Pouring on the Pounds

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Kiva Sponsor: Tyler’s Hope

On a cold February night, when most people were having a good dinner or watching the NFL playoffs, a family in Gainesville, Florida was receiving terrible news. Their firstborn son, Tyler a very healthy, athletic boy of 7, had just been diagnosed with Dystonia, a movement disorder that makes your muscles move without you wanting them to. There is no cure for Dystonia.


Tyler and his family decided to make an organization called Tyler’s Hope, were 100% of all donations go to finding a cure for the dreadful disease. Since then Tyler has progressed, so that he can barely talk and he eats through a tube in his stomach. Most days he spends in a wheelchair and in a lot of pain. A year later, when Tyler was 8, he was one of the youngest kids in the world to have deep brain surgery to help improve his symptoms.

Last year in March, the same family received even more bad news, Tyler’s little sister Samantha had been diagnosed with Dystonia also. Since then Samantha spends all of her time in a wheelchair and is in enormous pain because she has it in her back. Samantha is scheduled to undergo deep brain stimulation surgery on January 6, 2010.

The foundation that Tyler’s family started has raised millions of dollars for research and has started the world’s first international registry of Dystonia Patients. His doctor’s believe that finding a cure will happen during his lifetime!

The Salem Middle School Kiva Club is proud to have Tyler’s Hope as one of our sponsors and we wish Tyler, his sister and all of the other children who are suffering with Dystonia a healthy future.

   – Supa Soda

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Kiva Loan to Maria

This is Maria. She is thirty-two years old and is a very hard-working, determined, and diligent woman. She has been married for ten years and has three children: two sons and one daughter.


Together with the rest of her family, she has been living in a rented house located in a southern district of the city of Lima, Peru. For eight years she has been making money by selling vegetables at a stand in her town's market, which she does in order to pay the economic expenses at home.

Our Kiva Club gave her a loan because we thought that she needs help in tight times but will repay money quickly. She likes selling vegetables because she learned to sell vegetables with her mother as a young girl. Also, Maria considers her business to be worthwhile because there are always large numbers of clients in the market looking for these products.

Her future goal is to be able to have a greater quantity of merchandise to go beyond the competition in the market, thereby improving her income. This is her ninth Kiva loan and she hopes to receive more to continue working with dedication and responsibility on her payments because it is an excellent way for her and her family to move forward.

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Immigrant Children

Immigrants are trying to get into Italy and other countries off
the coast of the Mediterranean Sea.
  Below is a poem of how a girl from Africa feels on the way to Italy

Salty clear drops

Run down my face

Mixing with sand

That is all over the place


There is no where to sit

Must stand for days

No food for hours

Not one of my lucky days


The wood rocks under my feet

Bracing myself for a terrible defeat

A long way to stand on this smelly boat

But I still have hope


As a child of eleven

All I want

Is a better life

For my friends and me


All I must go through

My life at stake

There is no way to know

If I will see land again


Hope is with us all

An adventure awaits

I will make it

To a better place


one wants a better life at some point.
  Even though we all want one, I think she needs it more than
you and me.
  Do you need a better
  Before you answer are you
willing to risk your life for it?
Well risking your life is a lot, but those immigrants are doing it, and are getting no where close to what you and me have already.  But a little to us, it is a lot to them.  So now answer. Do you think you need a better life?




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Poverty’s Real . . . You Can Help!

Imagine not having fresh water, or shelter, or even health care—the necessities that everyone needs to live with.  Imagine living in Zimbabwe, where the GDP per capita is $200.

Are YOU OK with that? 


Imagine living in Angola, where about 200 of every 1,000 babies die every year. 

Are YOU OK with that?

Imagine people living without what they need right this second. Imagine people dying right this minute.

Now imagine helping those people who are less fortunate than we are. 

We're doing that through Kiva, a program where you can lend to other people from all over the world who need money to start or maintain a business.  The great thing is that the money always comes back to us so that we can loan it out again.

Here's how it works:

  1. We raise money a bunch of different ways. We sell bumper stickers, we take donations, we have service projects like movie night, we recruit businesses to sponsor us.
  2. Every time we are sponsored or we raise money, we make sure we make a good loan to the right person. We look at the person's Kiva loan profile, which can tell you a lot about where the person or group is from, what they are going to do with the money, and more.
  3. Each person who is looking for a loan is partnered with a financial group that makes sure that businesses pay back what they borrow.  We look at how much we want to loan, whether the bank is reliable, and if it has a sufficient delinquency rate. A delinquency rate is the percentage of the people who have paid their money back on time.
  4. When we feel like we're making a good loan, we lend the money out, and the people we make loans to give back the money in a certain amount of time. Our group, Team Kids Care, has loaned to many people—women, men, individuals, groups, South Americans, Africans, Asians—helping them, their families and their communities.

That's our mission:  To loan money to people that are less fortunate than we are and to help them live a better life for their community, for their family, and for themselves. We are some 40 people that want to help—but in a world of millions, that's not enough. 

We need your help.  By using the button below to contribute to our club, you can make a difference, help one more person, and change a life in an instant.



All of the money you donate will go into our virtual account on Kiva. When we have decided who we want to loan to, we will loan the money out to them.  Remember, just a small sum of money from a lot of people who care can make a huge difference! 

For  more information about who we make our loans to, you can continue to check out The Blurb at http://guysread.typepad.com/theblurb/.

Please donate!

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The Invasion of Lampedusa

For a while now African immigrants have been stuffing Europe to the limit. One of the main immigration targets is a tiny Italian island off the coast of Africa called Lampedusa. It’s one of the most hit migrant spots because it’s such a short distance away from Africa. Africa is so poor that their willing to risk a year’s salary to get on one of these boats that will take them to Europe:





They will either die, get caught, or (unlikely) make it there and start a better life. They have to stand on this boat for about ten days with no food or fresh water. Italy is trying to be fair about this situation and saying that they should distribute these immigrants to other countries around Europe instead of just sending them back to Africa. But before this decision happens, they’ll just have to keep sending these migrants back.


Questions to consider:


1.  Do you think this is fair to the Africans?

2.  How about to Italy?  Should Italy let immigrants stay?

3.  Do you think that immigrants should be distributed across Europe?


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Wildfires in California

"As I stepped onto the balcony I knew I had no time. I ran to my mom and told her that the mountains were on fire and smoke was everywhere. We packed up some clothes; I crabed some potographs and my diary and we left," said Abigail Carrillo. 

  California-wildfires 1  


California fires 2

Recent wildfires in the mountains of Los Angeles are getting crazy, people are leaving their homes, a lot of firefighters are trying to stop them. Thousands of firefighters have been trying to stop these wildfires but sadly the fires have claimed two firefighters lives.  More than 60% of homes and about 219 square miles of forest have been burned in California.

Firefighters aren't getting any sleep because thay are trying to stop the fires. Arnold Schwarzenegger the state's governor said, "I am trying to reassure residents." The Los Angles County  Sheriff’s Department has been looking for the person or people responsible for setting the fire which is still burning today.

 Wildfires california 2

The fire started at a ranger station so the firefighters have named this wildfire "Station Fire". This area has not had a fire in 40 years and the build up of leaves and dead trees have given this fire plenty of fuel as well as the dry air, hot temperatures and bone dry-brush. More than 12,000 structures have been threated in the wildfires. On Thursday 38% of the station fire was contained. Thousands of Californians are still waiting to go back to their homes.  

    Fun Facts

  • A way to stop a fire is by clearing out a area around the fire by removing dead plants and leaves so the fire can not easily spread.
  • A helicopter can carry a Bambi Bucket containing fire chemicals, it will drop the chemicals on the fire to help put out the fire.
  • Fire trucks have high pressured hoses that shoot water at the flames. These trucks hold about 800 gallons of water.


  • Would

you try to stop the wildfires yourself just like people in Greece did to try to save their home in Athens?

  • What would you take with you if your house was about to burn down?
    • Where would you go if your house burned down?
  • California wild fires map 1 

    Signed by, 

     Cassie Coleman

  • Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

    Is The EU Really Admitting More Refugees?

    The EU has decided that they would let more refugees into their union.  If a boat makes it to Europe than the refugees will get spread around the EU.  This is so important to look at because, last year 65,596 refugees were resettled, but the EU only took 4,378 or 6% of them.  In this new idea, the EU countries have a choice if you want to take the refugees.  The commissioner’s statement was “The EU countries would remain free to decide if they want to resettle at all, if so, how many refugees they wish to resettle". 

     This idea sounds great, but if you have a choice to take the refugees than this defeats the whole purpose.  What I am trying to say, is this plan takes the EU back to the beginning.  What I mean by beginning is, it brings the EU back to where they started before they made this new idea.   

    In my opinion, the plan is a waste and this is why, if you have the choice to choose if you want to take refugees, then only those who take the refuges all ready will do it. The plan really is trying to make the EU look better by saying they are taking in more refugees. Don’t be fooled because the EU is not taking in any more or less. You would think it the number of refugees would drop if they have a choice but those who are taking in the refugees right now, are all ready taking them in on their own free will.  For example, these countries on the map take in some refugees.


    This picture does not include the countries on the cost of them Mediterranean Sea because that is were the immigration  problem is.

    Do you think this idea is going to help the EU and refugees?  What do you think the effect would be if the government forced resettlement in all countries? 

    My answer to these questions is that this plan will not help the EU with their problem, because with the choice of resettlement the country has not gained anything, just lost time.  The government has lost time because, with this choice of resettlement, many countries who do not take in the refugees today, will also not do it later.  The only countries that will help, are the only ones who help any ways.  A better idea could be to force resettlement.

    For a better idea what about forced resettlement.  If the government did force resettlement, then I think some of the countries in the EU will try to withdraw the law or try to rebeel from the EU.  If this happens the EU has some hard problems on their hands.  What do you think?



    for more information: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8233187.stm 

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    Bullfighting in Spain, Is this right?

    I wonder if the Spainards should keep doing their bullfighting tradition, or stop torturing them?


    Posted in I Wonder | 2 Comments

    Kim Jong Crazy

    Kim jong il 1 I think North Korea's dictator is a hypocrite. I wish the North Korean's could have voted against Kim Jong IL instead of just getting stuck with him. One of the reasons I dislike Kim Jong IL is because treats his people unjustly.

    Kim Jong IL found out about a man sitting on newspapers with his face on the front cover and sent him to jail but it was like a labor camp.The guy was sentenced to  jail for 12 years and is still there now.  

    My opinion on this is that the man was treated unfairly and Kim Jong il is too prideful just like Deadulas in a myth called Wings. This is one of the reasons I dislike Kim Jong IL. I think Kim Jong IL should care more about his people and not be so self consumed that the people of North Korea suffer. I am so glad I do not live there or have to go though suffering.

      Questions to think about?

    • Does Kim Jong Il  have the right to be doing this to his people?
    • If you lived in North Korea would you try to do anything about the actions of Kim Jong IL? If you did what would you do?
    • Do you think what Kim Jong IL is doing is wrong or right? Why?

    Let's Try to HELP?

    Kim jong il 1

    Signed, Kim Jong Il's Disliker,

    Cassie Coleman

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