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A calf makes a special appearance at a Living Gift Market as an example of the gifts Heifer gives to struggling families around the world.
A calf makes a special appearance at a Living Gift Market as an example of the gifts Heifer gives to struggling families around the world.

Want to change lives this holiday season? Give gifts of hope, joy and opportunity? Provide a family with the live-changing gifts of chickens, honey bees or goats? You can! And it’s easier than you might think when you host a Living Gift Market in your community! 

Let’s start with the basics: what exactly is a Living Gift Market?

A Living Gift Market is the unique gifting experience of purchasing animals (the living gifts) to help end hunger and poverty in the world. You don’t take any animals home, you buy them for people in need. These fun events spread the word about Heifer International’s work, and provide a way for shoppers to give meaningful gifts each holiday season. 

The event can be big or small, lasting one hour or all day long. Living Gift Markets can be a table set-up at your congregation’s coffee hour, a gathering at your home or library, a day or evening event held at your school or community center. No matter the size, each and every effort is hugely important!

The author and fellow Heifer Farm colleague help promote the Farm's Living Gift Market.
Heifer Farm staff Liz and Donna help promote the Farm's Living Gift Market.

Okay, onto how it’s done. 

1)    Get excited! You are doing something to truly make a difference and help those in need this holiday season. Go you!

2)    Recruit a group of people to help you plan and run the Living Gift Market. Get the kids involved. Fun in numbers. 

3)    Think about who will attend, choose a high traffic area, a date and time.

4)    Make signs that showcase the animals, how they help end hunger, and how much they cost. If you have friends with livestock animals, ask if they’ll bring them! All of this information can be found in Heifer’s Gift Catalog.  

5)    Download order forms to make sales and order honor cards, gift catalogs and other promotional resources by calling 877-448-6437.

6)    Set up a Team Heifer fundraising page so you’ll easily be able to take online payments.

7)    Spruce things up with decorations, refreshments, and music! You could also screen a video about Heifer’s work during the event.

8)    Publicize your Living Gift Market through flyers and social media. Be sure to use #GiveHeifer!

When the big day comes, enjoy knowing you are doing something incredible to help others this holiday season. Afterward, send your donations by December 31 to Heifer International, PO Box 6021, Albert Lea, MN 56007 to ensure donors receive acknowledgement for tax deduction purposes. And be sure to share your success on When Cows Fly to inspire others to run a Living Gift Market next holiday season!

Ending hunger and poverty is no small mission, but at Heifer International we believe that it is achievable, and urgently so. Thank you for everything you’ll do this holiday season to support our work!

For more information on hosting a Living Gift Market, a complete guide can be found here.


Liz Joseph

Liz Joseph works at Heifer Farm in Rutland, Mass., managing the organic gardens, beekeeping and maple sugaring. Known as Liz Jo around the farmyard, she enjoys all things farming as well as learning new skills, cooking (and eating!), writing and laughing.