Monday, February 16, 2009


Raking it in for Kiva!

here we are practicing the ancient art of "rake fighting"

Our Inspiration:

Current Photo the inspirational Mr. Loewenstern (not in class)

In Mr. Loewenstern's Geography class we look at different regions of the world, identify their inherent difficulties and evaluate them from a problem solver's point of view. As we study different regions we take on the role of it's leaders and try to solve the problems of that region. So in a typical class period we might be negotiating with  mock leaders of a bordering country or a mock European Union or UN!  After we had finished a unit on poverty Mr. Lowenstern introduced us to some aid organizations that had been very effective in some of the most impoverished regions of the world.  We learned about operation BUZZKILL (that's another post!) but most importantly the Kiva website.-circe

What is KIVA?

Kiva is the world's first person to person micro-lending website that empowers individuals (like us!) to make small loans directly to entreprenuers working in impoverished regions throughout the world.  When you make a micro-loan you are helping a real person make great strides towards economic independence and improve life for themselves, their family, and their community. Throughout the course of the loan (usually 6-12 months), you can receive email journal updates and track repayments. Then, when you get your loan money back, you can relend to someone else in need. We definitely wanted to get involved in this progam but we didn't have any money!

HOW TO raise money...

It was Autumn, there was an immense pile up of leaves around the neighborhood... we saw opportunity! People might pay us to remove their immense piles of leaves. We started by making up a flyer -we sent it out via email to our neighbors. To our surprise several people took us up on our offer to rake.-sadie

Here is what our flyer looked like. Feel free to copy it. We charged about 2.00 per bag, most yards had between 25 and 30 bags worth of leaves



Does your yard need raking? A group of teenagers from your neighborhood (Circe, Sadie and friends) have formed a service organization that enables them as a group to volunteer and raise funds for environmental and humanitarian causes that they care deeply about. They call themselves The Angsty Teenage Eco Warriors.  These “Angsty Teens” would like to rake your yard and donate 100% of the proceeds to 

What is 

Kiva is non-profit micro loan organization that is doing great things: allows individuals to make $25 loans to low-income entrepreneurs in the developing world. By doing so, individuals like you provide affordable working capital for the poor (money to buy a sewing machine, livestock, etc.), empowering them to earn their way out of poverty. 

Here’s How it Works 

  • Angsty Teens will rake your yard, put the leaves in paper yard waste bags and place them at the curb for City of Austin pick up. (You supply the bags and the City will compost the yard waste) 
  • Angsty Teens will invest the leaf raking money at you can track the investment online at the Kiva website. As the loans are paid back Angsty Teens will continually reinvest the money to 
  • Angsty Teens are parent supervised. To make a raking appointment or to get an estimate on leaf removal call us 

Click the links below to learn more about Kiva:  

micro loans are a Nobel Peace Prize winning idea! Click below to learn more:  



mentally preparing for the task

Ahh, the fresh scent of autumn. Cool mornings, blustery days and most importantly, leaves!

Whether the smell of leaves bring sweet maple memories, or just give you the sniffles, raking is something that any able bodied person can do, and some good can come of it if you are willing to roll up you sleeves! 

a steep learning curve: What goes in the bag?

Grabbing our "garden" variety household rakes and claws, a bunch of us got together and tackled those immense piles of leaves. With nimble hands and feet we deftly maneuvered the tall mounds of leaves into huge paper sacks (not without some trouble though, somehow some of us ended up inside the bags, too). It was quite a fiasco. The piles of leaves everywhere seemed endless, but that didn’t stop us. After a couple of weekends spent in many yards, we had earned $275.00. We thought that amount was a good start for a micro-loan. Just by being willing to rake our friendly neighbor’s lawns, we ended up “raking” in the dough for a micro-loan that will change someone's life. -sadie


1 comment:

Curtis said...

An excellent post! If I had leaves in my apartment, I'd have hired you to rake them!

Hey, you need to correct this link, as it has some extra text in it that keeps it from working: "to micro loans are a Nobel Peace Prize winning idea! Click below to learn more:" (The visible link is fine, it's the embedded one that has problems.)

Keep up the great work!