I Gave My Six-year-old $50 to Lend to Strangers

Recently I created an account for my six-year-old son Zach on Kiva.org, a non-profit organization that offers small loans to poor people all over the world. Kiva.org members can loan as little as $25 to an individual or a group of borrowers. All loans must be repaid, some with zero interest, some with just a small amount of interest.

I gave Zach $50, and had him choose two borrowers. He chose to lend to two men, both living in the U.S. One owns a tire shop (like Luigi from the Disney “Cars” movie), and one owns a window-cleaning business. I gave him money to start with, but as repayments are made and he has $25 again, I’m going to ask him to use the money to fund a new loan.

Loaning money through Kiva.org

Lending as little as $25 can change dozens of lives

I started lending money through Kiva.org six years ago, coincidentally on September 11th. I paid $25 each for eight loans. I’ve paid $300 now, and it’s added up to lending $1,500 through 60 loans. It’s helped dozens and dozens of borrowers, and hopefully their families and communities.

I first heard about Kiva.org from a friend, and then I read about it in Bill Clinton’s book “Giving.” Since 2005, they’ve had over 1 million lenders and funded almost $500 million in loans in 73 different countries. All money lent goes directly to funding loans. Kiva.org relies on donations and fundraising to pay for its administration costs.

My kids are growing up much more privileged than my husband or I did. We donate food, clothes, books, and toys throughout the year, but I wanted to share a way of giving that helps people who live far away. This way Zach can can also get to know a bit about the people he’s helping, through the photos and journal updates they post to Kiva.org. I want him to know that even though he’s only six years old, he can invest in other people’s lives and improve their future.

I really want my kids to understand that we are part of larger communities than just our neighborhood, our school, or our circle of friends. We belong to an international group of families who are doing the best we can to raise our families, educate ourselves, and take care of each other.

Want to try Kiva.org for free? Use this link to lend $25.

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12 thoughts on “I Gave My Six-year-old $50 to Lend to Strangers

  1. Mara Migraineur November 13, 2013 at 11:31 pm Reply

    This is awesome! I’d love to hear Zach’s opinions as this develops. Thank you for the link!

    • Frankie Laursen November 15, 2013 at 8:07 pm Reply

      We went back in today to look at his account. The two loans have been fully funded. One borrower has 17 months to repay, the other has 32 months. I hope they post some photos or journal entries. I also read Zach the blog post. I asked him if he’s happy that our family helps other people, and he said, “Yes.”

  2. RageMichelle November 14, 2013 at 12:36 pm Reply

    What a wonderful and giving lesson you are teaching your child. Kudos to you and your awesome parenting skills!

    • Frankie Laursen November 15, 2013 at 8:10 pm Reply

      Thank you! Because you wrote “awesome parenting skills,” I assume you have not read some of my previous posts. [https://pretendyouregoodatit.com/2013/07/02/you-gotta-know…n-to-walk-away/] Although I do feel like I’ve been a better parent since I wrote that post.

      I just saw your tweet “Sign that I’m stressed: I just ate a pudding cup so fast that I forced some of it up in to my sinus cavity.” and that made me want to follow you. I’ll try to read more of your writing soon.

  3. Betsy @ Desserts Required November 15, 2013 at 9:06 pm Reply

    What a wonderful lesson to teach your son. Really impressive!

    • Frankie Laursen November 15, 2013 at 9:14 pm Reply

      Thank you so much! It’s hard to know how much he really understands, but I hope as we continue with lending he’ll learn more and more from it.

  4. […] really eager to help me fold laundry and carry groceries. He really enjoyed setting up his own Kiva.org account and lending money to two men in Texas, one with a tire shop and the other with a […]

  5. Elizabet January 26, 2014 at 6:34 am Reply

    Heya i’m for the first time here. I found this board and I find It really useful & it
    helped me out a lot. I hope to give something back and help others like
    you helped me.

  6. expert site March 5, 2014 at 3:33 pm Reply

    Hey there, I think your blog might be having browser compatibility issues.
    When I look at your website in Chrome, it looks fine but when opening
    in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping.
    I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then that, fantastic
    blog!

    • Frankie Laursen March 5, 2014 at 4:28 pm Reply

      Thank you letting me know. My blog is hosted by WordPress, so unfortunately, I am limited to whatever browsers they support.

  7. […] My husband and I really want our children learn the value of saving money, and we’ve already started with our six-year-old son Zach. As I wrote about previously, he’s already become a microlender thanks to Kiva.org. […]

  8. […] and donate that to charity instead. I can feed myself on the gratitude that I am able to donate to Kiva.org and UNICEF and leave it off my […]

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