A little bit goes a long way
Wikipedia defines microfinance as "the provision of financial services to low-income clients or solidarity lending groups including consumers and the self-employed, who traditionally lack access to banking and related services."
I believe microfinance is a good strategy to help others because it provides them a foundation to start their own businesses or grow existing businesses. This helps very poor households meet basic needs and protect themselves from risk. For example, in Ghana, 80% of clients of Freedom from Hunger had secondary income sources, compared to 50% for non-clients, and in India, half of SHARE clients graduated out of poverty. These are some of the reasons why I believe microfinance is a good way to help combat poverty.
I started sorting and rolling loose change, and then exchanged it for cash at the bank. I gave the cash to my father so he could then make a contribution to Kiva in the same amount, using his credit card. Kiva then lends the money to poor families who are able to repay it over time, most of the time. Once the loan is repaid, that money can be lent to others, and so on.
You can read more about microfinance on Wikipedia, and on Kiva. Or go visit my lender page on Kiva, or look at the video below to hear former president Clinton talk about Kiva.