Lender spotlight: 12-year-old raises $400 for Kiva

When 12-year-old Hewett Polliack was asked what he wanted to do for his bar mitzvah project, he knew he wanted to pursue his interests of “business, invention and helping people succeed.” With that in mind and with the help of his parents, Hewett set out to raise money for Kiva loans through a bake sale at his local temple where he was participating in the Jewish coming-of-age ritual.

For the bar mitzvah process, young people will often take on a charity or community service project. After Hewett heard his mother talk about Kiva’s mission to crowdfund microloans for underserved communities, he knew that was the cause that he wanted to support. Now, after earning a massive $400 through his bake sale, Hewett certainly has a plan for the profits.

“I would like to donate the money to an impoverished area where there aren't a lot of businesses,” Hewett explained. “I want my donation to have a huge impact in a specific area, so that the donation will help the person I am donating to, and so that the whole community will thrive as well.”

The bake sale was wildly successful. But in the end, it was the generosity of the Kiva community that surprised the young lender.

“The bake sale went great, and the customers responded positively and with enthusiasm about Kiva,” Hewett said. “The people that knew of Kiva already donated the most generously.”

While Hewett isn’t sure yet which borrowers he will fund, he’s enjoying browsing around Kiva.org and exploring the possibilities. Hewett shines as an example of how diverse (and young!) Kiva’s generous lenders can be, sharing their successes with small loans.

“I like Kiva, because it is about creating business and opportunity,” Hewett said. “Everyone should have access to what it takes to succeed.”

Click here to follow Hewett’s lead and make a loan on Kiva.org.

About the author

Casey Miller

Casey Miller is the content and media coordinator at Kiva in the Portland offices. She began her journey with Kiva as a New Media and Branding intern in the summer of 2019 before continuing on as the content and media coordinator, now managing Kiva's social media accounts and the Kiva blog. Casey graduated from the University of Oregon with a B.A. in Journalism, and still uses this journalistic background in her storytelling at Kiva. With a passion for travel and cultural exchange, Casey seeks to spread the stories of our cultures and communities for those whose voices are often ignored.