Beyond Hunger: Communities of Change

For 70 years, Heifer International has been finding solutions to hunger and poverty. We've had an impact in more than 125 countries and through 20.7 million families.

But there is still work to do. Our communities are creating change. Together, we have power over hunger and poverty; we can move to a world beyond hunger. Together, we're providing resources, empowering women and improving the environment every day.

We are fueling the social change that will help us end hunger and poverty — and you can help.

Heifer is hosting events across the country as part of our "Beyond Hunger: Communities of Change" series. You can see the calendar of events and register for them online. Join us in celebrating Heifer's legacy of creating social change.

Communities of Change

A School Teams Up for a Good Cause

Our students were very honored that they were able to donate money to help others through Heifer International. The boys and girls competed against each other to see who could raise the most money and then we combined it and had the Consumer Math Class find out all the different ways we could spend the funds. The students enjoyed themselves and were pleasantly surprised when they got the box of pencils and pins. It was a very kind gesture and the students still continue to brag about how wonderful they think the pencils are. Enclosed is a group picture of the students who donated. Thank you again. Melissa King, OCA Teacher

Communities of Change

Coins for Cows

At the beginning of March 2015, Heifer International received a flier from Kate Prominski and Betsy Svanda, 7th grade Social Studies teachers in Michigan. The adorable flier detailed a fundraiser that they hosted with their students. It reads: "The Lakewood 7th grade Social Studies class has been studying Africa and feel compelled to raise funds for the Heifer Project. Heifer International is a global non-profit with the goal of ending poverty and hunger in a sustainable fashion. Our goal is to raise $620, which will buy two water buffalos ($500) and a pig ($120). The coins will be collected until Friday, February 13th!" After reaching out to Kate, we discovered that this wasn't the first time they had hosted this fundraiser. She shared that the Coins for Cows fundraiser is an annual event for the 7th grade Social Studies teachers. A few years ago their students were so enthusiastic that they were able to raise over $1,000! Kate went on to say: "Betsy and I put together a funny video of us finding change in different places in order to encourage the kids to donate. We kept a daily total and challenged the students each day by showing them an inspirational video found on YouTube from Heifer. Every student who donated was able to sign our 'Heifer' poster. By the end of the fundraiser, our poster was filled with almost a hundred names of students who made this fundraiser a success. We are proud to say our students exceeded our goal and raised over $624." Kate ended her email thanking Heifer for all that we do, but truly, from the bottoms of our hearts, we want to thank those 7th grade Social Studies students for so enthusiastically supporting Heifer's mission!

Communities of Change

Messiah Lutheran's Caring and Sharing Project

"Dear Heifer International, Please accept the enclosed donation for the purchase of six flocks of chickens. This is the fifth year in a row that the students of Messiah Lutheran Church and School's Vacation Bible School have donated money to Heifer as their "Caring and Sharing" mission project. This year from July 15 - 19, 37 students and 31 volunteer staff exceeded their goal of three flocks of chickens! This was the most successful VBS mission project to date! Everyone was very excited about this accomplishment! We are a small, older congregation and the VBS program is an important part of our ministry. Heifer's goals of ending hunger by providing animals to families in need of better nutrition and added income fits well with our "Caring and Sharing" project. Many of our students return year after year and some have become volunteer staff as they got older. They are all familiar with Heifer and look forward to seeing which animal will be selected each year. We anticipate many more years of joining with Heifer International and introducing many new students to the Heifer program. Sincerely, Mike & Nancy Keeton"

Communities of Change

The Environmental Charter School Makes a Positive Difference

As part of the Environmental Charter School’s (ECS in Pittsburgh, PA) ongoing goal to make a positive difference in our community, we decided to extend that goal to the global community and launched the “Read to Feed” initiative. Kindergarten to third grade students were sponsored for each minute that they read totaling an hour. The end of the four week fundraiser coincided with the Read Across America day on March 2nd. On that day, the donations were counted and our students read for one hour during the day. Our fundraising goal for ECS was $500. We doubled our goal and raised $1,000. Way to go ECS! - Shannon Shupak

Communities of Change

LAHSA's Change for Change

“All you have to do is give your change to make a change in the world.” Perla, business letter excerpt Every year, the freshman class at Los Angeles High School of the Arts (LAHSA) raises money to support Heifer International through a semester-long project called “Change for Change.” LAHSA is a theater arts-focused school that uses project-based learning to integrate the arts and academics and give students real-world experiences.

Communities of Change

Phi Sigma Pi - Gamma Sigma Supports Heifer on Pi Day

This shirt is a fundraiser for Phi Sigma Pi - Gamma Sigma at Missouri State University. All the money raised will go to Heifer International to buy an animal for one of Heifer's project participants. Giving an animal is like giving someone a small business, providing wool, milk, eggs and more. Animal donations can provide families a hand up, increasing access to medicine, school, food and a sustainable livelihood. Depending on how much money is raised we can buy a pig, goat, cow, chickens, ducks or even a water buffalo!! Please help us raise as much money as possible by buying this awesome Pi Day Shirt!! Please visit the following link to purchase a shirt:

Communities of Change

St. Charles Borromeo Living Gift Market

A few weeks ago, Heifer International heard from Anne Nixon-Ellery with St. Charles Borromeo church. She briefly described an upcoming event that her church was hosting with a link to the focus of their Heifer International fundraiser. "Hello! We are having A Living Gift Market on March 4th to raise money for this amazing charity. I have also designed a tee shirt; all profits will go to Heifer. It's available for a few more days:" Needless to say, we had to learn more. I reached out to Anne and she shared the following with me:

Communities of Change

Young Entrepreneurs Give Back

At Canyon Creek in Austin, Texas we were studying how the economic system works and wanted to raise money to make the world a better place. Our students voted for Heifer International. They then got busy and made items that they could sell. Many were recycled projects or crafts that kids would like. They learned about supply, demand, cost, production, advertising and sales. I am thrilled that these 62 students raised $ 1,500 for you. You have inspired them to be entrepreneurs and to give back to the world around them.

Communities of Change

Courage to Change

Last fall over 30 at-risk teens in the Courage to Change program in Denton, TX, raised over $800 for Heifer International’s Read to Feed Campaign. They learned that they can make a difference and bring awareness to world poverty and hunger through reading. They even wrote a rap about it: While we read We can help feed The children in need One book at a time It stays on my mind Every book I’m reading I’m raising a dime… The teens read 276 books and, thanks to their many sponsors and donors, they were able to raise $824. The residents then worked together to decide what they wanted to “buy” with their money. A good discussion took place as they decided how to use their money. They learned how animals can provide food and income to families in need and decided to buy a share of a heifer, a goat, a sheep, a share of a pig, and 4 flocks of chicks. They purchased tree seedlings which help improve the soil and provide animal food, fencing and firewood. They decided to get an irrigation pump to provide easy access to water for a community. And lastly, they decided to send a girl to school to give money for training and animals to a family so that the family can earn income needed to pay for their daughter’s school fees. The residents realize that everyone does not have the same education opportunities that they have and many felt strongly about helping a girl be able to go to school. Thanks to Heifer International and Read to Feed, the teens learned valuable lessons about how they can make a difference in the world.

Communities of Change

From the Emmanuel Episcopal Church Sunday School Students

Emmanuel Episcopal Church has supported Heifer International since 1991! During the 2014 holiday season, Heifer received a handwritten note along with a sketch of their donation designations--a llama and honeybees. During the month of November, the Sunday School students at Emmanuel Church raised $180 selling handcrafted ornaments! Each hand-painted wood or glass ornament was sold to congregant members for $5 each. The students--about 10 of them--range in age from 1st grade to middle school, with a few helpful students in high school as well. To the Sunday School class at Emmanuel Episcopal Church: Your hard work does not go unnoticed! Not only are we so humbled by your fundraiser, but by your continued support of Heifer's mission! Together, we have power over poverty.

Communities of Change

Students Connect with their Global Community

Dear Heifer, My name is Nashira. I am the teacher of a 3rd/4th grade homeschool group. In one group we have four children over 5-years old and four children under 5. We have been doing the Read to Feed program and it is AMAZING! It was so inspiring to see how eager the children were to help others. The children have really connected with the ideas of community and global community. Thank you so much for sharing this program with us. They loved Beatrice's Goat! We also watched videos from the website. Thanks again for this wonderful opportunity to help the children connect with their global community.

Communities of Change

What Came First--the Chicken or the Egg?

"We are sending Heifer International chickens so you can send eggs. I guess what we learned is that it doesn't matter if the egg came first or last. What matters is that they learned they can do something to make the world a better place than the world which they have known."

Communities of Change

Joyful Noise

"We excitedly share the amount of a 'Gift Ark' from our 'Joyful Noise' collection! Our congregation supports us as we learn to be God's servants by our participation in the church service with the collection of their coins once a month. We use this offering as an on-going service project to help those in need. Thank you for accepting our gift to support your mission! The children of Glossbrenner United Methodist Church"

Communities of Change

Once There Was and Was Not


"The young ladies in my 4th and 5th grade Sunday School class raised this money as a Fall project at Charity UMC. We did a modified Read to Feed program using the book Once There Was and Was Not. The girls hosted a lasagna dinner on November 12th and distributed Arks to the adult Sunday school classes. The girls were very enthusiastic about the project and got the church behind them. They did presentations on Sunday morning and to the adult classes. Thank you for all you do to make the world a better place."

Communities of Change

A Llama for Christmas

About mid-December Heifer International received a generous donation from New Freedom in Christ Church, located in South Dakota. Along with their donation, they included the featured photo and the following letter. We hope you find it as inspiring as we did!

Communities of Change

Letters from a Sunday School Class

After several months, the 4th - 6th grade Franklin Christian Church Sunday School class reached their fundraising goal! Along with their donation, they sent Heifer International the featured letters thanking Heifer for the work we do. We so impressed by your dedication, Franklin Christian Church, so we thank you for the hard work and dedication to Heifer's mission!

Communities of Change

English Language Institute's Spirit of Giving

Christmas came early this year at the University’s English Language Institute (ELI). Instead of the typical holiday gift exchange, the ELI instructors and staff decided to do something small to make a big difference for members of the international community. The team came together to raise funds for Heifer International. They raised enough to purchase one irrigation pump and one biogas stove for a needy village. The story didn’t end there, though. When Onnyx Bei, an ELI Instructor, mentioned the project to his class, the students were inspired and wanted to make their own contribution. The students studied and practiced the necessary language skills for the task, and went out to solicit funds for Heifer. In total, the students succeeded in securing $260, enough to purchase a goat, a sheep and a flock of 20 chicks for a village in need. The ELI’s spirit of giving will assist Heifer International in its mission to end world hunger and poverty by providing families with sustainable income.

Communities of Change

Giving a Goat for the Holiday

Students in Bend, Oregon challenge each other to raise funds for Heifer International.

Communities of Change

Let's Buy a Cow!

This year my co-workers and I decided to donate to Heifer International instead of buying each other gifts. We each put in $25.00. One of our flooring vendors heard what we were doing and told us he would match anything up to $1000.00. Wow! I got to works and copied a cute photo (with the goat) and made up a flyer and slapped it up on the refrigerator in the employee break room. We raised $370.00! Without even really trying!! When our vendor came in, he wrote a check for $630, bring us to $1000!! We were overwhelmed! It was so exciting! We bought 7 goats, 2 sets of rabbits and 2 sets of ducks. All of us feel really good knowing that these animals will make a difference in the lives of the families who receive them. Thank you for your good work and for making it so easy to help.

Communities of Change

Sonny the Alpaca

We saw an incredible opportunity to create a real life connection with members of our church at First Presbyterian Church of Maumee in Northwest Ohio. Our hope was that when people can actually see what they are donating, that they are more likely to participate. We took our alpaca, Sonny, to church to be a representative for Heifer International. The one on one interaction was wonderful. We explained the process of gifting livestock to provide a livelihood to a family in need. Sonny's impact on the congregation has yet to be measured, as the church is collecting donations through the holiday season. But in any case being an ambassador for Heifer International has been a priceless opportunity. We encourage all livestock breeders to use their animals to promote the ending of hunger and poverty throughout the world.

Communities of Change

A Group of Students Promise to Be the People


The Renaissance Council Chapter of The Junior State of America ( is delighted to know that its fundraising efforts has made it possible to support a Heifer International project in Romania.

Communities of Change

A Small Town Thinks Big

Red Bluff is a small town located in the Sacramento Valley of Northern California. Our town is surrounded by nut orchards and prune orchards, and most folks grow a big garden and have a few fruit trees in their own yard – growing everything from lemons to pomegranates to persimmons. Most of us have enough to share, and at The Presbyterian Church of Red Bluff we wanted to share our surplus in a way that would benefit Heifer International.

Communities of Change

A Vacation Bible School Missions Project


Along with the attached photos, please find a simple, yet powerful, story of how even the youngest Heifer International supporters can make a big difference! "Dear Heifer International, On behalf of the Presbyterian United Church of Christ in LeMars, Iowa, I am writing with thanks for your wonderful organization! We had the privilege of using your cause and organization for our children's annual vacation bible school missions project. The students loved learning about all the ways you help families and communities. Our attendees raised over $500.00 to donate, and with the help of our church's Mission Commission, we recently donated in the amount of $630.00 to you!"

Communities of Change

Team Elliott Education & Alzheimer's Residents Continue Community Service Efforts

Serenades by Sonata Memory Care Assisted Living Residents, under the guidance of Team Elliott Education, a company which provides intellectual opportunities for seniors, have created a way for residents to continue their lifelong spirit of giving. Through extensive animal studies, integrated with creative design sessions, Serenades’ residents gained knowledge and appreciation for what animals can do for people living in poverty stricken areas. Serenades’ residents expressed their compassion for people throughout the world by selecting a variety of animals to support the efforts of Heifer International. With money raised through art sales along with a generous contribution by Team Elliott Education, Serenades residents purchased much needed livestock, which provides the gift of self-sufficiency, to those less fortunate than themselves.

Communities of Change

Sonoma/Napa Volunteers Increase Heifer's Visibility

Heifer International volunteers may be small in number but have accomplished large things. A recent example was participating in the Heirloom Seed Expo at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds in Santa Rosa, California.