Heads up! Starting on the morning of 4/4/12, Google Offers will be selling a $10 Starbucks Card for only $5. If you haven’t signed up for Google Offers alerts, be sure to do it now as the offer is only going to be good for Google Offers subscribers (don’t worry, it’s free and you can unsubscribe right after!)
For those of you who haven’t heard about Google Offers, it’s basically Google’s shameless rip-off of Groupon But I gotta say that a lot of Google’s offers are pretty good from time to time, and this one is no exception. Not only do you get a $10 Starbucks card for your $5, but Google Offers will also be donating $3 to the Opportunity Finance Network for the “Create Jobs for USA Fund”. This is an organization that provides loans to community businesses to help create and sustain jobs right here in the US.
What makes organizations like Opportunity Finance Network so special is that it’s not like the government bureaucracy where they take tax money and dole it out to people living in poverty. In some cases, this is a wonderful thing, especially when the recipients are elderly or disabled and truly have difficulty making ends meet. But in some cases this is a terrible thing, when people in poor communities who otherwise are strong and able to work don’t have any opportunities and end up getting dependent on government handouts, which causes a cycle that crushes their self-esteem and motivation (as someone who spent a good 8 months collecting unemployment, believe me when I say I know what I’m talking about).
This organization does something different, they loan money to community development financial institutions with a very strict rule about how the money is spent: it will go to small businesses in poor areas that create new jobs. This starts a cycle of an altogether different kind. It helps people who can work get back to work, producing new goods and services that create new value in the economy and help their local communities. For the workers themselves, being productive and working helps create in them new feelings of self-worth, self-esteem, and motivation. The money they earn is used to support their families. In most cases, this means they in turn spend in the community, helping other businesses thrive. So instead of taking money from a shrinking pool of government handouts, they’re bringing in new tax revenue for our friends in Washington to spend.
So keep an eye on this great deal. It’s not often that the $3 from your $5 goes so long a way. And of course, consider donating directly to the OFN to break the cycle of government dependence and help those in our neediest communities grow and become self-sufficient.