Posts Tagged ‘Heifer Project’

Updated View: Heifer International

PR_Logo-Full_ColorIt’s been a while since I dropped in on Heifer International. They cycle onto my radar around the winter holidays because it is such a sublime fit for gift giving (give a goat, or a share of bee hives, or a portion of an ox, etc to communities of need around the world)…but of course, their calendar is jam packed with outreach, education, and great volunteer opportunities year ’round. Getting involved is an outstanding way to help eradicate hunger and poverty, and help children and families become self-reliant.

The beauty of the Heifer model is that it provides tangible, life-changing gifts to families…livestock (a Heifer or one of many other options–also shares in an animal in case you can’t plunk down the donation to fund one in its entirety), trees, bees, education, small business funds, clean water access, and so many more categories…and part of the structure includes passing on the gift to others. The recipients of your offering donate offspring of the donated animal to another family, as well as the education on care. It is built in to keep the giving going. I truly love that! This practice of passing on the gift means your impact is multiplied by as much as nine times! Thus far, Heifer has reached 20.7 million families. More than 105 million children, women, and men are on the road to more sustainable living due to the giving and support of folks like you.

It just so happens that TODAY, August 22, is a big event for them: the third annual “Beyond Hunger: A Place at The Table” gala, to support and empower marginalized women, in Beverly Hills. Dang, I clearly need to check their calendar more often…Next Year!

Seeds of Change: Heifer International Closer to Home

I’ve been a big fan of the Heifer Project for some time (using their catalog for holiday shopping is a must for me), even before they changed their name to Heifer International. Now, recognizing the difficulty so many Americans have faced in getting through these past few years, Heifer is turning attention homeward to impoverished American communities like Appalachia and the Arkansas Delta. The new Seeds of Change program helps revitalize family farms and create new food-based businesses. So many regions in this country have fertile land but fallow economies, and today’s economies and year-round agricultural importing are making small-scale farming a losing proposition. If you truly NEED strawberries and grapes in February, then you bring them in from South America and pay the price, not just in dollars, but also in fuel and carbon footprint. Nature didn’t really intend for you to have those berries…and waiting for local produce makes seasons a celebration. Eating and shopping locally is a huge boon to your community and our planet. It is ironic that residents of these potentially abundant agri-zones are malnourished. Seeds of Change will help boost nutrition and local economies. This investment in the future is connecting providers with suppliers in innovative new ways, and training a new generation to fulfill local need. In addition to revitalizing small-scale farming, Seeds of Change is building community school gardens to nourish the appetite for learning as well as for nutritious food. Find out more and celebrate your neighbors. In addition to supporting Seeds of Change, consider volunteering with Heifer via some of these opportunities. I am a firm believer that we are all global neighbors, and the problems of any are the problems of all…and I also understand that having an impact close to home has a special kind of reward.

Pass On the Good With Heifer

Tanzania Donkeys-Heifer International/Darcy Kiefel

Are you familiar with Heifer International? They are the phenomenal organization with which you “buy” an animal or flock/herd of animals that is given to a family or community in need. You can give anything from a water buffalo to a baby chick. Different animals are available in different regions where they can thrive and the recipient family can thrive. Raising bees or cattle doesn’t automatically work everywhere, so Heifer makes sure the families are set up for success…and from nowhere, because of you, they suddenly have wool or eggs or milk and fertilizer and…a brand new level of viability.

NOW, we can travel with Heifer International on “Study Tours.” Currently focused on African communities, you go to a project site and learn from the local experts on the ground how the Heifer Project works in action. Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda, Zimbabwe, and Senegal all have study tour possibilities. A capper of this deep immersion experience is the “Passing on the Gift” ceremony where past recipients of animal gifts, whose animals have given birth to babies, then pass on the gift of livestock to another family in the community. It is watching your work spread in a very real way.