Saturday, March 7, 2009

Sloth Philanthropy

Do you ever feel, though your life is awesome and you wouldn't change a thing, that something is missing? That your life would be infinitely happier or otherwise better if you donated a small portion of your albeit limited finances to various worthy causes around the world? Or perhaps you have a dark emptiness which can only be filled by giving all your worldly possessions to a charismatic man in Guyana who promises eternal happiness and free Kool-Aid? Well you're in luck!

So I had this idea, which is really in its infancy at the moment, that we could create a few donation groups through which we can donate to charitable organizations on behalf of the Sloth community. Specifically there are two causes. The first is an organization that lets you, the average citizen, make small business loans to people in many other countries around the world, from Tajikistan and Costa Rica to Tanzania and Nigeria. How it works is someone in, say, Tajikistan, asks for a loan of $550 to buy cattle. The organization (Kiva.org) puts up the loan request on their website for you, the citizen, to browse and choose the person you would like to support. You then give $25, $50 or $75 to this person through Kiva. When they pay off their loan 8 to 24 months down the line you get your money back to either reinvest in someone else or withdraw into your bank account.

The Sloth community can collectively participate in this by joining a 'lending group' I created called KongSloths. It will keep track of how much has been loaned by the members as well as various other statistics such as gender of recipient, industry and region. Additionally, if this idea is picked up by anyone, I'll keep track of the loans made by slothites in a downloadable .kwz file from Google Earth including pictures and various other information. You don't even need to lend money to participate. You can join Kiva then join the group and watch all the other sloths lend money! Come on! It'll be fun!

The second idea is by way of Zil_. She suggested that Sloth adopt a sloth. After a little looking into it I found a sloth rescue center which lets you donate $100 to adopt a sloth, receiving a picture, biography and certificate or, as a group, to each donate $10 (minimum $150), receiving a picture, biography and certificate as well as personalized wallet-sized cards with the picture of your sloth. The distribution of these cards as well as the collection of the money would be a pain since there are various privacy issues involved as it would require me (or Zil... but probably me) knowing your addresses and receiving payments through paypal. It would still be really cool, though, to have a Sloth sloth :)

These are just ideas. Nothing is set in stone, there is no obligation and I don't expect a great deal of interest, especially considering many of you don't have paypal or disposable income. Even if you don't donate money, though, I encourage you all to join Kiva.org and the KongSloths lending group and to tell your friends and loved ones about all the wonderful opportunities to be a part of the greater sloth community.

Thank you, and remember:
Zil_ made you special, and she loves you very much.

1 comment:

  1. Yuri! This is a wonderful idea! :) Thank you so much for doing the legwork on it. As mentioned in chat the other day I am on both! Will whisper your profile with amounts.

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