too easy a stroke for us to send money to Africa or some other third-world area. We don’t have to know quite so acutely that we are part of their problem.

    We have third-world need right here.

    1.) Find out how you can sponsor something for change in your nearest Indian reservation.

    2) Give donations to and or teach/facilitate Community Kitchens where people learn how to make a week’s worth of meals from the food they get at the food bank. Food Bank workers will tell you, at least half the problem with “food insecurity” is that people don’t know how to cook and move beyond a handout.

  8. We just collected about $4000 worth of new clothes, toys, food, toiletries, etc for the local Domestic Violence Center – we try to do this every couple of months.

    Perhaps some day we won’t need such centers????

    Kiva’s a great idea RD.

  9. Well this year charity has to begin at home. I posted about a neighbor on disability struggling and my sister(she has 3 kids) is going through a rough time so any of my spare money will be going to those two individual cases.

  10. Oh and I’d like to thank Congress for their craptacular reform. My sister reports the one doctor in her area that accepted Medicaid is retiring. She ended up having to go to the ER for bronchitis/pneumonia. gRRRRRRRR

  11. Just gave a little to Kiva. 🙂

  12. Gave time, money and food to local food bank. In previous years, I’ve always given support to non profits that are focused on overseas. This year, giving to local areas.

  13. Just did my first Kiva loan.

    • Thank you so much, Delphyne. Did you join our team? BTW, did you see the group with the most donations is the Atheists? They’ve raised $600k more than the next nearest team, the Christians. Too funny!

      • Yes, I did the loan through TC and no, I didn’t see that the Atheists were more generous than the Christians – it doesn’t surprise me, though!

  14. Feeding America — $25 from me; $25 from the hubby. That’s really cool that you can do through your Amazon acct. I’ll hit up the SIL when she gets here.

    Tell BFF his smirking days are numbered. 🙂

    • BTW, to fit with the Boxing Day traditions, the $25.00 each was what we got from my aunt..

  15. These are excellent suggestions, but, this year, my fifty dollars is earmarked for Stay a While, the local no kill animal shelter.
    The animals, too, are really suffering during this damned recession.

  16. For the last two years, I’ve given gifts to local charities to help with food, heating, etc + homeless children in lieu of present-giving. We have much too much *stuff* already and individuals and families, especially children, need help every year.

    Helping others is the biggest reward, but not having to wrap a present or enter the mall is a gift unto itself.

  17. Just an FYI … if you do use FACEBOOK, you can find The Confluence has a new fan page out there. Please join if you’re interested!

    Also, thanks for the KIVA activity, I can see that the team and the number of loans is growing !!!

  18. We just contributed to the local food bank of Feeding America and relatives also gave a contribution to them in our name–the best kind of present.

  19. RD: Thank you for setting up a Confluence Team at Kiva. I love that idea and hope we begin to see similar efforts directed toward entrepreneurs among our unemployed. It is sure micro-lending to the unemployed in America will not occur to the Obama team and such a program would unleash the true creative spirit of Americans.

    I was really pleased to be able to make my first two Kiva loans and donate to the Kiva administration.

    • I can’t take credit for setting it up. Dakinikat did it and she’s team captain. So, thanks, Kat!

  20. RD have you given thought to putting a direct link to Kiva on this site, much as others have sponsors so visitors can climb on this little pony with us and ride to good things?

  21. Okay, I just donated 30.00 to Feeding America and set up a monthly donation of 30.00/month. I like the idea of donating to those in need in the U.S.

    I also donated canned goods to the local food bank and gave 2 gently worn coats to a local coat drive. In addition, donations have been made to the local library and Goodwill store.

    I also made a donation to Kiva, under Team The Confluence.

  22. I made my first loan and a donation to Kiva

  23. I’m glad you mentioned Freecycle. I have given many things away on Freecycle. You would be touched at the things people need and wish for that you have hanging around while you wonder what to do with them.

  24. Just made a donation to Feeding America. Thanks for the information,

  25. The interest rates the borrowers pay when they take a KIVA loan seem awfully high to me. Some are as high as 50%. Thirty-seven percent seems about average from the sampling I found. Is this normal for people taking out micro-loans to pay? Are there institutionalized costs? Or are the people borrowing being taken advantage of? I would really like to do this, but this looks like gouging to me. More like going to a loan shark than a charitable organization.

    • Their FAQ explains why the rates are what they are. DK can probably explain further.


      Basically it boils down to either micro loans to poor people at a rate that recovers the cost or no loans at all.

      • So where can I go to make a grant instead because I don’t care whether I get my money back or not? I would rather not have the person getting my money pay that kind of interest. Any ideas? I’m not interested in financing “the bookie”, although I understand that’s he’s making sure that he at least breaks even. I’m willing to finance the risk myself.

  26. OT but an interesting Rasmussen poll.

    55% of Americans are Populist 7% support the political class

    There has been a lot of talk recently about populist outrage at the corporate and political shenanigans surrounding the financial bailout. As a result, Rasmussen Reports created a tool to measure the differing views of the Political Class and Mainstream America.

    The mainstream, or populist, view sees big government and big business as political allies rather than political opponents.

    The Political Class Index is based on three questions. All three clearly address populist tendencies and perspectives, all three have strong public support, and, for all three questions, the populist perspective is generally shared by Democrats, Republicans and those not affiliated with either of the major parties. We have asked the questions before, and the results change little whether Republicans or Democrats are in charge of the government.

    From time-to-time, Rasmussen Reports will release data highlighting the gap between Mainstream America and the Political Class on issues of the day.

    Preliminary results indicate that 55% of Americans can be classified on the populist or Mainstream side of the divide. Only seven percent (7%) side with the Political Class. When leaners are included, 75% lean in the Mainstream direction and 14% lean the other way.

    Thirty-seven percent (37%) of those on the populist side of the debate are Republicans, 36% are Democrats, and 27% are not affiliated with either major party.

    Twenty-two percent (22%) of government employees are aligned with the Political Class along with just four percent (4%) of private sector workers.

  27. Put Down That Shovel!

    Forget old-fashioned infrastructure. Here are six government projects to foster a lasting economic recovery.

  28. Finally got back to my computer — thanks for the links. This is a great idea. I’m with you on Kiva. Modestneeds is a wonderful idea, thank you. I had not heard of them.

    Happy holidays to everyone. RD it is such a pleasure to read you so often these days.

  29. Just joined the Confluence Team at Kiva and made my first loans. Thank you for posting the Boxing Day Challenge

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