January is one broke-ass month for so many people. For myself, it's the beginning of the slowest time of year. Things don't really pick up in the jewelry world until Spring, when women start to shop for pretty Spring things. It's the time of year when I usually have the most free time. So this year I plan on starting to volunteer at least one day a week. There's a fantastic website if you are interested in volunteer opportunities. It covers Alberta and BC. There's opportunities all over the lower mainland, it's not just restricted to Vancouver.
If you can't spare the time to volunteer, here's two websites where you can donate for free without ever leaving the comfort of your desk!
Donate Free Rice for having a good vocabulary.
Donate 5 cents every time you click!. Up to $75,000 per quarter this year to be split equally between Kiva and Save the Children.
If you do find yourself flush with cash this January, consider a small scale loan through Kiva. What the heck is Kiva? Kiva lets you lend to a specific entrepreneur in the developing world - empowering them to lift themselves out of poverty. Each pre-screened entrepreneur is hard working and hopes to create a sustainable livlihood.
That right - it's not charity. It's a loan. I loaned $20.00 to group of women embroiderers in mexico (San Cristobal) who requested a $1,350 loan to buy raw materials and equipment for their embroidery business. So far, the loan is 55% paid back, and I have $13.00 of my orginal $20.00 back in my Kiva account ready to loan out again. It's a fantastic system for helping out people who need a hand up.
Check out this video for an overview of how the system works in detail.