Monday, December 17, 2012
Featured Volunteer: Christine Haiss brings her passion for volunteering to Kiva
“I think that it’s important to help others, even if it’s only in small ways. I was a lender on Kiva before I became an editor. After I retired, volunteering for Kiva seemed like a great fit.”
City: Palmyra, ME
Team: Only the Loanly
Time with Kiva: One year
Outstanding Contributions to Kiva: Christine has been a stand-out editor in terms of number of loans edited. She has also taken on the additional challenge of reviewing the first batches of loans posted by new Field Partners, providing feedback that helps them make the most of their opportunity to raise funds on Kiva.
How did you find out about Kiva?
I heard about Kiva on an NPR broadcast in 2007, then went to the website and made my first loan!
Why do you choose to volunteer your time with Kiva?
Volunteer work is a big part of my life and has been for about 14 years with the Maine Breast Cancer Coalition, and I think that it’s important to help others, even if it’s only in small ways. I was a lender on Kiva before I became an editor. After I retired, volunteering for Kiva seemed like a great fit. Reading borrower stories makes me grateful for how much I have.
What is your favorite partner or region?
Reviewing loans, I feel a connection to certain borrowers. Lately I’ve been interested in green loans in Mongolia that help borrowers heat their homes. It’s astounding to read about how harsh the climate is there and how horrible the pollution is. I am also attracted to agricultural loans, since my younger son is just starting up as a farmer and I see how difficult it is to work in agriculture.
Tell us about a memorable profile you have reviewed.
There was a recent loan I reviewed from the Kashf Foundation in Pakistan. The borrower was a mother of 8 children and started her own milk business. Now, three years later, she has a buffalo and 2 cows and she runs a successful business. Her profile said that she is now respected in her home and that she has a feeling of achievement from sending her children to school and helping her husband financially.
Where is your favorite place in the world to travel?
I have good friends in Germany and we meet up every year to travel somewhere. 3 summers ago we met up in Stockholm and drove through Sweden. It was light out the entire length of the day and it was absolutely
Tell us an unusual or surprising fact about yourself.
After my uncle passed away about 15 years ago, I was given a box of photos. After digging a little deeper, I found out that although my uncle was just a quiet pharmacist, he was also an undercover agent with the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, infiltrating major operations in South America and the U.S. during the 1940s and 50s. He was so heavily involved with it, I even found photos of him vacationing with major drug kingpins!
Photo provided by Christine Haiss, volunteer editor.