Super awesome Rylee Forde (blue t-shirt centre) and Hannah McLean (orange t-shirt centre) are surrounded by their friends who helped collect donations of over $300 to loan to entrepreneurs in impoverished countries.  They decided to do this as part of their birthday party theme in lieu of presents.  Not bad for two seven year olds.

Super awesome Rylee Forde (blue t-shirt centre) and Hannah McLean (orange t-shirt centre) are surrounded by their friends who helped collect donations of over $300 to loan to entrepreneurs in impoverished countries. They decided to do this as part of their birthday party theme in lieu of presents. Not bad for two seven year olds.

It’s not your size, but the size of your heart that matters

What do two seven year olds do when they are preparing for a birthday party? Do they dream about presents, cake and balloons? Do they make a big list of friends to invite?

  • Jun. 29, 2011 12:00 p.m.

Hannah McLean and Rylee Forde did a little bit of that, but they also did something exceptional that is not thought of as a usual theme for a birthday party.  The two girls created a remarkable idea (with a little help from their moms) that entailed enlisting some like-minded “Sooper Osum” (Super Awesome) donators.  Their theme revolved around helping others through a non-profit organization called Kiva.

Kiva is set up through the internet at  Its mission is to loan money to entrepreneurs in impoverished countries.  For as little as $25, anyone with a computer and a Paypal account can be a financier to an individual looking for a loan to advance their economic state.  The loan will help the entrepreneur become self-sufficient.

The key concept of loaning the money rather than just giving it out has been met with an extremely positive response.  Lenders are able to go to the website and pick out the person they would like to loan money to based on their profile.  They can loan whatever amount they would like and watch through online updates the aftermath.  The neat thing about Kiva is the extremely high success rate for loan repayment.

Once the loan is repaid to the lender, the lender can choose to  withdraw the principal or loan it out again to someone else.  A loan can buy someone a sewing machine to start up a tailoring business.  It can buy an individual an animal that produces milk and cheese.  The business ideas are as diverse as the lenders who take the plunge to help out.

“I have done a loan through Kiva already,” said Hannah’s mom Lisa, “and it is really neat watching the results.  When I mentioned the idea to Hannah, she was quite excited about it.”

“I wasn’t sure what Rylee would say,” said mom Nicki Forde.  “I thought Rylee might say “that’s lame mom,” but she was all for it.”

“I am really proud of the girls,” Forde continued.  “It is not every kid that would want to do something like this at their birthday party.  The cool thing is how much money they have collected.”  At last count, the donations were at $306 with more still to come in.

The girls brought a box to put donations in and it was pretty well stuffed by the end of the party.  “I am really glad Lisa suggested this,” Forde stated.”  The cake, balloons, presents and friends were all there.  There was just a few less presents and just as much fun.  The small and mighty group proved that the size of the person doesn’t matter just the size of their heart.  Rylee, Hannah and their friends really are sooper osum.


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