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This Valentine’s Day, don’t just go through the motions of gift-giving – get a special Valentine’s gift that will benefit others long after the heart-shaped chocolates are consumed. The gift of a flock of chicks, a llama or honeybees that help lift families out of poverty is the ideal present for Valentine’s Day.

Heifer International offers heartfelt and unique gifts for Valentine’s Day that celebrate a person’s sweet side. Each animal, along with extensive training, is given to a family in need, providing better nutrition and marketable products. As the animals grow and reproduce, the family’s livelihood improves; and they become benefactors themselves when they fulfill the commitment to Pass on the Gift of their animal’s offspring to another family.

Heifer Valentine’s Day gifts are touching and impactful. For example, see the changes in the small village of Carromata in the Philippines, which was bogged down in illiteracy, poverty and malnutrition after a new dam altered the river that had been its lifeblood. Heifer International’s LOVE project (“Life-giving Offerings and Values-enrichment for Empowerment”) provided water buffalos, pigs, chickens, vegetable seeds and fruit tree seedlings to families there, as well as values-based and technical skills trainings.

Valentines Day Gift IdeasCanoto Budong  manually strips his Abaca to get the fibers. Photo courtesy of Heifer International.

Now, LOVE participant Canoto Bodong happily says sweet potatoes, taro and cassava are improving his family’s diet, and project families are growing abaca plants, whose fiber is valued by paper makers and the automotive industry. The community plans to set up its own fiber-stripping machine to expand its production.

Valentines Day gift ideas. Children in Carromata play as Abaca fibers dry along the river bank of Tago. Photo courtesy of Heifer International.

Heifer International’s Valentine’s Day infographic shows that 80 percent of women have received a gift with no thought behind it, according to a recent survey. So instead of expensive but impersonal chocolates, baubles, or flowers that wilt all too soon, this Valentine’s Day give something that will honor him or her – a Heifer International gift that spreads the wonderful feeling of making a difference.

Check out our special selection of Valentine's Day gift ideas to find the right gift for your sweetheart.

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.