“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 personally endorse.
Founded in 1989 EJI is a private, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides legal representation to people who have been illegally convicted, unfairly sentenced, or abused in state jails and prisons. EJI challenges the death penalty and excessive punishment and they provide re-entry assistance to formerly incarcerated people.
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.
Kiva.org is an effective and personal way to contribute to prosperity around the world by letting you connect with and loan money to small businesses 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. As of January 2020, we have funded over 1,400 loans and are adding an additional 200 plus loans per year.
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 fosters 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 talk about an organization that we recently started to contribute towards, RIP Medical Debt
RIP uses analytics to pinpoint the medical debt of those most in need of relief: households whose incomes are less than two times the federal poverty level guideline or are insolvent. RIP buys medical debt at a steep discount in bundled portfolios, millions of dollars at a time. Due to the discounts, donations have 100x the impact. RIP pays the medical bills and people across the country receive a letter that their debt is gone. There are no taxes or penalties. Just like that, they’re free of medical debt and can rebuild their credit and take advantage of financial opportunities.
I support all of these organizations with either my money or my time (or both). Being able to support people and animals in need and to try to make the world a better place in general is part of our definition of success.