Valbona Bushi, BS '08, MAcc '09, and Ben Meck, BS '08, Help Launch New York Support of Kiva
The New York volunteer team for Kiva, supported by Weatherhead alumni Valbona Bushi and Ben Meck, started meeting regularly in October with the goal of creating an active lending community in New York City.
The team began messaging New York residents, organizing happy hours, and planning events for New York residents. Their efforts so far since October 1, 2009 have resulted in over 450 new members to the team.
Nearly 1,800 new loans have been created on behalf of the New York team, amounting to over $49,000 loaned. One of their ultimate goals was to create a New York Fund that would continue to loan on behalf of the team for years to come. On January 30, 2010 they hosted their first fundraiser, a wine tasting event, with spectacular success.
The wine tasting was held in Union Square and had 50 attendees, ranging from local New Yorkers to travelers from the West Coast and even as far away as Stockholm. Experienced Kiva lenders, new lenders, and those who hadn't lent yet heard about Kiva.org, the Kiva fellows program, and the New York Team.
Overall, the event raised over $1,700 that will be invested in Kiva as soon as new loans are added. It provided an excellent setting for lenders to share their experiences with microfinance and philanthropy and connect on a personal level with some of their teammates from the Kiva New York Team.
Visit the Kiva New York team page www.kiva.org/team/new_york and the Kiva New York Website www.kivanewyork.com to find out how to connect with them on Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, or Google Calendars.
Photo: Valbona Bushi (right) with Kiva supporters.