The Real Reward

A young woman known to her friends as an avid online shopper discovered she had received a small cash rebate from a purchase. It wasn’t expected, but seeing the envelope show up in the mail brought such a smile to her face, her roommate asked what good news she had received.

When the young lady explained she had received an extra $500, her roommate suggested she consider lending it out in the form of a microloan to women in need who were trying to finish their education or start their own business. The successful young woman liked the idea and, on a whim, signed up with an online site devoted to microloans.

About six months later when the loan was repaid, she decided to lend out the money a second time… then a third… and so on. Several years later, she had lent out the same dollars over and over again, without ever missing the money. In the meantime, she continued to receive thank you letters and updates from many of the women who used the microloan, made possible through her check, to transform their own lives.

Although she has long since moved on from her roommate situation and is now a homeowner, she still sends her old friend a letter every year, sharing a few details of all the women she has helped. Each time, she thanks her old friend for making the suggestion years ago. That first loan changed the meaning of money for her, while changing the outcome for others at the same time.

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