by Jane Moneypenny


I’m not one to push things or jump into causes unless I strongly believe in them. Once that happens, I’m in all the way with a passion that still throws off the people that recruit me. I have a feeling it’s some innate desire to make up for the lost time of depression and missing out in my better years.

The point is, I wouldn’t bring this up unless I truly thought it was something worth mentioning. It’s important enough and I think it’s a pretty damn great thing.

A few months ago, I started volunteering with a great non-profit called Nest, an organization that changes lives of women in developing countries. Nest provides micro-credit loans to be used for supplies and materials so women can begin and maintain their art or craft-based businesses. It’s a lot like the very popular organization Kiva, but this is solely devoted to women. These products are also often available to Nest as repayment, which then becomes a part of Nest’s line of merchandising (really great and cute accessories, jewelery and clothes). You can read more about it here. Whenever I figure out where I’ll be in the fall, I’ll possibly join the team for a trip to Guatemala or Mexico to see one of the sites and meet the women.

I guess I’m writing an entry about this because in my attempt to not miss out on this whole “carpe diem, go all out” thing, I’ve come to appreciate how important it is to be my own person. I’m not a crusader of politics or religion or even feminism; I was devastated about Katrina, of course, but that was something so personal. In these last years while trying to re-find my footing, I’ve come to the conclusion that a girl’s gotta know things that she may usually depend on a guy for. Maybe this is cynicism or pessimism, but frankly, I’m a realist.

When my dad was diagnosed with liver cancer a couple years back, I watched my mom struggle to understand all the household finances. In the past, I’ve seen friends and family members have major rifts due to money problems or divorce or death. So I set out to learn what I could. Business and finances has never been my forte and I still struggle to understand the details of this transaction versus that IRA versus that medical plan. But hey, if I get married and my husband ditches me for a hotter younger woman, I’ll have my secret bank account of emergency money! (Unless I live in the states where things go 50/50).

So yeah, go shop at Nest and read “Finances for Dummies.” Better to know a little than nothing at all!