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This is it people: I turn 30 in a little over six months. I’m not that bothered by the idea (at least not yet) but I am starting to think about it more. It’s annoying that I won’t really be able to tease my husband about being old if we’re both in our thirties. Damn.  But honestly, I’ve already been smacked in the face by the “I’m getting old” bug. You see, I had a baby.  So I’ve spent the last fifteen months getting used to the fact that I’m supposed to be a grown-up now.  Thirty?  Not so scary after all.

Still, it’s a good time to reflect on life and set goals. I’ve decided to jump on the “30 Before 30″ bandwagon. Five years ago my list would have been very different than it is now.  It probably would have looked more like some of my friends’ lists, who are doing amazing things like quitting their jobs and traveling to 30 countries before 30, or moving to Nepal (and now back to San Francisco).  Yeah, little Adeline makes things like that a little bit, um, impossible. So I’m thinking a little closer to home.

I haven’t made my whole list yet (more on that later), but I want to get started on the first one right away. I stole the idea from my friend Claudine, but I don’t think she’ll mind. I want to recruit my friends and readers (that’s you!) to fund at least 30 Kiva loans before I turn 30.

I am a huge, huge fan of Kiva.  I absolutely love the idea of micro finance. I certainly think there’s a place for charity (and I often contribute to charitable causes) but I think that enabling people to help themselves is so much more empowering and effective.  You know what they say: if you teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.  Obviously it’s not as simple as that, but Kiva loans help people start businesses and make investments that will serve them long after they’ve paid back your small loan.  And loans to women are especially effective.  I’ve written about that so much already that I won’t belabor the point here.

The real point is that I need your help! You can make a loan for as little as $25, so what are you waiting for?? Plus, the loans are paid back remarkably quickly, and then you can re-lend. It seriously is the gift that just keeps giving and giving and giving.  So join me now! Just register on Kiva (if you haven’t already) and join my lending team.  Then when you make a loan, select my lending team.  You can see who else has made a loan and check out all kinds of other neat stats, like where we’re making loans, who’s getting the loans and how much we’ve lent total.

I just started the fun with a loan to Safia, a woman in Pakistan who will use the loan to buy supplies for her sewing business that she runs, along with seven other women. Who will you lend to?

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More detailed instructions on funding a loan through my lending team:

1. If you’re new to Kiva, set up an account. Otherwise, log in.
2. Go to my lending team page, Sara’s 30 Before 30 Team, and click “Join Team” to become a member.
3. Go to the Kiva loan page and select a borrower for your loan.
4. After adding your selected loan to your basket, you will see a drop-down menu called “Apply to Lending Team” on the left side of the screen. Select “Sara’s 30 Before 30 Team”.
5. Click “Continue” and check out.

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