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Sep 24 2011

Happy birthday Stephanie Zvan! Here’s your gift.

My dear lady. Congratulations on lapping the sun once more. Though I’m sure you didn’t put any direct effort into it, you’ve managed to make it all the way around again. Sure, Earth may not be where it was this time last year, what with the movement of the solar system in this galaxy and the movement of the galaxy in this universe, but hey. As fixed frames of reference go, this is the best we have, saying that we made it all the way around the sun again. And as is customary for marking such an arbitrary and otherwise fluid milestone, I did something for you that I hope you’ll appreciate.

You have a birthday wish list on Amazon. I’m sure you remember it — you put it together. One of the gifts you requested struck me as particularly selfless, and so, on August 4th — before we both moved to our new digs, even — I passed around an e-mail to some of our mutual friends and acquaintances around the Greater Internets asking for help putting together a gift for you. Shortly thereafter, I sent this e-mail around asking that it be redistributed to others I might have missed on the initial feeler e-mail.

Friends and colleagues,

Our mutual friend Stephanie Zvan has a birthday coming up very soon, on September 24th,and one of the items on her wishlist was to have someone open a Kiva.org account on her behalf. I would like to surprise her with an account, pre-filled with some money, on the day of her birthday.

She’s requested a noble and generous gift, where Kiva.org allows its users to make “microloans” of $25 (aggregated with other users) to people in developing areas of the world to meet their needs in some way. Most of the loans are made to the disadvantaged — lower-class members of society in areas where they are an oppressed minority, or just oppressed — and they are generally used to build small businesses. As these loans are repaid over time, the money returns to your account, and you can re-loan it to others who are in need. Every dollar added to the account can therefore have untold impact on untold numbers of human lives.

I have been in contact with Stephanie’s husband Ben and we are colluding to build her an account and to fill it with donations. I will personally be adding $50 (CDN), and two of her friends has already donated $40 and $50 (USD). Ben has also agreed to match donations up to $250, so we already have a great start. The more loans available, though, the more people’s lives will be directly improved by our effort.

As we know a good deal about Stephanie’s character and progressive politics, I strongly feel that any loan made from her account will directly reflect our shared humanist goals. If you feel this is something to which you can contribute materially, please do so. I have a Paypal account set up under [my email] and will relay any moneys sent to me, less any Paypal transaction fees (though I’ll try to compensate for them as much as my own cash flow allows) directly into this Kiva account. There is a good step-by-step set of instructions on how to send money to a person’s email account via Paypal at this site: http://www.ehow.com/how_2076721_send-money-via-paypal.html . Alternately, Kiva allows for the purchase of gift cards at http://www.kiva.org/gifts , which you could obtain, then send the information to me or Ben and we’ll redeem them.

On the day of her birthday, I will be making this gift public via my blog. I would truly appreciate if you could do the same, those of you who have a platform of any sort — podcast, blog, vlog, forum, BBS, or even walking around at your local mall in sandwich board. However you’d like to publicize this endeavour, it would be appreciated. Please wait until the day of her birthday so as not to spoil the surprise.

In the meantime, I would be elated if you would redistribute this e-mail in private to anyone you think might be interested in wishing Stephanie a happy birthday while also positively impacting the world.

Thank you all!

Jason and Jodi Thibeault

Your husband, Jodi and I built you a Kiva account. And now you have $525 with which you can make 21 microloans at a time of $25 apiece to whomever you choose. And better yet, if anyone else should decide to entrust you with the power to make more microloans, they have an easy way of doing so.

Happy birthday. <3

5 comments

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  1. 1
    Jodi

    Happy Birthday, Steph! :D
    We love you to bits!
    Please pleeease tell us you’ll blog about your adventures with Kiva?

  2. 2
    Bryan

    Happy Birthday Stephanie.

    I see Jodi used the diminutive of your name. I will let it slide.

  3. 3
    Stephanie Zvan

    I love you two, too. That’s a perfect gift. Thank you.

  4. 4
    Jodi

    Dude, seriously? You’re going to just jump to the conclusion that I’m a complete stranger to her without knowing a single fucking thing about our relationship? Sure, that’s rational, because there can’t possibly be anything beyond what you see on the internet. If you haven’t figured it out yet Steph and I are close enough in real life that she is comfortable with me calling her that. You on the other hand are an ass.

  5. 5
    sinned34

    Happy arbitrary milestone, Stephanie! May you spend time with people you enjoy celebrating such milestones with, in a manner that brings you the greatest pleasure within the confines of the law and while respecting the rights and humanity of others.

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    [...] a 4,000-year-old cuneiform tablet in my hand and touched 600-year-old vellum. I also got one of the best birthday presents of my life. Congratulations on lapping the sun once more. Though I’m sure you didn’t put any direct effort [...]

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