"Kiva saved my butt!"

- Mark, Lender


My first Kiva experience was giving ‘Kiva cards’ to each of my 20 nieces and nephews for Christmas.

My direction was, “…for Christmas, I’m giving you each $50, but you have to let someone else in the world use it first”.

Of course, most of them lent the money and then continued to recycle it instead of getting it back for themselves, which made us happy to see.

One of the parents later told us this story: Her son, a high school student was much more of a football player than a social investor. While his school promoted community-supportive efforts, he was more focused on the gym.

When the time came for everyone to report to the school on their community contributions, he knew he was in trouble…the kids all went around the room: one helped an elderly woman shovel her walk, the next brought groceries to a shut-in, a third worked in a soup kitchen...all really good things. When it got to my nephew, he thought for a minute and offered: “…I helped a woman in Ecuador buy a goat to start her goat cheese business”…his classmates were stunned, his teacher said, “…how can anyone top that for helping change the world?”

When he told his mother the story, she said, “…see how easy Kiva makes it to save the world?” He responded, “…save the world? Kiva saved my butt!”

…sometimes, Kiva helps in ways you never expect.


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Kiva U.S. Stories is a space to share and enjoy the moving, the funny, the inspiring, stories that come from every corner of the Kiva U.S. community.

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About the author

Kathinka K. Nakstad

Kathinka moved to San Francisco to pursue her BBA degree, with a major in marketing. Being form Norway, she time to time misses the different seasons (especially winters with snow). One of her hobbies consists of finding a part of a city and explore it for a whole day. Checking out cool boutiques, and the best places to eat. Two of her favorite places to visit are Budapest and Vienna. No wonder her dream job would be to travel the world and write about the places she visits.