Are you searching for that last-minute gift to fill your Easter basket? Why not give chicks or rabbits or a goat?
Photo by Olivier Asselin
Through Heifer, the gift of livestock and training can help “hatch hope” with a family living in hunger and poverty. A gift to Heifer is a hand up to a family in need. Along with animals, recipients receive training in animal husbandry, sustainable agriculture, nutrition, gender equity and more. But it doesn’t end there.
By Passing on the Gift®, each Heifer recipient becomes a donor when they pass on the skills and training they’ve received as well as their animal’s first born to another family in need. This cycle of hope lasts long beyond the chocolate and Easter eggs.
Whether you’re filling an Easter basket for a child or an adult, a gift to Heifer is a great way to spread hope this Easter.
This Easter, Heifer is offering families a unique twist on the usual Easter basket goodies of chocolate and plastic eggs – a gift that will change lives. Think about a donation of a flock of chicks, a trio of bunnies or little lamb to love for a family in need — gifts that will bring joy and also lift a family out of poverty.
Take, for example, the story of Teju Thapa, a remarkable woman from a remote village in Nepal. She was the recipient of two nanny (female) goats and a billy (male) goat. In a very short time those three have multiplied into 13 healthy goats. In addition to selling the goat milk she uses the manure and turns it into organic fertilizer for her gardens and fruit trees.
Heifer livestock donations are a unique and heartfelt way to honor the Easter spirit of sharing and caring. Each animal, along with extensive training, is donated to a family in need, providing them with better nutrition and marketable products. As the animals grow and reproduce, the family’s livelihood improves and they become benefactors themselves when they fulfill the commitment to “Pass on the Gift” of their animal’s offspring to another family.
Once a week we will be featuring a fun and/or educational activity you can try at home or in the classroom.
Most of you who celebrate Easter have taken part in the time-honored, yet messy, tradition of dyeing Easter eggs. Try a new twist this year, and dye some carnations to brighten someone’s day and learn a little in the process about how a plant absorbs water and where it goes.
For this activity, you’ll need:
6 white carnations
6 plastic cups
Food coloring (red, blue, and green work well)
Fill each cup half full with water.
Add about 20-30 drops of food coloring to each cup of water. In this case, more food coloring is better!
Before placing any of the flowers in the colored water, trim the stem of each flower at an angle to create a fresh cut.
Place one freshly cut white carnation in each of the cups of colored water. Make some predictions: Which color will be soaked up first? How long will it take?
You’ll want to check back every few hours to see how things are progressing. It may take as much as 24 hours for the colored water to work its way up to the white petals.
At the conclusion of your experiment, remember to examine the whole plant carefully, including the stems, leaves, buds and petals, to find every trace of color.
If you want to go natural (which we at Heifer International strongly encourage), try these websites for tips on how to make dyes with food products:
How does it work?
Most plants “drink” water from the ground through their roots. The water travels up the stem of the plant into the leaves and flowers, where it makes food. When a flower is cut, it no longer has its roots, but the stem of the flower still drinks up the water and provides it to the leaves and flowers.
If the water a plant uses to grow was polluted, would that affect the plant? In what ways?
You can find this activity (courtesy of Steve Spangler Science) and others in the Classroom Resources section of Heifer International’s website.
Don’t forget to let us know how it works for you in the comments.
Me, 25 years ago, with my Mountain Dew and a college friend. I've been a longtime fan.
Lent is quickly coming to an end and I bet you all have been wondering if I stuck to my Lenten sacrifice of no Mountain Dews.
Well… I am happy to say that I have successfully abstained. Admittedly, it was pretty hard the first week or two or three but I survived the headaches and found other ways to supplement my caffeine habit. I was even able to cut down drastically on caffeine and sodas in general. Something I hope to stick to even after Easter.
And… I’m feeling great about it, physically and emotionally. Throughout my life, I’ve given up a variety of things for Lent, even Mountain Dew in past years, and this was absolutely the easiest time I’ve had. Whenever I found myself craving a Mountain Dew I immediately thought of the $1.50 that I was going to be able to put in my cup and how much that cup of change was going to help a family in need somewhere in the world.
My $1.50-a-day, $60 total gift may not seem like much, but with it I am buying three flocks of chicks. Those chicks mean there will be enough eggs to eat, sell and share, ensuring the health and well being of an entire family, and possibly even a community. I was curious to learn exactly what my chicks could do, so I searched past blog posts and and ran across this one about what a gift of chickens really did for farmers in Ghana, written by World Ark Senior Staff Writer Annie Bergman who was actually there to see it for herself.
I can’t wait ’til next year when I get to do this again.
The Hatch Hope Easter Basket, with its chickens and rabbits, offers just that to Heifer’s project partners. What can be more hopeful to a struggling farmer than a gift of fast-multiplying livestock? Rabbits are easy to care for and reproduce quickly, allowing their owners to sell the offspring for extra income once they’ve fulfilled Heifer’s Passing on the Gift promise; and chickens lay eggs and provide manure for vegetable gardens. That’s why this gift of Hope goes on and on, lasting much longer and helping more families than the usual gift basket filled with marshmallow chicks or chocolate bunnies ever could.
Are you gearing up to fill someone’s Easter basket with candies and other treats? This Easter, consider putting eggs in someone else’s basket and hatch hope for a family in need. Give different. Give Heifer.