CORNERSTONE: PASSING ON THE GIFT
HOW IT WORKS:
After their projects are established, families that received resources from Heifer—such as livestock, seeds or training—pass on these gifts to other families in need in their community. This allows them to help others as they have been helped, and to share the resources that they now have in abundance.
In what specific ways has someone helped you or your family in the last month? Perhaps someone pitched in with childcare during an emergency, brought over a meal or simply listened to a problem you were struggling with. Using the spirit of that gift, how can you pass it along to someone else in need? Whether reaching out to old friends or to a stranger, the idea is to help someone in the way you've been helped, a way that might not have occurred to you before.
See where Heifer is working around the world to end hunger.
I first heard about Heifer in the late 90's when I had graduated from Auburn University's College of Veterinary Medicine and was practicing as a mixed-animal veterinarian in central Pennsylvania. (I am originally from Selma, Alabama.) One day as I was traveling my route doing my scheduled herd checks, checking cows for pregnancy, I noticed that farm after farm had missing farmers. This really was strange because my farmers hardly ever went on vacation. I finally asked where everyone was and was told that they had accompanied a shipment of heifers overseas for a group called Heifer International...
Dear Heifer International, I really enjoyed doing this project to help kids in need. We raised $835.00. With that money we bought four animals and two items. We even had money left over. I think more kids should do this project. What if it was you that would be able to go to school or to get a goat? You would be very excited. I like helping kids in need. That's what I like about this project. It gives kids the opportunity to have a pet or go to school. Thank you. Sincerely, H.E.S.
Dear Heifer International, I hope that the 4th grade's purchase of a water buffalo, an irrigation pump, sending a girl to school, a goat, a flock of chickens, ducks and geese really help a family. What I really like is that the gift of the animals purchased aren't just going to be used for one family, but it's a gift that keeps on giving. I look forward to knowing that a family has been changed! I really hope this will make a difference in a family! Sincerely, Maisy
"My granddaughter, Simone, is 8-years old. She told me several months ago that she wanted to have a lemonade stand to make money for Heifer International. We baked instead, and Simone collected $850 to "help people." She made a flyer (see above), scooped and measured, cracked eggs and mixed, then packaged the cakes and cookies we baked, decorated them with stickers of farm animals, and delivered them to the many people who were excited about her project. It has been a wonderful experience for her. After carefully perusing your catalog, she has decided to purchase - a heifer - a sheep - a goat - a trio of rabbits - honeybees - a flock of chicks She's already talking about next year's project and people who have heard about it are on the list to purchase Grammy and Simone's cakes and cookies for Heifer International. Happy holidays to you, Cyndy S."
Alvina had recently returned home after a trip to South Africa, Zimbabwe and Ghana. She said that the trip made a lasting impact; she's traveled to many different places, but she said there was something about Africa that touched her in a way no other place had. Some of the children she met in Ghana, Zimbabwe and South Africa made 4 to 5km trips to school each day. As a former teacher, this left her awestruck.
This is North Star Chiropractic Center's sixth year donating to Heifer International! Every year we host an event called "Doctor with a Heart" where we donate $10 per patient visit on the Monday following Valentine's Day. Also during that week we invite new patients into our clinic to receive a $30 consultation, exam and x-rays. The $30 they pay for that visit is also donated to Heifer. We are confident donating to Heifer because of the sustainability of the contribution we make. We like to donate goats every year because a goat empowers a family by providing a food and/or income resource. Also, if the goat reproduces, the gift can be passed on to others in the community. Last year we were able to raise enough money for seven goats! As we like to say, nothing says love like a goat!
"Last Christmas (2013), Marian Niece of Boise, ID gave each of her ten great-grandchildren, ranging in age from 3- to 13-years old, a piggy bank and the idea of saving their change for a year. She then wanted them to put the money together to buy an animal for the Heifer Project. The cousins met again this Christmas (2014) and discovered they had enough money for three animals! Marian is 100-years old and still has wonderful ideas!" Editor's note: While speaking with Marian on the phone, we discovered that she also gave each great-grandchildren a stuffed animal from Heifer International. Each grandchild was so excited to find out how much money they had saved throughout the year. Everyone here at Heifer International was incredibly humbled to discover that Marian's belief in our mission stretches to her great-grandchildren as well; Marian's generosity and ingenuity is a lesson to us all!
"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."
It’s always exciting for Heifer International when we learn about the creative ways our donors are raising funds for our mission. When we caught wind of the innovative fundraising IgnitionCo was pursuing, we had to learn more. Matt Blaisdell, one of a team of three alongside Seth Anthony and Julie Moretti, generously volunteered his time to answer a few questions about their pursuits.
My sons had given a flock of chicks to Heifer International on behalf of their grandmother because she would tell them stories about how she raised chicks on the farm she grew up on in NW Iowa. It brought a huge smile to her face to know that her stories impacted the boys and she was honored by the thoughtful gift. This Christmas the boys have again decided giving through Heifer is a good idea. This time they are giving on behalf of their grandpa. He helped them save a duckling that had fallen into our window well. They named it Oscar and fed it bugs until we could secure a home for it. Now they are donating a flock of ducks and are excited to share this gift with their Grandpa Bob. I appreciate how Heifer helps teach my children not only the value of animals, but how great giving to others feels. Thank you!
Sinath says, "I think Passing on the Gift® was the best activity in our life. I was so excited."
Every holiday season, Kylie (11) and her family sit down and think about how they can help others. This is Kylie's second year choosing to donate through Heifer, giving animals to families. She says the picture she drew "represents people helping other people," and that "one person helping is good, but two people helping is better... When people come together, they can give life to others."
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.
Students in Bend, Oregon challenge each other to raise funds for Heifer International.
Sisters Annabel Rupel, Esther Rupel and Alice Rohrer once again joined the Heifer International Living Gift Market at Timbercrest Senior Living Community. For the past 20 years the sisters have been selling garden produce, canned goods and handicrafts with proceeds going to support Heifer International.
The Save the World Club began with one goal in mind: make an impact on our big world one small fundraiser at a time. This year we selected a goal of $500 for Heifer International. We chose the Auburn City Christmas parade as our location for a baked goods and craft sale. Each of our four members had made ornaments, paintings, bath salts, and lots of cookies. In only three hours of selling our products we surpassed our goal and made a grand total of $600! We were so excited to be able to make a difference in a third world country in a very real and tangible way. We also feel like our fundraiser helped raise local awareness of the basic and often unmet needs of daily life in rural communities of our international neighbors. Thank you Heifer International & our local Auburn neighbors for making this contribution possible!
The children at First Universalist Parish in Chester, VT are currently offering an alternative to traditional, wrapped gifts during this holiday season. They held a “Heifer Market” to support Heifer International on Sunday, November 23 and raised over $700! Shares of livestock were available as a gift to a loved one through Heifer International as well as an array of interesting foods to sample, music and special ornaments made by the children. For those participating in the Heifer Market, they were able to purchase a flock of chicks, ducks or geese. The children holding the fundraiser also accepted donations of “shares” of bees, rabbits, goats, sheep or water buffalo. A special ornament, made by the children in gratitude for their congregants' support of this remarkable program, were available to anyone participating in “Passing On The Gift." Cards were be available for every donation of $10 or more that were made so donors could let their recipients know about the gift that was given. This fundraiser will continue until Sunday, December 14th. From everyone at Heifer International, we want to thank the children of First Universalist Parish for the hard work and creative fundraising on behalf of Heifer's mission!
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.
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.
Groups like the 7th graders from Williston Northampton School in Massachusetts remind me of the importance to keep trying and keep teaching and being certain that ending hunger and poverty and caring for the earth is not a fantasy that Dan West had in 1939 and acted on in 1944. Heifer's mission is an ongoing reality that I am proud to be part of and extremely pleased to share with participants of all ages.
By continuously passing on the gift of Education, we continue with the circle of sharing the knowledge and training of Heifer International with the old volunteers and the new volunteers, with the staff and projects, with the participants and new participants. There are enough ways to pass on the gift of education to ensure a world where everyone should have enough.
There are a lot of ways to learn about math and geography using textbooks and maps, but the students at Forest Heights Middle School wanted to do something a little different. Christine Mignot, a teacher at the school, wanted the students to not just learn about pie charts and graphs, but life outside Little Rock, Ark. And what better place in our great state to learn about life outside of it than Heifer International.
Passing on the gift is far more than a handy catchphrase for Heifer International. It represents the success of a family moving from recipient to donor, hope for a family to gain a sustainable livelihood, and continuation of the circle to lift families from hunger and poverty.
Several years ago, we, and several members of our family, decided we didn't need any more gifts to ourselves since we had plenty already. We decided the best thing to do was to give to Heifer International, which is what we now do every year.
In November 2012, the Chemrouen Cheat Khmer (CCK) organization and Heifer Cambodia started the "Improving Income and Nutrition through Community Empowerment” (INCOME) project in our village. Our family decided to join the self-help group in late 2012 and things began to change.