Devote Yourself to creating something that gives you purpose . . .

"So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they're busy doing things they think are important. This is because they're chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning."

Tuesdays with Morrie, author Mitch Albom

Monday, February 21, 2011

What Cause Do You Support?

In the book Unstoppable Women (Day26), Cynthia Kersey asks us to take a look at causes or issues that are important to us. In her own life, she experienced great emotional healing when she focused outward on the needs of others whose pain was much greater than her own. In 1998 she experienced a significant loss and in her own evaluation she decided that she should build 100 homes in Nepal through the Habitat for Humanity program to outweigh the pain she felt. In three short months she raised enough money (approximately $200,000) to build 100 homes. It is interesting that 100 homes in Nepal are about the same price as one middleclass home in America.

Most of the causes I personally support are aimed at the needs of women and children. In 2007 I discovered the program KIVA which matches lenders with those needing resources. A hidden message in our daughter's adoption documents gave us the feeling that we should pursue a method of giving back after being so blessed to raise this little girl. We learned that our daughters name was given with best wishes in hopes that she would be happy. We wanted to leave this legacy.

When one focuses on learning about the needs of women, as I do, it is easy to discover that women do not fair well in many parts of the world. Although we will never know the specific reasons that our daughter became an orphan at one day old, we know that the decision to relinquish her came at a great cost to her birthmother. Her birthmother will never know the outcome of her decision. We know that our daughter’s birthmother gave her a tremendous lift in life by giving her up. By inspiring our daughter to give to others, we hope that we can somehow create balance in the universe that cost her mother so dearly.

I firmly believe that happiness is a reflection of what we give to others, so as we embarked on the journey of parenthood, we decided we would raise our family on this premise. When we discovered KIVA, we knew that this would be one approach to leaving a "happiness legacy" behind. The money we use to buy a cup of coffee in America is a full weeks wage in other parts of the world. I feel passionate about my role as a resource director, so when we have a few extra dollars, we roll them into a giving experience.

When you plant seeds and tend to those seeds, great things can happen. Yesterday I was reviewing progress made in our micro-lending experience. In a few short years I've discovered what began as one small $25 loan contributed toward one woman's business has now turned into 68 loans in 17 countries through our lending team. We have personally contributed to 38 of these loans and have given two gift certificates. Since time allows one to reinvest in new business once old loans are repaid, the circulation of our money has allowed us to contribute $1,250 to make life better for women and their families. Part of these resources have come from our own savings, but in 2008, my daughter asked her friends to contribute toward this cause instead of bringing gifts to her birthday party; she was four. This amounted in $125 that we were able to roll into our giving. Since that time, we've learned that even our babysitter at age 15 is beginning to value this experience as her own mother gave her a gift certificate to get her started.

Our lending team was started in May 2009. With donations from a gold buying exchange we added another $150 to our lending. We would love to have you join us in this venture and see what a difference we can make as a collective team. It is our goal over the next five years that we will increase our lending ten-fold (to 700 loans, contributing $17,500) to help women in other regions of the world. If you are interested in learning more about KIVA or wish to join our lending team, find us on the Internet at

To learn more about Cynthia Kersey’s Unstoppable Women’s Challenge go to her website at See what Cynthia is doing for her upcoming birthday.

This article was written by Rhonda W. Geneva, SendOutCards Distributor and President of 3 Degrees Connected Women's Network.

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