#ThankstoKiva: What Borrowers Are Thankful For

Fall is abundant in Pittsburgh, PA.  The weather is crisp and the leaves have changed to beautiful reds and golds.  To a girl from Southern California, this is a refreshing change.  It is November and, in the United States, Thanksgiving is almost upon us.  What could be a better way to celebrate than to share some reasons small business owners in Pittsburgh are thankful this year? 

During the month of November, Kiva City Pittsburgh and I will be highlighting some of our successful past borrowers through the hashtag, #ThankstoKiva.  I asked several borrowers how they were able to use their loan and how Kiva Zip impacted their business.  Here is what a few of these awesome borrowers had to say:

Karen’s commercial cleaning service is called KSC, which stands for “Karen’s Second Chance”.  As a survivor of 4 brain aneurisms, she is thankful for another chance at life and makes the most of it.  She offers First Class cleaning in the Pittsburgh area.  Check out her Facebook page here.

Heather has not only successfully funded two Kiva Zip loans, she has also passed on her expertise by becoming a trustee for a fellow borrower.  Heather’s adorable shop in East Liberty has the most amazing olive oil and balsamic vinegar choices around.  Sample cups of ice cream are available so you can try it with different flavors of balsamic vinegar.  Yes, I know balsamic vinegar on ice cream sounds crazy.  I thought so too, but my life was changed after trying it. Take a look at the Olive & Marlowe website to discover the many options and have some shipped to you today.

Dream Cream Ice Cream is not your average ice cream shop.  Thomas has helped about 100 individuals and organizations raise over $70,000 to fund their dreams through his business.  Every month, “dreamers” can apply to have their cause assigned to a certain flavor.  They then volunteer their time scooping ice cream in the shop and, at the end of the month, they receive the portion of sales from their flavor.  Help people by eating delicious ice cream?  I think I can handle that.  Visit the Dream Cream website to buy an awesome t-shirt, or just to learn more.  

Srinath was inspired by his personal experience of being nearly assaulted to create a mobile safety app. This app allows you to easily alert your family and friends if you are in danger.   If you tap the power button on your phone 4 times, it will automatically alert your preset “buddies” with a text message providing your location and a 30 second audio clip.  The phone will also generate a loud, siren-like sound to scare away the assailant.  This app started as a resource for local college students, but it is now available to the public.  Download the free app and learn more here.
Throughout the month of November, check out #ThankstoKiva to see more borrower successes.  Of course, this is not limited to Pittsburgh.  Share the Thanksgiving spirit with your own #ThankstoKiva story! 

About the author

Jennifer Hamilton

Born and raised in Southern California, Jennifer had numerous opportunities to travel with her family while growing up. She rediscovered this passion for international travel and learning about other cultures while studying at LeTourneau University in TX. While at college, she was able to spend time in South Korea, China, Mongolia, and multiple countries in Europe. She graduated with a degree in International Business, with a focus on statistical analysis. She is now working in Workforce Management at Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL. Jennifer is thrilled to have this opportunity to learn more about the microfinance process and to work with an organization that has an impact on so many lives. She will be working in the Kiva City of Pittsburgh and is excitedly preparing for her first snowy winter.