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Ryan Bell, the almost-13-year-old from Wallingford, Conn., who has surprised and delighted Heifer staff the past two years with his ardent support for our work to end hunger, is resuming his quest to raise $50,000 to help those struggling with hunger to transform their lives.

Ryan's efforts even caught the attention of Steven Petrow of Parade Magazine and were featured as the Manners Hero of the Week this week. And Ryan's mom, Laura, tells us that he has renewed his efforts to double his $25,000 Gift of Transformation with "additional incentive."

It was a jaw surgery in 2012 that transformed Ryan's appearance and inspired him to set the lofty goal of raising the Gift of Transformation. "I was excited when I saw the Gift of Transformation in the gift catalog because it reminds me of the transformation that I went through," Ryan said in an interview with World Ark magazine last year. "I want to send herds of heifers, llamas, and goats, flocks of sheep and chickens, a pen of pigs, a school of fish and a gaggle of geese to an underdeveloped area of the world and let a transformation take place."

Well, Ryan will go through that same intense surgery again, as he has outgrown that initial jaw distraction, Laura said. With the impending surgery, Ryan held his first fundraiser for this year two weeks ago. He already raised $250 and is excited for another two fundraising events he has scheduled. He's again enlisted the help of friends and family who are donating crafts to be sold at the events, with that money coming to Heifer and going toward Ryan's goal. 

To date, Ryan has raised nearly $38,500. His Team Heifer page is still active, and you can help this remarkable young man reach his goal by donating today. 


Annie Bergman

Annie Bergman is a Global Communications Manager and helps plan, assign and develop content for the nonprofit’s website, magazine and blog. Bergman has interviewed survivors of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, beekeepers in Honduras, women’s groups in India and war widows in Kosovo, among many others in her six years at Heifer.