Are you shopping for a ‘tween or teenager this holiday season? How about that college student on your list who tells you all he wants is money and a new computer – what are you going to put in his stocking?

Last year I bought my niece (13) and nephew (11) Kiva gift certificates for Christmas. When they opened the envelopes they gave me that bored teenager look like, “what the heck am I supposed to do with this?” (I think they were secretly hoping their generous aunt would have splurged on Lady Gaga tickets) A few weeks later my sister-in-law corralled them at the computer and they logged in to Kiva and searched for entrepreneurs they wanted to support. They loved it! My niece has always wanted to go to Africa so she opted to help some women there, and my nephew put his money behind a small organization in South America. They were on their way. They love getting updates and following the progress of their entrepreneurs. What is wonderful is that once the money is repaid they can find more people to support and the cycle can continue.

This year my aunt did the same thing for my cousin’s kids. She is already looking forward to exploring the Kiva site with them. She even bought herself a gift certificate so she could join them in the fun. Not only is this a great way to help teach your children about giving back and helping others, it is also an amazing way for them to learn about people in other cultures and to see the value of  hard work as these business people all over the world work tirelessly to build their burgeoning enterprises.

Check out the Sweet Peas & Stilettos complete list of holiday gift ideas.

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