Saturday, 19 November 2011

A Very Special Letter

Some of you will already be familiar with my main Web site. Its 100+ pages include free advice on sources and problem-solving techniques for family history research, plus 53,000 names from Archives records and other sources (headstones, certificates, church memorials etc) that I have indexed.

It takes a lot of time and money to create, maintain and expand the Web site, and sometimes I wonder whether it is all worthwhile. Just when I was feeling despondent, this very special letter arrived.

Dear Judy,

I've spent quite a lot of time on your site over the past few days and I would like to thank you for being so generous with your knowledge. You've been a great help. As a beginner, it's not easy to work it all out. Please accept my small donation [$25] to your collection for charity.

Warm regards,

Robyn S.
[for privacy I won't show her surname]

Isn't that beautiful?! Robyn could not have imagined how much her letter would mean to me.

If you have heard about the Genealogists for Families project, you will know that $25 is the exact sum needed to make a loan through Kiva, a non-profit microlending organisation. The borrower I chose to support with Robyn's donation is Vilma in the Philippines. She is 39 years old, separated, and has nine children. Her shop sells canned goods, snacks and beverages. Next year when Vilma repays the money, I will lend it to someone else. That will happen over and over again, and Robyn's $25 will do much more good than a one-time donation!

Right now our 'Genealogists for Families' Kiva lending team has 91 members in 9 countries, and we are helping 147 small family businesses all over the world. The numbers are growing rapidly, and our small loans are making a big difference to families in low income areas. Please join us!


  1. What a wonderful way to say thanks.

  2. Judy so many of us are grateful for your knowledge, tips, books and indexes. I'm sure from where you stand it all seems a bit of an effort at times but believe me you are appreciated, and your legacy of genealogist for families is just one example!

  3. Thanks for your comments, Jill and Pauleen. I always feel more enthusiastic after I've caught up on sleep and had a break away from genealogy for a couple of days! I have heard from Robyn, who wrote that lovely letter, and she approves of my decision and intends to join Kiva after Christmas.


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