Scribe Notes, April 29, 2021 (ZOOM Meeting)
By:  Hermann Welm
(There were 26 participants signed on for the meeting.)
President Chris “Top Gun” Gallagher opened the meeting and reminded us that this year’s Rotary International President is Holger Knaack from the Rotary Club of Herzogtum Lauenburg-Mölln, Germany, and his theme is “Rotary Opens Opportunities.”  
Our Greeter, PP Glen Weber, recited the Pledge of Allegiance and gave us his thoughts of the day:  “Let’s not forget to love one another;” and another one, the title of a Dolly Barton song, “Love is like a butterfly, a rare and gentle thing.” Glen noted that his computer was hacked and a dental school classmate of his (I believe it was the Class of 1932) called to ask if he was really in need of money!  They had a chance to catch up on all the old, old news (there’s a contradiction in this sentence!).
Visiting Rotarians:  None.
Guests:  Rachel Cohen, checking out the club for possible membership.  She moved to Alamo two years ago; her business is called Exceptional Senior Placement.  And our speaker, Eli Hodgson of KIVA.
Top Gun’s “News You Did Not Hear:”
Julie McKinney noted that the Alamo Women’s Club is looking for gently-used bras to send to El Salvador.  Please bring them to her if you have any to donate.
Melanie Emig announced that the Crow Canyon Country Club is currently working on a protocol to return activities to their clubhouse.  We should expect to be back there for in-person meetings, in a “hybrid” manner, in the not-too-distant future!
Karen McNamara stated that the Trinity Center clothing/sock drive that she and Kerry Richards organized had an astounding outcome. 
Top Gun advised that this year the Club’s Awards Presentation will be held earlier than usual, during the June 3rd ZOOM meeting.
Patti Hennigan announced that the remaining Cal High students who have been awarded scholarships and sashes will be receiving them this Sunday, the 2nd, at noon.  The presentations will be in front of Cal High, at the round-about.  She would like a large turn-out by club members to line the driveway and cheer on the recipients!
Recognitions:  Melanie Emig got the “Double Whammy” for both her husband’s birthday and their 13th anniversary, both dates being recognized woefully late!  Julie McKinney’s main squeeze, Bryon, had his birthday last week.  And Steve Wilcox for getting married to Gina on April 4th; they honeymooned on Maui.  Congratulations to both!
Eli Hodgson, of KIVA’s San Francisco office, was introduced.  Their motto is: Loans to Change Lives.”  Or “Dreams are Universal; Opportunity is Not!”  As the Womens Business Center of Utah describes them:  “Kiva is a platform for loans, not donations. The platform enables lenders to support entrepreneurs in their community or all over the world. The crowdlending model is how Kivai is able to meet a diverse array of microfinance needs because a loan can be made to a wide variety of business models through its flexible lending terms at a low cost to the borrower.”
This non-profit was started in San Francisco, in 2005, to serve the 1.7 Billion people in the world who are unbanked or “unbankable” with loans as small as $25 and a top limit of $15,000.  Their re-payment rate, worldwide is an extraordinary 96 percent, with 84 percent of the loans being made to women!   Since their inception, KIVA has served 3.7 million borrowers, with a total of $1.5 Billion.  The average loan size is $414.  Currently the total loans outstanding are $3.6 Million in 94 countries.  The repayment schedules offered with the loan range from 6 to 42 months.
“Field Partners” are the go-betweens from the lender to the borrower; they select the loans to be offered to on-line lenders and they collect the repayments from the borrowers.  For this they charge the borrower a low interest rate; far lower than a typical microfinance institution (MFI).   MFI interest rates are higher because they have to assume the high risk of non-payment; in KIVA’s case, that risk is assumed by the lender.
It should be noted that if you are considering becoming a lender to a U.S. borrower, the upper limit is $25,000 and the average loan size is $7,500.  The repayment rate dips to 77 percent (or 83 percent if the loan is to a woman).
Any of us can participate as a lender.  Simply go to KIVA’s website at: and select a loan that suits your interest.
Raffle:  Julie McKinney started a new round with only TEN marbles in the bag, since there are only 10 weeks left in Top Gun’s term of office (Hooooorayyyy!)  This humble Scribe won the opportunity for the draw, but Julie failed to live up to our private side-agreement and did not pick the white marble!
Next Week’s Program:   Another ZOOM meeting.  The “Educators of the Year” will be presented.   Our Greeter will be yours truly!