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Heifer supporter and actress Jane Kaczmarek took Eli the Sheep on the Wendy Williams Show today to help illustrate alternative giving through Heifer.
Thanks, Jane, Wendy and Eli, for spreading Heifer’s mission!
As a member of the Social Media Team at Heifer I have a fun task of reading tweets from our wonderful donors and supporters who help spread the word about our mission, especially during the holiday season. This holiday season, it’s been extremely fun watching all of the actors and celebrities join in on the Heifer holiday spirit. (This could be because I’m a closet celebrity lover. I’m guilty of choosing the longest line at the supermarket just so I have time to read a gossip magazine … or two.)
So far our list of celebrities who have tweeted us include: Patricia Heaton, Adrian Grenier, Ed Asner, Lauren Bush, Mia Farrow, Ashley Judd, Joe Mantegna, Eva Amurri, Janie Bryant and Serinda Swan.
Each celebrity has picked their favorite Heifer gift for the holidays. Ashley Judd loves bees, Patricia Heaton has chosen sheep, and Adrian Grenier has trees at the top of his list.
Even though Ed Asner is pictured to the right with a goat, his animal of choice this year is water buffalo.
Celeb Tweets We Love:
Almost forgot! It’s #CyberMonday, I’m giving sheep through@Heifer! hefr.in/utglcl One of many gift ideas I’ll be tweeting!
Llamas rarely make it on top 10 gift lists–but they make mine! @Heiferhefr.in/vVERlC
I’m skipping the #BlackFriday shopping this year – I’m giving through @Heifer instead: hefr.in/rDK83N
Who needs #BlackFriday shopping lines? I’m giving pigs through @Heifer this holiday season! hefr.in/tmpnOe
It’s been a lot of fun so far watching all the celebs share their support to our organization. I think I’m going to join Patricia this year with sheep. Which celebrity will you team up with?
Heifer International’s projects in Cambodia got a special visit from a Hollywood actress recently. Serinda Swan is the star of the A&E drama Breakout Kings, and she’s also a big Heifer supporter. She was adventurous enough to travel to some rural villages in the Svay Chrum district, where she visited families whose living conditions have been improved with gifts of chickens and pigs from Heifer.
Serinda supports Heifer International because it connects her interest in animals with her concern about global poverty. She says, “Being able to go on a trip into the countryside with Heifer International was an amazing experience for me. The work that they do is so diverse and vast it blew me away.”
Serinda says she was especially touched to witness a Passing On the Gift® ceremony, where families who had received Heifer animals passed on the first offspring to other needy families. She says it was amazing to witness the generosity that was expressed, and to know that each Heifer gift was multiplying in the community.
Serinda visited a children’s group where village children learn about responsible living. “They sang and taught me how to play some of their instruments. I may need to come back a few times to master them,” Serinda jokes. “But their hearts were so big and welcoming, I felt right at home.”
Serinda also saw a reading group made up mainly of women. As part of its projects, Heifer conducts training in skills like literacy, community leadership, and building small businesses. Serinda says it was impressive to see how group members participated and encouraged each other.
“There is so much more Heifer is doing than just supplying people with animals,” she says. “It’s wonderful to see.”
Serinda is now back in the United States working to raise awareness of hunger and deprivation. She says her visit to the Heifer Cambodia project was eye opening and reinforced her respect for Heifer’s sustainable community development.
“I plan on going back next year and visiting everyone again,” Serinda says. “I cannot wait to see how far they have come, with the courage and determination that I witnessed.”
by Heifer Creative Director Bill Fitzgerald
Bill (right) with Gary Levox and Jay Demarcus of the Rascal Flatts
Recently, Heifer received a free space in the “gifting suite” for the American Century Championship golf tournament at Lake Tahoe. Pro athletes (and a few actors) were escorted through the suite, where they were loaded up with free schwag from 20 different brands—and Heifer. Heifer ‘s Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations Marleen New and I were able to spend a few minutes with each person to give them the Heifer “pitch.”
Marleen and Bill with actor John O’Hurley
The most common note we recorded on our cheat sheet of names and faces was “polite.” That’s code for “Are we done? I’ve got a tee time coming up.”
Looking back over my notes, I wondered why we get that reaction—not just in the gifting suite, but in the marketplace at large. (It couldn’t be our presentation—it was brilliant!) About a quarter of Americans in 2010 felt some responsibility to improve the world—down from 31 percent in 2007. The need is greater than ever, yet people often feel powerless. But these were some of the most powerful people in sports (and I mean powerful—many could bench press a heifer on an off day). But I think a lot were just information-less. We provided information (about Heifer and hunger and poverty), and in a few instances, you could see them “get it.”
With NFL Hall of Fame Wide Receiver Jerry Rice
To be honest, we made a few bona fide contacts that could help Heifer reach a wider (and different) audience. Anthony Anderson (of TV’s Law and Order fame) said “I’ll help” by naming Heifer a beneficiary at an upcoming fundraiser. (Remember, Anthony?) Lou Holtz said, “You’ll hear from us.” And to be fair, several players and coaches had their own charitable foundations (Lou Holtz, Robbie Gould, Jamie Moyer—a prince of a guy) that do good in their own right. If anything, those guys “got it” quicker and with less persuasion than the tee-timers. They’re already in the habit of trying to make a difference, and they’re already aware of the need.
With Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith
So how do we—you—make a difference? Well, sure we’d love for you to donate to Heifer. But even if you’re not a former NFL player with lucrative endorsement contracts, you can do more. You can spread information. You can learn more about hunger, poverty and their root causes. You can learn more about how Heifer addresses these issues. You’ve got your own social network: work it. Talk is cheap. Heck, it’s free. Talk to 50-60 people like we did in the gifting suite and you won’t convert all of them. But you will convert a few bona fides. And that’s all it takes to start a movement.
With Mike Eruzione, Captain of the 1980 U.S. Hockey Team
Gotta go… It’s time to tee off on hunger.
After working all day at Heifer on social media and various other tasks, I like to unwind at night by reading celebrity gossip. Yes, it’s my secret guilty pleasure that I try to keep to myself but I’ve been doing it so long that it’s just become a habit.
Checking to see which celebrities are tweeting, what they’re wearing on the red carpets, who’s breaking up and who’s going to rehab provides me with 10-15 minutes a day of a brief escape from the seriousness of life.
The only problem is that after I’ve read some of the celebrities, I start to think back to what I do at Heifer everyday and start to feel like there is a disconnect between Hollywood and what is going on in the real world.
Recently, reality celebrity Kim Kardashian received a 20.5 karat engagement ring estimated at $2 million. Now, I’m sure that’s just pocket change to her NBA basketball player fiance, but it got some of us in the office thinking…what could $2 million dollars do if donated to Heifer?
$2 Million Dollars could equal:
12,500 Chickens……………………………………….x $20 each =$250,000
5,000 Hope Gift Basket……………………………x $50 each =$250,000
1,000 Water Buffalo…………………………………x $250 each =$250,000
500 Heifers…………………………………………..x $500 each =$250,000
250 Milk Menagerie………………………………x $1,000 each =$250,000
25 Livestock Development…………………..x$10,000 each =$250,000
How many families would that help? Thousands upon thousands without a doubt. Then each one of those single gifts would multiple and be sent to another family in need. After that the second family would be able to lift their family out of poverty and hunger. What next? You now have a community who is working together, feeding themselves and providing a future for their family.
Maybe it’s time for Hollywood to realize that if they went with just a little less, that means someone who desperately needs it could have enough to survive.If Ms. Kardashian had received a ring worth $1 million and the other million donated to a chairty, think of the difference that could make.
When Heifer’s then CEO Jo Luck met Tererai during a visit to Zimbabwe, Tererai was inspired to follow her dreams of obtaining an education. Tererai made her way to the United States in 1998, and just three years later, she received her bachelor’s in agricultural education. She now holds both a master’s and a doctorate degree.
This inspiring story was featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show on Oct. 1, 2009. During today’s episode of “Oprah” – titled “Oprah’s All-Time Favorite Guest Revealed!” – Tererai received the surprise of a lifetime when Oprah announced that her foundation would give a $1.5 million grant to Save the Children to re-build the Matau Primary School, fulfilling Tererai’s dream of quality education for thousands of children in her village.
Read more about the Matau Primary School Project.
Watch a video of Tererai’s surprise on today’s Oprah Winfrey Show
by WorldLink staff
In recent weeks, we’ve shared short films from the Nourish Video Encyclopedia. Now you can watch the award-winning half-hour special on PBS. With beautiful visuals and inspiring stories, Nourish: Food + Community traces our relationship to food from a global perspective to personal action steps.
Hosted by Cameron Diaz and featuring interviews with best-selling author Michael Pollan, sustainable food advocate Anna Lappé, eco-chef Bryant Terry, pediatrician Dr. Nadine Burke, and others, Nourish asks viewers of all ages the vital question: “What’s the story of your food?”
Nourish is a national educational initiative designed to open a meaningful conversation about food and sustainability. With a distinctly positive vision, Nourish celebrates both food and community. Learn more at www.nourishlife.org.
Stay tuned for more selections from the Nourish Video Encyclopedia, a collection of short films that explore the story of our food.
Be part of the food revolution. Nourish yourself. Nourish the world.
Visit the Nourish website, and follow Nourish on Twitter and Facebook.
Nourish is a program of WorldLink, a non-profit organization dedicated to education for sustainability. Heifer International is a sponsor of the Nourish initiative.
In case you missed Secretariat co-star John Malkovich’s witty speech introducing Oscar-nominee Diane Lane in the Variety Power of Women awards on Sept. 30 in Beverly Hills, Calif., here’s a chance to enjoy it now.
Malkovich praises Lane’s work with Heifer International in his introduction and also thanked her for “teaching me that Heifer is actually spelled with only one “f”.
Get the scoop on the event on Zap2It.com. Learn more about Diane Lane’s work for Heifer International and read the World Ark article about her trip to Rwanda.
Sometimes having the hometown advantage pays off. This weekend, it did for Heifer.
Sunday morning, Kris Allen and his dad Neil stopped by Heifer International’s headquarters in Little Rock, AR, for a quiet visit with a couple of staff members. We gave him the large card (12″ X 18″) full of the well-wishes of generous fans who gave to Heifer in honor of Kris’s birthday.
Kris examined the card thoroughly, perusing the names inside. After a few minutes, he turned it over and in surprise said, “Woah. There are names on the back, too!” Yep, nearly 500 in all, I confirmed. And donations to the tune of over $26,000. The fans have spoken!
The #1 topic of conversation? How great YOU – his fans – are. What big, giving hearts you have, your loyalty and your dedication to making a difference. If you’re impressed with Kris, rest assured he feels the same way about you.
I asked Kris what he thought about your efforts to help Heifer end hunger and poverty worldwide. He said, “It’s nice to know that I’m in the position to support the causes you care about and that we can make a difference together.”
Making a difference is what Heifer’s work has centered around for over 65 years. The donations you made in Kris’s honor will help families struggling against harsh climates and dire poverty, and the animals and training they receive give them the tools to lift themselves out of those circumstances. Not only that, but Heifer recipients agree to pass on the gifts they’re given to another family, starting a cycle of hope that changes entire generations.
Because of you, Kris’s 25th birthday will make a life-changing difference for many families and communities around the world. For instance, this transformation is happening among a number of villages in Nepal’s Chitwan District. These Heifer projects are the subject of the documentary “12 Stones.” You can view a preview of this film on our YouTube channel.
You can see the card in its entirety here (PDF download). Please note that page 1 of the PDF contains the inside pages of the card, and page 2 has the outside pages.
From Kris – and from the Heifer families you helped – a HUGE THANK YOU!