“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give”. – W. Churchill
SRS has been afforded the opportunity to flourish as a small company through a combination of luck, access to capital and hard work. Consequently, SRS Hardware actively participates in various organizations that are devoted to helping others achieve their own goals.
Here are a few in particular that I’d like to personally endorse:
The first is the Affordable Housing Institute.
AHI partners with pro-poor innovators to address systemic obstacles to affordable housing. Clients include governments, lenders, developers, development finance institutions, philanthropies, and community organizations. AHI has been twice funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and pioneered an ecosystem/value chain approach to housing used successfully in over 25 countries.
The second is Kiva.org.
Kiva.org is an effective and personal way to contribute to prosperity in the developing world by letting you connect with and loan money to small businesses in the developing world via a credit card or PayPal. By choosing an individual on Kiva.org, you help the world’s working poor take great strides towards economic independence.
Throughout the course of the loan (usually 6-12 months), you receive email journal updates from the business you’ve sponsored. Borrowers repay the loans and the funds are deposited back into your Kiva account. You may then elect to withdraw the original amount or “roll-over” the funds into another qualified business.
Kiva partners with existing microfinance institutions. By doing so they access outstanding entrepreneurs from impoverished communities world-wide. The local “on the ground” partners understand local economies and needs and are therefore especially able to assess qualified borrowers. The local partners upload their borrower profiles to the Kiva web-site so you can loan directly.
Kiva is able to foster interpersonal connection at very low cost due to the instant, inexpensive nature of internet delivery. The real time, ever changing profiles featured on the website are actual people who are dedicated to improving the lives of themselves and their families through hard work and entrepreneurship.
Because we love animals: The Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland.
The Animal Rescue League of Greater Portland provides care and shelter for stray, abandoned, confiscated and relinquished animals. The ARLGP does not euthanize due to space constraints or based on a time limit for adoptable animals and they do not euthanize for color, breed or age.
Finally, I would like to introduce you to Heifer International:
Heifer’s goal is to help to alleviate hunger and poverty through education and targeted gifts of livestock. These animals provide breeding stock, saleable products such as wool, milk, and eggs. A central component of the agreement that Heifer has with every recipient is that the first offspring will be “passed forward” to another individual in the community and that recipient, in turn, will follow the same principles.
I personally support each of these organizations and I encourage you to investigate them further. I can honestly say that one of the great pleasures of my life is being able to contribute or loan to these worthwhile groups. For a few dollars, you can change the course of a family’s life for the better.