Kiva - Loans that change lives After stuffing myself with some good food this Thanksgiving, my thoughts turned to "Black Friday" and the impending non-stop three week buying spree for gifts that often don't last through the year. Not looking forward to this traditional display of consumerism, I started thinking about what I could do to be more impactful in my giving. I decided that I would focus my giving on two major areas, 1) introducing friends and family to the eco-friendly lifestyle and 2) giving gifts in the name of relatives to individuals that really need help. The latter will be accomplished through purchasing gift certificates through organizations like Kiva. Kiva, through the use of micro-loans, helps individuals in developing countries to reach for their dreams. Talk about sustainability! You can lend a budding entrepreneur the entire amount of capital needed or you can contribute as little as $25 towards the total needed. Gift certificates can also be purchased in the name of a relative or friend. Want to give to an organization a little closer to home? Check out Guidestar or your local United Way for a list of non-profits in need of a little love in this tough economy.