Divine Chocolates

DCL

A selected list of Valentine's Day gifts being given across the nation: Roses, box of chocolates roses, sappy card, roses, box of chocolates, roses, diamond jewelry, box of chocolates, roses, nothing, roses, and a box of chocolates bought with an investment in the world's working poor made in your loved one's name.

Which of those stands out? No, not the diamond jewelry—unless you're one of those Wall Street bigwigs that just awarded himself a fat bonus, there probably won't be too much of that around this V-Day.

Invest With Your Heart

No, it's the box of chocolates and the Invest With Your Heart program from MicroPlace that stands out. Heads up gents—this is a chance to generate some genuine 'awwws' and impressed smiles. Unless, of course, you're dating a cold, cold wench. And ladies, even that beer-bellied schlub of a man you're dating will feel good about an investment in the world's poorest economies. I should know—I got one for Christmas, and let me tell you, me and my beer belly felt pretty good about it.

So how does it work exactly? Invest With Your Heart is a program where you can make an investment of $20 dollars or more with MicroPlace and they'll send you a box of chocolates. But not just any box of chocolates. It's from MicroPlace.

"A specially wrapped box of fair trade chocolate hearts from Divine Chocolate—co-owned by a fair trade farming co-op of microfinance borrowers in Ghana—along with a personalized gift card highlighting the impact of microfinance."

But the chocolates aren't the important part; they're symbolic. If you're unfamiliar with the concept of microfinance, looking into MicroPlace is a good way to get acquainted. The basic idea is to promote and stimulate small businesses, especially in impoverished areas around the world, by investing money in them via brokers like MicroPlace and making microloans.

The best part is, other than providing much needed funding to fledgling or struggling business, it's not a donation— it's an investment. Your better half may very well see a solid return on your donation. So change it up this Valentine's Day, and invest green to help out those who're working hard to break free of poverty.