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Story submitted by Stephanie Chesher, senior director of Donor Services and Operations at Heifer International.

 It all started about four years ago when LoriJo and Kent Peters lost their 19-year-old son, Collin, in a tragic motorcycle accident. After his death, his parents wanted to make some sense of what had happened and wanted something to keep them busy through their first Christmas holiday without their young son. The Peters are members of Church of the Brethren, so they were very familiar with Heifer and our animal model–especially the sheep. Collin happened to love sheep. As a toddler and throughout his childhood, he carried around his stuffed animal “Sheepie.” Even as he got older, his dream was to buy a farm so he could raise his own sheep. Because he loved sheep so much throughout his lifetime, there was a real, live sheep at his funeral.

So fast forward to this past January. After raising more than $11,000, the Peters again raised a record-breaking $5,600 for the 2010 holiday season. But something horrible happened. Somewhere, somehow, this package of donations never arrived at Heifer Headquarters. All the work, all the time, and the Peters family’s legacy for Collin were gone in an instant. Most of these donors that contributed to the Collin Peters fund were friends, family, or church members, but others were complete strangers who read about Collin’s fundraiser in a newspaper article. Obviously, the Peters family was devastated with the situation. 

Our team at Donor and Volunteer Services here at Heifer wanted to help the family, and we all jumped in to help figure out a plan. We contacted all their donors over the last few months, and to date we have received $4,200 of the $5,600 original donation. Now, our team at Heifer is working hard to raise the remaining $1,400 to match their original donation. After a great bake sale on October 21, we are on our way to reaching the goal.
Heifer Donor and Volunteer Services staff hold their
first bake sale to raise funds

“As upsetting as it was to have all those checks lost back in January, beautiful things have come from it. Thanks to Heifer, I must say. God bless you all and all you've done for us and for Collin's memory.” - LoriJo Peters, Collin’s Mother

Do you have someone you'd like to give in honor or memory of this holiday season? Visit our online Gift Catalog, and find the right donation for your loved one.


Heifer International

Heifer International is a nonprofit, non-governmental organization working with communities to end hunger and poverty while caring for the Earth.