Oct 31, 2012 KV Kiva HQ
By Camille Ricketts
Lender Spotlight: Creating American jobs, one mile at a time
This is a guest post contributed by Kiva lender Mary Lynn Halland.

On Sunday, November 4, I'll be on a mission to create jobs in the United States. How? By running the 2012 ING New York City Marathon.

Already, family and friends have been pledging $1 per mile -- $26.20 per person -- to my Kiva lending team, "Mary Lynn's Marathon Supports." Together, these pledges will enable us to make one loan per mile I run to U.S. entrepreneurs right away -- and more and more loans as these initial borrowers repay. The end goal: to help small businesses grow and hire more American workers.

Last year, for the 2011 marathon, I raised enough to make 19 loans. And since then, I've funded 6 more loans with the repayments. Unfortunately, I caught the flu five days before the race and couldn't run. But not one of my backers asked for their money back. I'm clearly blessed with wonderfully generous people in my life.

At first, my lending team planned to make loans around the world. But when one supporter suggested we focus our loans on U.S. businesses to help create jobs, something clicked. It's been our policy ever since.

So far, I've raised enough to fund 12 loans this year, and am looking forward to seeing some of my supporters along the 26.2-mile route for some much-needed encouragement.

There's still time to make a pledge to my lending team and help us hit our goal of one loan per mile! Just join "Mary Lynn's Marathon Supports" today and make a loan to a U.S. entrepreneur

Just look for the hat!

And if you're in NYC or watching the Marathon on TV, be on the lookout for me -- way at the back of the pack. While I certainly won't be setting any speed records (I hope to finish in 5.5 hours), I'm psyched to do my part to help American small businesses and even more people looking for employment. Together, we can help pull the country out of this slump and start moving forward!

Have questions about Mary Lynn's marathon campaign? Ideas for other ways to support Kiva borrowers? Send them our way at blog@kiva.org.

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Camille brings her passion for storytelling to Kiva, where she helps create and curate online content. A longtime journalist, she started her career reporting on arts and culture for the Wall Street Journal in London and New York. In 2008, she joined San Francisco-based blog VentureBeat, writing about  green technology, policy and finance. Most recently, she worked in public relations for electric vehicle maker Tesla Motors. Outside of work, Camille volunteers as a web designer for maternal health nonprofit Saving Mothers. She holds a B.A. in women's history from Stanford University, where she also served as editor in chief of The Stanford Daily.

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