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How Do You Pay It Forward?

team diabetes

At the finish line for Team Diabetes Easter Island, 2009

Do you have a charity you consistently support?

I have two major ones.

I support them by doing what I call ‘freelancing for charity‘. I have a regular job as a radio announcer that pays my family’s bills.

It’s the extra work I pick up on the side that helps me donate to the causes, and most of that is through blogging.

After the jump, the reason why I am on a plane to Reykjavik, Iceland today with Team Diabetes, and why I do micro-lending through Kiva.

TEAM DIABETES

I don’t have diabetes. When I started with Team Diabetes in 2003, the idea of running a marathon in Iceland got me excited. Since that race I’ve been to Easter Island, Rio de Janeiro, and this week I return to Iceland to run again.

I like to run, and I ‘needed’ a charity to support. So I chose one that keeps me healthy, spreads awareness to keep others healthy, and raises money to help those living with this disease.

Diabetes is about to be a terrible epidemic in America. It’s a disease that is caused by a malfunctioning pancreas. When it can’t control the blood sugar in your body by producing insulin, problems start.

Some diabetes is preventable (Type 2), others are born with it (Type 1) — all are serious.

In exchange for raising money for diabetes research, support, and awareness, you go on an international trip to run a race. The 2013 Team Diabetes Calendar has events at Disney World, Vienna, Edinburgh, and The Cayman Islands (to name a few).

I’ve raised more than $20 000 over the years for Team Diabetes, and if you’d like to support the fundraising for my run in Edinburgh 2013, here’s a link to donate now. Better yet, why not join the cause?

kiva sponsor

Abdullah at his store in Uganda

KIVA

Instead of giving man some fish, you give him a pole and teach him how to fish. Kiva is like that. It is a charity where instead of giving handouts, you give a hand up. Kiva is a microlending website where you loan people around the world money to get their business up and running. It can be as small as $25, or as big as you want.

When I look for people to loan to on Kiva, I look for people like me, but a world away. I gave my first Kiva loan to Abdullah, a general store owner in Uganda. Like me, he was a father of 2 young boys and needed some money to buy some supplies for his store. I loaned him $25. Every couple of months, I would get emails from Kiva saying Abdullah had repaid $2.12 here, $5.34 there.

Last week, Abdullah paid off his loan to me, and now I have $25 to loan to someone else. Again, I am seeking out a father of two young boys trying to do something better for his family.

Here’s a bonus: if you join Kiva and start using the service to help people around the world, we can add some extra power. Kiva has a referral program where people can earn extra money to loan. This isn’t money for me, it’s extra money for the planet. Please use this referral link to join Kiva (again no bonus to me, but bonus to those we choose to support) and help pay it forward!

What about you? How do you pay it forward?

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Read more at DadCAMP or The Blog According to Buzz.

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