I came across this story when I was browsing People of the web news and I want to let you all know about a cool non-profit organization that is doing great things: Kiva.org
Kiva.org allows individuals to make $25 loans to low-income entrepreneurs in the developing world (microfinance). By doing so, individuals like you provide affordable working capital for the poor (money to buy a sewing machine, livestock, etc.), empowering them to earn their way out of poverty.
It's a new, direct and sustainable way to fight global poverty, and the way I see it, I get a higher return on $25 helping someone build a future than the interest my checking account pays.
Anyways, if you have a minute, please check out the site: http://kiva.org. If you need more "reputable" validation than my recommendation :), know that they have received great press in publications ranging from The Wall Street Journal to NPR to BusinessWeek.
Thanks for reading!