Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and I am still trying to work off those extra pounds from the holiday and the super bowl party last weekend. I really don’t need a tempting box of fancy chocolates or a lavish meal at an extravagant restaurant. Lately, I have been thinking about how can I bring more meaning to a day that has become yet another opportunity to show affection and commitment through expensive presents and bouquets of flowers.

You don’t have to look far to figure that one out. People need help all year long.  We feel good about ourselves during the holidays when we buy a gift for a needy child or serve a holiday meal at a shelter. Why stop there when you can partner with a worthy charity like Mentors International all year long?

According to last year’s “Valentine’s Day Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey” by the Retail Advertising and Marketing Association, the annual Valentine’s Day spending reached over $19 billion. The amount the average American spends on Valentine’s Day is over $147. That is about the amount of a small, life changing micro-loan.

Here are four ways to involve Mentors International to help you celebrate Valentine’s Day with more meaning this year.

Instead of going out to dinner, stay in and cook a special meal for your loved ones.  Consider donating the money you saved to Mentors International. The money you donate will help lift a worthy entrepreneur out of poverty and allow a mother to feed her family for years to come.

Rather than a buying a bouquet of flowers, donate to a farmer in Guatemala.  Your donation will continue to give back as the months go by; those flowers will droop in just a few days. Meet Enrique Lopez Morales. Enrique is an optimistic entrepreneur who continues to set high goals and strive to do things better. He, along with his wife and four children have a small farm and produce stand in Huehuetenenago, Guatemala. His crops and his business have grown rapidly since that first loan.

Enrique thanks Mentors International for giving him the right help, at the right time. He hopes that Mentors International will always be there to continue to provide future loans and guidance. He wants Mentors to know that they can always put their trust in him, and that he will be a good steward of the loan money that has been entrusted to him. Read his full story and more like his.

Instead of a romantic weekend away, your donation can help people so they can one day own their own homes. The factory where Jocelia Barsaga was working in the Philippines unfortunately closed due to bankruptcy. Using her dressmaking and sales experience, she and her husband ventured into a small clothes-making business after qualifying for a loan from Mentors Philippines. Now she has a very stable income and recently purchased four house and lot units, three of which function as her production area.  The other unit serves both as her residence. Read her full story and more like this.

Spend time with your kids this day. Read them a story, or better yet have them read you a story. Be grateful that your kids have the opportunity to attend school and get such a great education. Many of our entrepreneurs who have successfully gone through our program are now able to send their children to college.

For more valentine’s day inspiration, read the moving stories of our entrepreneurs who have been able to become self-reliant. Because of the support and love that was shared with us last year we were able to help over 300,000 individuals and families through our programs of mentoring, business skills training, and financial inclusion.

I invite you to share some love this Valentine’s Day! Consider a donation to support other entrepreneurs like Jocelia to help train and improve their businesses. When placed in the loan fund, your gift becomes perpetual, and will bring hope and self-reliance to families all over the world.

The need is still great, and we are looking at expanding into more cities. Your valentine’s donation would have a lasting impact for years to come. Much more meaningful than some chocolates or flowers. Make a difference this valentine’s day and donate to Mentors International. Thank you for your generous heart.

Make a donation in the name of your Valentine and Mentors International will send them a handwritten note letting them know of your thoughtfulness.

Let me know how you plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year!

Mark Petersen

Help us Transform Generational Poverty
into Sustainable Self-Reliance

Through our proven programs of personal and business development, each $1 donated creates $5 of economic impact in developing countries where we serve.

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