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Brace yourselves, because the merry swirl of holiday season is about to blow in, setting off a happy frenzy that won’t let up until 2014. We know your datebooks and to-do lists are probably filling up already, but here’s an invitation we hope you will accept.

Giving Tuesday, celebrated this year on December 3, is a time for us all to embrace the spirit of giving by sharing what we can with the people and causes who need it. Coming on the heels of the retail spree that is Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday is an opportunity to give back.

Heifer is extremely grateful that on this Giving Tuesday, Bill and Melinda Gates are supporting our work and encouraging others to do the same. Heifer International is one of four worthy causes featured on Bill and Melinda Gates’ #GivingTuesday webpage.

Your gifts given through Heifer have proven impact. Providing small-scale farmers the tools they need to educate and feed their families sets off a chain reaction that can and does transform local economies.

Over the last 70 years, we have given more than 20.7 million families the gift of livestock and training to help them lift themselves out of poverty. Each family then passes on the offspring of that animal they received, setting off a chain of giving that can go on indefinitely as each recipient family passes on offspring, knowledge and training. It’s called Passing on the Gift, and it’s the hallmark of our development model.

So if your closet is already stuffed and your gadget stash is fully stocked, mark your calendar and spread the word. Giving Tuesday is the perfect time to share gifts that will be appreciated well past the holiday bluster. 

Gift Different. Gift Heifer.

Author

Austin Bailey

Austin Bailey is a writer and editor for Heifer's World Ark magazine.