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Archive for the ‘Whitworth’ Category

University Microcredit Network

In Development, Economy, Philanthropy, Poverty, Public Education, Whitworth on November 3, 2008 at 3:51 am

I went to a special lecture last week about microcredit and its powerful impact on the developing world. From wikipedia:

Microcredit is the extension of very small loans (microloans) to the unemployed, to poor entrepreneurs and to others living in poverty who are not considered bankable. These individuals lack collateral, steadyemployment and a verifiable credit history and therefore cannot meet even the most minimal qualifications to gain access to traditional credit. Microcredit is a part of microfinance, which is the provision of a wider range of financial services to the very poor.

Basically, the working poor apply for small loans, usually starting around $100, to buy capital and start making greater profits in their businesses. The loans are repaid with very low interest, and then the borrower can then take out a larger loan to grow their business even more.

The reason that the borrowers need a special microcredit bank is because traditional banks will not give them any loans because they lack the usual paperwork, such as deeds and titles, collateral, and even a credit history; Thus, the banks see the poor as a credit risk. But, according to World Vision, 96% of the loans in their Microenterprise Development Program are repaid on time.

Organizations like the Grameen Bank, Kiva, and World Vision are taking the chance to help people escape from poverty. I would encourage everyone to take a look at these organizations and consider donating as much as you feel comfortable with. Even $25 can change the life of farmer.

What does this have to do with the University Microcredit Network? Well, the UMN is an idea I’ve been considering for a few days since the lecture. Since microcredit is all about small sums of money (which is college kids have), why not tap into the vast resource of poor, but activist-minded, age group of college students? If every university in the United States collected enough money for one $100 loan… well, it would be a lot! Better yet, what if universities and colleges built this into their budgets? Just a miniscule $1000 could provide much need start-up money for several businesses. And it is a drop in the bucket for many schools!

The UMN would be the eyes, ears, and hands for organizations like Kiva and World Vision. The purpose: collect money and educate students. There are a lot of lives that could be changed with small donations from poor students.

Heck, if people really couldn’t donate, what about investing. Places like MicroPlace (owned by eBay) offer up to a 3% return on investments. Good way to make a few bucks. (But I like places like World Vision where the funds are returned to the pool – a revolving door fund, if you will.)

First Final is Done

In Whitworth on May 14, 2008 at 7:35 am

I just completed my Intro to Business Management final.  Took me all of 20 minutes.  But, it wasn’t really a final, so much as my final test in that class.  I’m pretty lucky this semester with finals; no cumulative finals, just final tests.

I think it went pretty well, and I’m confident I will get a good grade on it, as well as the class.  Wish me luck as I do my last two finals, a presentation, and finish up a research paper in the next two days!

Not Feeling Well

In Africa, Poverty, Whitworth on May 1, 2008 at 12:24 pm

I participated in fast to raise money for missionaries in Uganda. This is how it works:

  1. Student signs up
  2. Students meal card is locked out of Saga from 5 AM Wednesday morning until 5 PM Thursday evening.
  3. The money that would have been spent in Saga is donated to the missionaries

I didn’t get a chance to sign up (I forgot), but I decided to fast anyway.  I thought it went until 5 AM, so I set my goal then.  I went 36 hours with only drinking water, and I was feeling pretty awful this morning.  I was light headed and I felt sick to my stomach so I decided to eat some oatmeal around 11:00 AM.  I’m feeling much better since then.  It feels good to eat.

Bike & Build Grant Finished

In Blessing, Habitat for Humanity, Spokane, Whitworth on April 30, 2008 at 11:45 am

Recently, I had drafted up an application for the Bike & Build Grant. I answered six questions about what my club, Habitat for Humanity Whitworth, would do with $10,000 if it was granted to us.

I’m happy to say that I received a final copy – pending approval from Habitat Spokane’s Executive Director – from Mary Jo Harvey, Habitat’s Resource Director. I read over it, and it looks good. So I sent my OK to her, and we will see if it is granted approval from their Executive Director. Hopefully all goes well.

I’ll be praying that everything goes well, and that we will get the grant if it is God’s will. Please keep Habitat for Humanity Whitworth in your prayers as well!

Bike & Build Grant

In Blessing, Habitat for Humanity, Spokane, Whitworth on April 11, 2008 at 12:18 pm

I got a call from Dennis Reed, the Community Relations Director over at Habitat for Humanity on Wednesday.  I previously had a lunch meeting with Adam Borgman (Habitat’s Volunteer Service Coordinator), Mr. Reed, and my Treasurer Lara Lichten about a month and a half ago.  We discussed ways that they could help our club and start collaborating on some projects.  It was very nice, but I hadn’t heard anything until Wednesday.

I was in class when he called, so he left a voicemail detailing a grant that Habitat Spokane is interested in applying for, the Bike & Build Grant.  What is the Bike & Build Grant?  From their site:

The Bike & Build Grant Program is a competitive application process through which the proceeds from our events are distributed to affordable housing groups throughout the country. Grants are restricted to finance projects championed by students and young adults, ages 18-25.

The last sentence is the one that catches my interest.  Mr. Reed wants Habitat for Humanity Whitworth to assist Habitat Spokane in applying for, and executing this grant.  We can apply for up to $10,000 to address a housing issue.  He thought this would be a great opportunity to get Habitat Whitworth involved.  I’m very excited to say that we are going to start work on this grant very soon, and hopefully, come September, we will have been chosen and $10,000 will be at our disposal for a student-led project.

I would really appreciate some prayer on this because it is such a great opportunity for me, and the other members of my club, to get some real experience.

Habitat Fundraiser

In Fundraiser, Habitat for Humanity, Whitworth on February 18, 2008 at 12:16 am

On Wednesday we had a cookie decorating party to raise some money for Habitat for Humanity Whitworth. We spent $36 to buy the cookie dough, sprinkles, napkins and other miscellaneous items. We sold each cookie for a dollar, and managed to raise $30. Not bad for pretty much no planning.

For the next fundraiser I was thinking of having a Pool (or Billiards, if you prefer as I do) Tournament. Almost no overhead, and all profit. We’ll charge $5 to sign up, each contestant will play a couple of games and then the winner will get some kind of prize. I think that will make a lot more money than the cookie thing. Here’s to hoping!

Frontier

In Whitworth on February 13, 2008 at 1:39 pm

I had to write a one-page essay for my writing class describing what the word ‘frontier’ means. I didn’t know I was taking a class at Emerald Ridge… haha. Anyway, I liked it and thought I would put it up. Constructive criticism is welcome!

EDIT: Sorry about the formatting. WordPress doesn’t like Safari or Firefox…

Space… The final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. It’s continuing mission, to explore strange new worlds. To seek out new life and new civilizations. To boldly go where no one has gone before.

This was my first experience with a true frontier. The frayed periphery of commonality. The bleeding edge. This is what the frontier was, and for me, always will be. Introduced to me by Captain Jean Luc Picard of the starship Enterprise when I was only 5 years old, my father at my side, my dreams in my head, I watched, listened, and wondered what frontiers and new trails I would be blazing. Frontiers have always been the place of excitement, of discovery, that the child in me still looks to. It’s dangerous, chaotic, totally unknown; a place that I want to be.

I guess that might be part of the reason why I want to live and work in Africa. That is as close to the edge of the world as you can get. It is a ‘frontier’ in all senses of the word. It is brand new (to Westerners, at least), undeveloped (by Western standards), dangerous, and full of possibilities. The latter is what draws me the most to Africa: the possibilities of what can be done there. And I’m sure that was the same reason that the old American ‘frontier’ had such a powerful draw on people. It intrigued you with its danger, and then grabbed a firm hold with the endless possibilities of its undeveloped and dangerous new world. A world that could save people from their sometimes dreary lives in the Eastern United States.

A frontier has that power because it takes on a new meaning for each person. It can be whatever they want, whatever they need. To me, it is a place calling out for answers to difficult questions. I feel that pull, and I’m responding; just like the people of the mid 19th century. To boldly go where no one has gone before.

SERVE Coordinator

In SERVE, Whitworth on February 9, 2008 at 4:17 pm

Yesterday I applied for Whitworth’s SERVE (Students Eager to Respond to Volunteer Endeavors) Coordinator. Basically, I would be in charge of finding and organizing volunteer opportunities for Whitworth students, and I would be one of the people in charge of organizing Community Building Day. CBD is the one day a year that all Whitworth students, teachers, and staff go out into Spokane and work on different projects to improve Spokane. It is a huge project involving many people and many weeks of planning.

At the time when I turned in my application, only one other student had applied, so I have a pretty good change of being hired. Plus, they already know me pretty well in the Service Learning Department, so that might help me out as well.

I am a little worried about budgeting my time effectively, but I don’t think it will be a problem once I get into the swing of things. Another bonus: I will have my own little ‘office’ (a cubicle actually, but it is an office nonetheless!). It is a paid position, making $8.15/hour, with a maximum of 15 hours a week. I could potentially make almost $500 a month (before taxes).

So here’s to hoping – and praying – that I get the job. I feel I could do a lot of new and innovative things with the position. Please pray for me!

A Christmas Letter

In Blessing, Christmas, Whitworth on December 5, 2007 at 6:19 pm

Hey all, I was writing an informal essay for my Core 150 class, and we had to write about our ideal Christmas break (yes, they do call it Christmas break, thankfully) and how it matches up with our worldview (our core beliefs). The purpose of the paper is to analyze the disconnect between our beliefs and our actions. I wrote a section that really stuck out to me, and I thought I would share it, I hope you enjoy!

I am really trying to be more thankful for what I have, and that is why this Christmas I didn’t ask for much. I am starting to realize this year that there are some people who have nothing; I’ve always known that there are people that are less fortunate than I am, but it is really starting to impact my heart in a meaningful way. What right do I have to ask for DVDs or video games when there is a child right now in this vast, cold world of ours struggling to find clean water, struggling to eat, struggling to breath, struggling to live? What right do I have? How can I possibly justify my so called needs? How can I type up my Christmas list on my $2000 computer, in a room that protects me from the elements, at a school that costs $32,000 a year? I can’t. And that is what I am beginning to realize. For the more than 1 billion people living on $1 a day, it would take them more than 87 years to pay for education at Whitworth. What on God’s green Earth did I do (or will I do) to deserve these blessings? I have absolutely no idea how to answer that, and the only thing I can do is have faith that God can. I believe that God has a purpose for me, and for that purpose to come to fruition I need to be exactly where I am, and I thank God for that daily. Thank you, God for giving me my loving family, my caring friends, my schools, food to nourish my body, clean water to hydrate my being, and thank you, Lord, for your Word to nourish my soul.

It’s Official

In Blessing, Habitat for Humanity, Whitworth on December 4, 2007 at 8:55 pm

Yup, you read the title right.  It’s official.  And by it’s I mean Habitat for Humanity Whitworth has been chartered as an ASWU club.  Officially.  Yup, I like saying official, because that’s what HfHW is.  It’s official.  Now we can do real stuff!  Yay!