We're four days into 2012. Have you kept your resolutions so far? Did you even make any? I personally am not much of a resolution-maker, mostly because I know I'm not much of a resolution-keeper. But I get the feeling that this year has a lot of potential. At Heifer, we work with communities around the world to help them find their best path out of hunger and poverty. In doing so, we help them identify their potential and take full advantage of it.

Did you receive a Heifer gift this holiday season? A Heifer heifer, perhaps? Here's a quick story illustrating how Heifer China project participants have taken full advantage of the changes brought about from their gifts of heifers.
When the Hebei Community Holistic Development Project started in December 2009, there were 160 households learning advanced cattle breeding techniques from local Animal Husbandry Bureau technicians. Participating families increased their income while protecting their local environment. Before the project, the two participating villages had a combined total of 370 beef cattle. In 2011, just two years later, this number increased to 980. In this time, villagers sold 130 cattle, earning around $58,000. Driven by the impact of the project, villagers have dug wells, built roads, improved the conditions and quality of their lives, set up industries for processing toys and clothing, and have continued to develop new ways to diversify their income. Compared to their recent past, both material and spiritual aspects of life have greatly improved. The original families kept their promise to complete 100 percent Passing on the Gift, which they did in December, and which will result in more and more households who benefit from the original gifts of livestock and training.

I think a great challenge for any of us is to make 2012 the year of 100 Percent. What might that mean for you? What would your 100 percent be?

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.