I was leisurely going about my day today, when I stumbled across: Kiva.
Looking through the site reminded me that the easiest way to get over myself, and all the boo hoos that come and go, is to help others!
Briefly, Kiva is all about providing small loans to disadvantaged people all over the world. You can loan as little as $25 to a small business owner (think pig farmers, tour guides, basket weavers). They use the loan to set up, or cover the expensives of, running their business, creating an income stream to support themselves and their family. Once they are up and running, they begin to pay back the loan. Check out this article about them in Fortune 500.
What I love about microfinance is that it is sustainable. If you can spare $25 you can loan that to one impoverished person, who can break the poverty cycle in their family's lives - then pay it back, so you can then loan it to another person! There are BILLIONS of people living in abject poverty all over the world, but if we ALL, every one of us, chip in with whatever we can, we can definately make a lasting difference.
Another fantastic (Australian) microfinance organisation that I know of is Opportunity International. To date, they have almost 1 378 527 clients from developing nations that they have provided small loans to! You can donate as little as $50 towards their projects.
As for me, I'm going home to do some maths and will be making my first batch of loan soon!