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I hate asking for help from anyone for anything. For goodness sake, I’m a Texan, and we get things done on our own. However, if being a parent has taught me anything, it has taught me that sometimes you do need help from others whether you want to ask for it or not. Before I tell you what I need help with, I want to rewind a couple days to earlier this week when I was in New York City. I went for a blogging conference (I know, I sound like a huge nerd) that several other BoardingArea bloggers were attending as well. Just like last time I went to a similar conference with some BoardingArea bloggers, the big man himself, Randy Peterson, flew in for the night to take us all to dinner.
For those who aren’t familiar with Randy, he is basically the Godfather of Miles and Points. He was one of the leading forces behind the creation of Flyertalk, Milepoint, Insider Flyer, BoardingArea, and much, much, more. He is very connected with the airline and hotel networks, and seems to be in the know about all things at all times. Perhaps more importantly, he is one of the most giving folks I have ever met. Giving and helping are his passions in life, and he does it in such a sincere way that it is contagious. I know I have learned to give more because of him. While he was taking us to dinner and supporting us at the blogging conference this week, his wife was home alone in Colorado dealing with the “storm of the century”. None of us knew this at the time, but Randy’s tweets painted a clear picture of what transpired shortly after our time with him.
I have seen photos of the aftermath; people were walking in knee-deep hail!!! I’m not in Colorado, and I can’t help clear debris, tear out sheet rock, fix landscaping, or even bring over a hot meal from afar. However, I can (hopefully) help bring a smile to my friend’s face…..with your help. See, one of Randy’s favorite ways to help others is through Kiva.org. I have posted about Kiva before here (feel free to go to that post for more details), but basically you lend money to someone around the world in amounts as little as $25. They repay the money over time, and then you can “cash out” or re-lend the money to a new person. That is a very simplistic description of the process, but hopefully it helps you get the general idea. Of course there is some risk of not getting your money back, but Kiva does have a 98.94% repayment rate.
The Milepoint Kiva Team has just over 900 members, but Randy would love to see it hit 1,000 members as that is clearly a major benchmark. So, today many of the BoardingArea bloggers are banding together to try to make this happen. Don’t be surprised to see many similar posts about Kiva today – that isn’t an accident. This is officially “Smile Saturday” (or at least it is in my mind)! Even in the midst of stress and sadness because of what has happened to his home and neighborhood, hitting this milestone would almost certainly be a bright spot in Randy’s day and might even bring a smile to his face. It can also be a bright spot in the day for everyone who gets involved, and for everyone who is given a helping hand via a Kiva loan. What’s great is that you can do this without spending a dime. Right now all new Kiva members can make their first $25 loan for free! So, if you want to help Randy, help others, and even put a smile on your own face, here’s how you do it.
2. Loan $25 for free.
Once you’ve joined and registered, find someone you’d like to help and give them a free loan. As you browse around, you should see orange “$25 Free Trial” buttons next to each loan. Pick one and check-out.
Okay, this part isn’t required, but you earned it by bringing a smile to the face of others. It is “Smile Saturday” after all.
Keep in mind that you can use a credit card to fund these loans, and with a repayment rate of over 98%, it can be a great way to meet minimum spending requirements! Thanks for considering helping make others smile. I know you have put a smile on my face just by reading this post. I’ll conclude with a shot of smiles with Randy earlier this year at the Freddie Awards. Sure, it’s just a photo of a photo, but you get the idea.