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Holiday Season Giving Alternative

Directed at those tired of the overcommercialization of the upcoming holiday season: as an alternative to buying corporate-made "stuff" just to have something in hand to give, consider making one or more microfinance loans in people's names to Kiva.
( Kiva makes loans as small as $25 to invividuals in 3rd world countries to help them get a business off the ground, or to enable them to expand what they've already gotten going on their own. A high percentage of these loans are made to women trying to help support, or to be even the sole support, of their families. No interest is paid on these loans, and the repayment rate is in the 97% range. From my research to date on their activities, I believe they are legitimate, although no such organization can hope to be 100% free of abuses. (Look at some of the stories of misappropriation of Hurrican Katrina assistance funds by various Red Cross and state and federal government employees.) Check them out at Or Google
" + legitimate" and read the comments.