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Post written by Sarah Donaghy, Heifer International community volunteer coordinator. Photos taken at the 2011 Living Gift Market in Hot Springs Village, Arkansas, by Sutheera Phimolthitikul, Heifer Thailand administrative manager.

The outrage of hunger amidst plenty will never be solved by “experts” somewhere.  It will only be solved when people like you and me decide to act.  - Frances Moore Lappé 

Such true words from a woman who dedicates herself to taking action for causes that matter to her.  What matters to you?  Since you’re reading this blog, it’s probably safe to say that you, like Ms. Lappé, are interested in ending hunger, as well as ending poverty and caring for the Earth.  That’s the mission of Heifer International, and it bears repeating: to work with communities to end hunger and poverty and care for the Earth.  Further, we envision a world of communities living together in peace and equitably sharing the resources of a healthy planet.  Sounds good, eh?! 
As we find ourselves in the thick of holiday hustle and bustle and approaching a new year, there is no better time to reflect on what matters to us and how we want to take action toward those causes. One such action is volunteering, and it just so happens that the United Nations has declared today International Volunteer DayVolunteering with Heifer is a great way to demonstrate your commitment to ending hunger and poverty and caring for the Earth.  Our volunteers educate the public about the issues of hunger, poverty, and environmental degradation and inspire people to take action to solve these problems. 
Heifer’s Community Volunteers promote Heifer by raising awareness and raising funds by sharing the Heifer story with schools, congregations, and civic groups and by representing Heifer at conferences, benefits, and other events in their own regions.  Heifer’s Learning Center Volunteers deliver education programs, care for livestock and gardens, and provide administrative and physical support at one of three specific sites: Heifer Ranch in Perryville, Arkansas; Heifer Village in Little Rock, Arkansas; or Overlook Farm in Rutland, Massachusetts.  Presently, both Community Volunteers and Learning Centers Volunteers are organizing and staffing alternative giving markets across the country, which offer visitors the opportunity to learn more about Heifer’s work around the world and to purchase gifts of food- and income-producing livestock benefit resource-poor communities around the world in honor of friends and family near and dear.  Last month, the Heifer Club in Hot Springs Village, Arkansas, hosted their annual Living Gift Market in support of Heifer, raising more than $40,000 and hundreds of new fans for the organization.
When you volunteer with Heifer, you are actively cultivating a world of communities living together in peace and equitably sharing the resources of a healthy planet.  In honor of International Volunteer Day, learn more about getting involved with Heifer by visiting www.heifer.org/volunteer.

Author

Brooke Edwards

Brooke Edwards is from Little Rock, Arkansas, and started working at Heifer International in 2009 as a writer. She has a master's in social work and a bachelor's degree in psychology. She is married, a mother of two, and a wannabe urban farmer, raising her own chickens and killing most of her vegetable crops.