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1.. Make a Wish! 2… Be Grateful! 3… Spread Hope With This Giveaway!

Holiday Lights at Chateau Laurier, Winter 2009

The holiday season is in full swing and no matter what your beliefs are or what your background is, it is the time of the year to feel grateful, joyful, hopeful… and to make a wish!

And yes, there are prizes to be won!

Today, I’d like to invite everyone to enter a raffle and a giveaway:

Make a wish on Western Union Wishing Wall—you may win one of the 30 prizes of $500 each!

Enter to win one of the 6 gift cards of $25 to make a loan to an entrepreneur across the globe with Kiva, and spread hope around the world.

Create a Wish and Send the Gift of Possibility with Western Union!

This season, Western Union is holding a fun campaign to make someone’s wish come true. Residents of Canada are all invited to upload or draw a picture of a “wish” on the WU Wishing Wall Facebook page or on the WU Wishing Wall website.

Thirty lucky recipients will receive a $500 cash prize to help them achieve their dream, and make their wish come true!

To get started, download the app if you are posting your wish on Facebook, or go to the WU Wishing Wall website. There will be 2 raffle draws: on January 15, 2013 and on March 1, 2013.

May your wish come true!

Win a $25 Gift Card to Make a Loan to an Entrepreneur across the Globe with Kiva

Western Union generously offered me to “pay it forward” and to share some joy with readers of this blog with a small gift. I immediately thought of Kiva, my favourite charity.

Kiva is a non-profit organization that allows people to lend money via the Internet to people in developing countries through Kiva’s 142 partner microfinance institutions.

The the­ory is sim­ple: peo­ple in devel­op­ing coun­tries have ideas and projects but it can be very hard for them to obtain a loan to finance them because of the lack of col­lat­eral. Yet, entre­pre­neur­ship is a way to fight poverty and is a great tool for socioe­co­nomic devel­op­ment. The solu­tion would be to loan small amounts of money to found local projects, with a low inter­est rate.

As a lender, all you need to do is choose a project to help and loan as little as $25. Over the time, the entre­pre­neur repays the loan and you are cred­ited the repay­ment. You may choose to loan money again, or you can with­draw your capital.

You can read more about how Kiva works here.

I made five loans so far on Kiva. They were all repaid, and the entrepreneurs—Sonia in Peru, Emilio in Honduras, Isabel in Peru, Candida Rosa in Honduras and Hernando in Guatemala—were able to reach their goals.

Now it’s my turn to pay it forward: I’m offering six gift cards of $25 each for you to make a loan on Kiva, and spread hope around the world.

How to Enter to Win a Gift Card?

It’s easy: just share six reasons to be grateful this holiday season and link to this page. Let me know you entered by leaving a comment below, and I will draw six lucky winners on December 20, 2012.

Let me start, by sharing “Six Reasons I’m Grateful this Holiday Season”

I had an “easy” pregnancy: Even though I compared being pregnant to going through puberty all over again, I had it easy. I was able to travel to France during my first semester, to NYC when I was six months pregnant, and then to London and Nantes when I was seven months pregnant. I did yoga twice a week up to the 37th week of pregnancy, and the evening before giving birth I actually walked the 3 kilometers back from the hospital to home! (Okay, I did NOT know I would be giving birth a few hours later!).

Wish idea for the WU Wishing Wall website: If you don’t know what to wish for, make a wish for your family and loved ones!

I got the chance to be pregnant and give birth. And these were awesome experiences… people tell me I must have been delirious but I have great memories of my labour and birth—I actually enjoyed it!

Wish idea for the WU Wishing Wall website: There is so much to experience in life and in the world…! You could wish for a trip at home or abroad.

I got a baby boy! Of course, baby Mark Floyd is on my “things to be grateful for” list. This kid can drive me crazy some days but I’m in love with him. He is cute, smart, bright, funny… yep, I’m one of these “love to brag about my kid” mothers. I still can’t believe Feng and I created a new little human being from scratch!

Wish idea for the WU Wishing Wall website: Christmas is coming and I’m sure parents could make a wish for a nice surprise for their kids!

I started freelancing: Last year, I quite my position as an editor-in-chief and decided to offer my services as a freelance translator/editor/copywriter/proofreader. Of course, at the time I had no idea I would be getting pregnant and that 2012 would be such an intense year—but I don’t regret my decision. Freelancing gave me the freedom and provides the breadth of opportunities I was looking for, and little by little, I’m making it work!

Wish idea for the WU Wishing Wall website: Want to start your own business? You could wish for a “starter kit”, education or skill training!

Family and friends amazed me: One of my friends likes to say that “babies bring good things”. She is right: everyone amazed me this year. I got a lot of support from my family and friends and I couldn’t have survived without them.

Wish idea for the WU Wishing Wall website: Make a wish for a friend in need!

The blog is getting some love: I have been blogging since 2006 (!) and little by little, the readership grew and blog-related opportunities arose. I truly enjoying crafting articles and sharing stories, and getting positive feedback helps me a lot. I’m thankful for amazing readers, occasional or regular, who stop by and take the time to read Correr Es Mi Destino.

Wish idea for the WU Wishing Wall website: You could wish for traffic, inspiration… or simply spread joy by blogging about the event!

Read, set… wish and be grateful!

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