California Teen Takes a Different Approach for her "Sweet 16"

Instead of a lavish 16th birthday celebration, teen throws party to raise awareness and funds for the world’s poor

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It’s inspirational to hear about a teenager willing to give up attention and gifts and instead turn the focus to those in need,” said Premal Shah, president of Kiva.org, a non-profit group that empowers individuals to lend to entrepreneurs in the world’s

Menlo Park, CA (PRWEB) August 17, 2010

On August 21, Keara Haldeman, a teen from Menlo Park, California, will be hosting a birthday celebration for more than 100 friends as a way to raise money to provide loans to entrepreneurs in developing countries through Kiva.org. The pool party will include typical teenager party favorites, such as tacos, sodas and a DJ playing dance music, but instead of the extravagant outfits and presents, guests will be asked to make donations to help fund entrepreneurs wishing to lift themselves out of poverty.

“It’s inspirational to hear about a teenager willing to give up attention and gifts and instead turn the focus to those in need,” said Premal Shah, president of Kiva.org, a non-profit group that empowers individuals to lend to entrepreneurs in the world’s poorest areas. “I admire Keara for her long-standing commitment to make an impact on the world.”

Unlike many teenagers who throw over-the-top parties and ask for cars and expensive gifts on their 16th birthday, Keara has asked guests to donate between five and twenty-five dollars to the Menlo-Atherton High School Kiva Fund that she set up last year.

“I’ve been lending through Kiva with my allowance since I was eleven years-old,” stated Keara Haldeman, who turned 16 on August 1. “Since then I’ve funded eight entrepreneurs in countries like Togo, Guatemala, Ghana and Peru who were single wage-earners needing extra money to grow their businesses in order to support their families. I’ve funded a seamstress, a grocer and makers of soda, ice-cream and cosmetics. I thought it would be cool to use my 16th birthday party as a way to raise awareness of how we all can make an impact on the world.”

The funds raised at the party will be distributed to new entrepreneurs by members of the school’s Kiva group in September.

Press Contact:
Danika Devincenzi
408-499-8211
dndevincenzi(at)gmail(dot)com


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