Editor’s note: This week’s series about volunteering is to spotlight the Spring into Action events on March 24th hosted by Heifer International. Read why these volunteers have dedicated their time in helping share Heifer’s mission of ending hunger and poverty while caring for the earth.
By David Keeton, a Los Angeles volunteer
For a number of years I had been searching for a way to give back to the world. Having been born in America, the greatest country in the world (even with all of its warts), and blessed with an intellect and a driving work ethic, over the years I became quite successful. I had traveled the world and had seen the abject poverty affecting over half the world’s population. I was seeking a way to assist in working to end hunger and poverty, and making people more self-sufficient.
I was introduced to Heifer 10 years ago; however, it took me another 2 years to become dedicated to the organization. I had attended the annual dinner in LaVerne and halfway through the evenings’ proceedings I realized that I had indeed found the vehicle to match my objectives.
Ever since, I have represented Heifer at numerous Street Fairs & Business Mixers throughout Southern California, done presentations at several schools; built traveling sets through my remodeling company – small scale houses that represent homes in different countries. I have gone on Study Tours with Heifer - to China in 2007 and most recently to Peru in 2010.
I have experienced the Passing On The Gift ceremony during these tours and trust me, there is not one person in the group who was not moved to tears. I have seen first-hand how Heifer’s work here in America and throughout the world has made a huge difference in families lives. The donation of an animal provides them with self-sufficiency and allows their children to go to school rather than to have to toil in the fields.
As I continue to work with Heifer, my heart is full. Even though I do not know the families personally that are helped, I know that through my efforts and the efforts of thousands of volunteers within the Heifer organization, we have brought many smiles to peoples’ faces and that we have made their lives more fulfilling and satisfying.