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It's Cyber Monday. Don't let your boss catch you surfing the web for the best deal on a TV. Instead, let her know you're spending your holiday savings ending world hunger. Pick a chick this Cyber Monday!

For just $20, a gift of chicks, ducks or geese can quickly turn into a sizable flock that can triple a family's income. The fowl are easily managed as they require little space, and they can help control garden pests and improve soil quality. And through Heifer's Pass on the Gift model, your gifts will continue to change communities for years to come. Can't say that about the latest e-reader, now can you?

Photo by Geoff Oliver Bugbee

Anju Chaudhary lost everything she owned when a sudden flood struck her town of Bhandara, Nepal, several years ago. Not long after, Anju's husband left the house one day and never came back. Anju suddenly found herself all alone with two little children to feed. That's when she joined a local women's group, and soon she received the gift of a chicken, which quickly produced eggs and chicks. Anju fed some of the eggs to her children and sold the rest for income. She now has 16 eggs ready to hatch. "We'll have lots of chickens soon," Anju says proudly.

One large chicken egg contains more than six grams of protein, which the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization indicates is about half the daily requirement for toddlers. Both chicken and duck eggs contain selenium, which helps build a strong immune system, and B vitamins that help convert food into energy. Plus, chickens and ducks can lay nearly 200 eggs a year.

More Land and Better Crops
Chickens, ducks and geese require little space, so families who have only small plots to farm can maximize what they plant. The fowl eat insects and remove weeds as well, which increases crop yields and provides more food to sell at market or to feed their families.

Increased Income
In addition to providing hundreds of eggs a year or hundreds of chicks, ducklings and goslings to sell at market, these animals thrive on food and garden scraps. That means families don't have to spend a lot of money to feed the fowl, enabling them to pay for food, education and medicine.

Want to really impress your boss? Give her a Flock of Hope this holiday season. And if it doesn't already, encourage your organization to participate in our employer matching gifts program, turning your $20 or $60 gift into twice as many birds. Read more blog posts about how Heifer uses fowl to improve lives around the world.

Don't feel like picking a chick? How about an alpaca, sheep, heifer or goat?


Brooke Edwards

Brooke Edwards is from Little Rock, Arkansas, and started working at Heifer International in 2009 as a writer. She and her husband raise two daughters in a house way too small for their four pets. They spend a lot of time sweeping.