I think I blogged about this several years ago but this bears repeating. Kiva is a great organization. Their mission is to connect people, through lending, for the sake of alleviating poverty.
It is amazingly easy to do. You go to their site, pick someone, and loan them $25. Your $25 is lent with other people's $25 until they are funded. They pay you back and you can reloan or take your money out. This goes though PayPal. I just looked at the loans I've made and no one has defaulted.
I was very surprised to learn that I have made 19 loans in the last couple years. I generally fund women in the arts if I can. My loans have been made to people in Uganda, Kenya, Lebanon, Togo, Mexico, Azerbaijan, Paraguay, Dominican Republic, Tajikistan, Azerbaijan, Iraq, Ecuador, Bolivia and Peru.
Even though times are tough now in this country we are all so rich. This is a really simple way to give and make a difference in other peoples lives.