Cynthia Larsen - Sonoma County Real Estate Broker


$2.07 Closer to Keeping a Promise

I love helping people. And when helping someone a great deal only requires an unsecured loan of $25.00, it pleases me to no end when I see a loan payment land in my bank account. Today, $8.27 has been repaid including the $2.07 I received this morning.

The loan I am referring to is a micro loan through an organization called Kiva. Azar, a locksmith and blacksmith, needed a loan to buy metals for his business. Myself and 68 others pooled our money together (through Kiva) and loaned Azar $1,975.00. He has made every payment on time and has paid 33% of the loan amount.

Azar lives in Azerbaijan, is 24 years old with a wife and a 6 month old son. His business is thriving because of the micro loans that have been made possible through Kiva. To date, I have loaned the same $25.00 to 4 different businesses ... it just keeps coming back!

Want to help out someone too? Visit and search for the next lucky entrepreneur.


Azar from Azerbaijan



Cynthia Larsen (707-332-2560) is an independent broker and owner of Safe Haven Realty in Sonoma County, California. Visit to view available homes for sale and to learn more about this beautiful wine country destination.

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Comment balloon 15 commentsCynthia Larsen • March 16 2012 03:09PM


That was a great story.  Sometimes all it takes is to give someone a chance for them to excell.

Posted by Vern Eaton, Realtor 320-630-6995 over 3 years ago

I have heard about micro loans.  It is nice to see the concept effectively applied.

Posted by Jeff Jensen over 3 years ago

I will check that out.  Seems harmless enough to risk $25.00. 

Posted by Tammy Lankford, Your Lake Sinclair Expert (706-485-9668) (Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668) over 3 years ago

Vern - the folks in these Countries are so poor ... what we pay for a cup of Starbucks goes a long way there.

CHM - Kiva does a great job of pooling these micro loans. It is such a great idea for a great cause.

Tammy - I started with $25.00 about three years ago, I have never NOT been re-paid. It's a lot of fun to read about the person you loan $$$ to and to find out how they are doing.

Posted by Cynthia Larsen, Independent Broker Serving Sonoma County, CA (Safe Haven Realty) over 3 years ago

That's really cool.  I love reading good news stories like this for a change.  I'm so tired of negativity everywhere.

Posted by Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker, Northern VA (Long and Foster REALTORS®, Manassas, VA) over 3 years ago

This is a great program and it really helps those who need it on their level!!  

Posted by Carla Muss-Jacobs, Principal Broker/Owner, Buyer Focused ~ Buyer Results ( | (503) 810-7192 Portland Metro Exclusive Buyers Agent | 100% Buyer Representation ~ 100% of the Time) over 3 years ago

Cynthia, Kiva is one program we haven't gotten to YET, but it's on the list.  Good to see the impact, and everything we've read indicates the payback rate on these programs is absolutely phenomenal.

Posted by Liz and Bill Spear, RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton) (RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 over 3 years ago

Chris Ann - Kiva is a good news story that doesn't quit. I have always been paid back my $25.00 and I keep loaning it out again. I've never had so much fun and satisfaction loaning money.

Carla - $25.00 can go a long way in a Country unlike our own. Saddens me to think about it.

BLiz - I've gotten every cent back, every time. The "interest" on my loans is the satisfaction of seeing these entrepreneurs survive in desolate Countries. Please check it out, it's worth it. AND, the Geography lesson is a plus :)

Posted by Cynthia Larsen, Independent Broker Serving Sonoma County, CA (Safe Haven Realty) over 3 years ago

You made my heart smile with your kindness. Thank you!

Posted by Paul S. Henderson, Realtor, Tacoma Washington, Tacoma Washington Agent/Broker & area authority! (RE/MAX Professionals.) over 3 years ago

Cynthia, I've heard about the organization just recently and it sounds definitely worth checking out.

Posted by Kathy Sheehan, Senior Loan Officer (Cross Country Mortgage Corporation 770-634-4021) over 3 years ago

Thanks, Cynthia. I have heard of this but have not checked it out until I read your blog. Thank you for the inspiration. Since 75% of the people in povery are women, I am supporting that particular demographic through:

Posted by Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents, Put 40 years of experience to work for you (Lyon Real Estate) over 3 years ago

Hey Paul, thanks for stopping by!

Kathy - I've never had so much fun with $25.00 before.

Elizabeth - I keep alternating between the genders ... these folks work really hard for a living, I'm amazed.

Posted by Cynthia Larsen, Independent Broker Serving Sonoma County, CA (Safe Haven Realty) over 3 years ago

Who ever thought up the concept of microloans deserves a medal Cynthia. It's a great way to assist people who have the motivation but lack the resources to get ahead.

Posted by Malcolm Johnston, Trenton Real Estate (Century 21 Lanthorn Real Estate LTD., Trenton, Ontario) over 3 years ago

Hi Cynthia,

I just read about about this on a post from Gary Coles. What a wonderful idea and giving back is what it is all about. I work for Keller Williams and we have a nationwide program called KW Cares. We can designate money right out of our commissions to go into this pool. Then when there is a natural disaster like a hurricane, major flooding, etc. the moneys go to help the people all over the country. A lot of small amounts going into a big pot makes a large sum of money. I see this KIVA program is like that. I am going to have to check it out today. Thanks!

Posted by Kristin Hamilton CA Realtor, (909) 557-6966, CDPE, SFR, CHS-Redlands/Loma Linda (Keller Williams Realty) over 3 years ago

Malcolm - Kiva does deserve a medal for all they do, you are right!

Kristin - I've heard that Keller Williams is very generous, what a breath of fresh air!

Posted by Cynthia Larsen, Independent Broker Serving Sonoma County, CA (Safe Haven Realty) over 3 years ago

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