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.
We were extraordinarily blessed to be raised in the Rocker family. As children our parents were always involved at church and in the community at large, contributing their time, talents and money whenever possible. We all grew up with that example and as adults try to emulate our parent’s generosity, though it’s doubtful we can even come close. When we were younger, our Christmas celebrations were more about being together than they were about gifts. But as happens quite often, our small family Christmas celebrations grew as the family grew into a huge party with gifts stacked everywhere. While everyone certainly enjoyed the gift exchange, Christmas was beginning to lose some of its magic for us as a family. Last summer, as our mom was beginning her preparations for the annual celebration, she became depressed about it and prayed for ideas to plan something that would hearken back to those wonderful Christmas celebrations of the past. During her reflection she remembered one of the grandchildren requesting a flock of chickens through Heifer International for her birthday a few years ago. Thinking on a grand scale, this inspired her idea for providing the Ark in 2015. We were all on board and within a short time she had raised the entire amount needed to sponsor the project. At the family Christmas party, instead of endless time spent opening gifts, we spent time together and mom read a version of the Nativity story that focused strongly on the animals present that night. She then explained to the younger children how the animals we provided would so greatly help others, which sparked wonderful conversation with the children. We all agreed this was the best Christmas we had shared in years and look forward to planning more Christmas projects together.
Recently, Heifer received a letter from Kathleen M., a long-time Heifer International donor and a Special Education teacher in California. In the letter she shared that this year, instead of giving her students traditional holiday gifts, she wanted to teach her students why she loves to give to Heifer. After passing around Heifer's "Most Important Gift Catalog in the World," Kathleen held a nomination for the animal her students most wanted to donate to Heifer. The classroom decided on a pig and a few other smaller donations. As a thank you for participating, she passed out kid-friendly honor cards, asking her students to draw what Heifer means to them. For the next week or so, we will be sharing their drawings with you. We hope you enjoy looking at their depictions of Heifer's mission as much as we did!
Submitted by Angelinah | California
The poor are not responsible for their poverty and misery. Most of them struggle in conditions that are subhuman, dangerous, full of disease, hunger and despair.Pierre Ferrari
Submitted by Gracie | Maryland
This year for Christmas I offered my almost 7-year old granddaughter three options for her Christmas gift. 1) She could have a big present for herself. 2) She could have a smaller gift and send an animal or group of animals to a boy or girl in another country who doesn’t have as many things as we do. 3) She could just send animals and not get a gift for herself. Click on the title of this story to read more!
Submitted by Faith | Age 9 | Colorado
Throughout the month of December, the SoulShine day school and after school programs learned about Heifer International and the different animals and opportunities that can be gifted to families all over the world. Ages 2-12 looked at the magazines, materials, and lesson plans about farming and raising livestock. On December 17 we held a market and raised over $100 for Heifer International by selling goods we made together. The children made all the products including vegan cinnamon buns, dream pillows, necklaces, candles, and more. The SoulShine school tripled our donation amount to $320 and we bought 4 baskets of hope and 1 goat from Heifer International. During this month of learning with Heifer International, one of my favorite activities was having our 2-year old students identify animals that live in the wild and animals that live on the farm. It was fun to show them pictures of farm animals using Heifer International images and then play sounds of the animals. The 2-year old students were asked to identify the sounds of ducks, chickens, cows, pigs, and more. We all giggled and learned that we can share these gifts with families in need. Thank you Heifer International. Submitted by Andrea Zoppo
Submitted by Addison | Age 8 1/2 | Colorado
Received in the beginning of December 2015, the below letter was sent into Heifer International from Pam Nemeth, proud mother of Jake Nemeth, co-founder of The Giving Garden and recently inducted Eagle Scout. There was no way we at Heifer were going to allow Jake's hard work and dedication to go unacknowledged. We'd like to allow Pam's words to tell you more about Jake's Eagle Project, so without further ado... (Click the title of this story to read more!)
Submitted by Lucy | Age 8 | Massachusetts | "I am 8 years old. I am happy that some people will get to have chicks and animals and then more and more people can live well and have enough to eat."
In 1969 Ralph Barnes, from Chatham, IL, a farmer and coordinator for Heifer International, called Austin Hulcher to see if he would take a load of cattle/heifers, to Miami, FL. Since the 1,400-mile trip would be non-stop, Austin called his good friend, Bud King, to help drive the truck. This trip meant loading up the heifers into a double decker trailer. The 47 heifers were chosen from prize winners at county fairs and the Illinois State Fair. Each of the heifers weighed between 600-800 pounds and were among prize winning stock. The cowboys were told the heifers would help to upgrade the stock in Bolivia, South America, where the cattle were pretty scrawny... Click the title of this story to read more!
Submitted by Michelle | Age 8 | Colorado
I received a Heifer catalog in the mail in October. I was struck with the idea of blessing a family on the other side of the world that I would never meet with a Christmas gift that could positively impact their lives; and I liked the idea of giving an actual animal--in my suburban Chicago life that is not the kind of gift we are accustomed to giving. I brought up the idea to my co-workers in the Palos Community Hospital Surgery and PACU departments and my fellow nurses, aides, supervisors, secretaries, and pharmacists all grabbed onto it and ran with it. Each payday we reminded each other to put aside just a little towards our goal of giving a Christmas cow. We kept a running tab of our donations on our “Heifer-ometer” in our staff lounge, and little by little we approached our goal. We passed the $500 mark in early December and my co-workers wanted to do more: “How much is a sheep--they give milk and wool, and how about chickens?” They just never stopped giving, and by Christmas we had decided to give a cow, sheep, pig, and 5 flocks of chicks with the $840 we all donated. I know that the world is a crazy place and that I can do little to change the violence that is so often in the news, but I couldn’t help but feel a little hope and joy that a bunch of unrelated people, who at times don’t even get along with each other, could come together and plant a little bit of peace in the world and do something together that we couldn’t accomplish individually. I was proud to be a part of it. May it continue in each of us. Rick Hultgen, RN Palos Community Hospital Surgery Department
I am happy to report that my first grade class raised $300 for our Read to Feed Christmas outreach project and read nearly 500 books. My big-hearted children did this in lieu of exchanging gifts with each other and some gave that money toward the program. Through their efforts, we were able to purchase 2 llamas which will provide annual income for 2 or more needy families in other countries. We learned about the various resources/animals available for purchase through Heifer throughout this process and about some of the children who have benefited from it across the globe. My class has been doing this for 5 years and loving it every year! Submitted by Casey Grier
When planning her 6th birthday, Caroline had an interesting request for her parents: she wanted her guests to help her send a girl to school through Heifer International. While she had been exposed to Heifer before--even giving her mom a goat for her birthday last year--Caroline hadn't considered fundraising for us before. However, during a recent trip to the library, Caroline discovered Beatrice's Goat and learned about the depth of Heifer's mission and goals. This took place shortly after attending a friend's birthday party where guests were asked to donate to Heifer in lieu of gifts. We at Heifer love that our cornerstone of Passing on the Gift has extended to inspiration, fundraisers and birthday presents. Thank you for your generosity, Caroline!
Recently, Ms. MacDonald, a teacher at Nativity Catholic School, reached out to Heifer International to share a paper written on Heifer by one of her students. Seventh grade student Gwyneth decided to write about Heifer after being instructed to write an expository essay on a charity of her choice. Her parents support Heifer and believing that Heifer's mission is a "really nice, smart system," Gwyneth decided to approach the assignment as an opportunity to learn more about Heifer. Here is what she had to say. "21,000 people die every year due to hunger related issues and nearly 1,000,000,000,000 people still live in extreme poverty (“Hunger and World Poverty”). Heifer International is a charity that works to end hunger and poverty. It was founded by Dan West in 1944. Dan West was driven to create a charity that would not only help the communities supported but to change the communities for the better. Heifer International also uses 16.4 percent of the donations on providing education for those who do not have the option to receive personal education. This charity is important for helping people who would otherwise go unhelped and to save entire communities from extreme poverty..." Click the title of this story to read more!
About mid-November, Heifer International received a note from a donor on a piece of stationary with the letterhead “yarns etc…” It read, “My name is Mary—as in ‘had a little lamb’…” Immediately intrigued and tickled, Heifer International's mail room passed the letter along to When Cows Fly. Within her letter, Mary indicated that she wanted her generous $240 donation to be designated for two sheep. Not only is her life situation a beautiful pun, but the steps she took to raise money for Heifer was clever and definitely worth sharing! Apparently, for the last 25 years, Mary’s late mother and loved ones had gifted her more than 200 sheep plush animals, toys, figurines, home décor, etc. Wanting to downsize her collection, she decided to reach out to her customers. Creating window displays in the shop windows of the two yarn stores she owns, anyone who wanted one of the sheep simply had to make a donation to Heifer. She encouraged her customers to donate whatever they could afford—$1 to something more substantial—knowing every bit could help. She found that the fundraiser gave her the equally as valuable opportunity to tell her customers about Heifer International and the importance of not only animal donations, but Heifer’s Cornerstone “Passing on the Gift.” While speaking with Mary, she pointed out that her fundraiser also took place during the Year of the Sheep! If you would like to learn more about Mary’s fundraiser, you can check out her blog here: http://www.yarnsetc.com/a-special-post-from-mary/. Her shops are located in Raleigh and Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Many thanks to you and your generous fiber enthusiasts, Mary!
July 6, 2015 Enclosed, please find checks totaling $5,407. As we have done the past eleven years, Holy Spirit used the Lenten and Easter seasons to raise money and awareness of world hunger by donating money to Heifer International for the purchase of an "Ark." During this period of time, the parishioners of Holy Spirit have contributed over $65,000 in support of projects, activities, and programs sponsored by Heifer International. Parishioners were encouraged to donate the money they would have otherwise spent based on their Lenten sacrifice. If someone gave up coffee for Lent, we suggested they take the money they would have spent and donate it to Heifer. In addition, our Christian Formation Program (religious education for our school-aged children) held their second annual end of year carnival and contributed over $1,800 of the total listed above. On behalf of the parishioners at Holy Spirit, I would like to thank you for your continued efforts in alleviating world hunger and of truly living the Gospel message "I was hungry and you fed me." May God continue to bless your work and the ministry of Heifer International. Peace, Deacon Rich Akins
May 20, 2015 Dear Heifer, Our school recently held an Empty Bowls event to fight hunger. Our elementary and middle school students created handmade ceramic bowls for the event. The students voted and decided to donate the $700 they raised selling the bowls to Heifer! We hope it will do a lot of good! I have enclosed a photo of their beautiful bowls to share with you. Best, Maria Cole and the students of the Maria Montessori School Memphis, TN
There is a history behind this donation. The second and third grade class at Terrace Elementary School in Richardson, TX each won $100 from our Altrusa International, Inc. of Richardson, TX Club as a reward for winning the "15 Days of Random Acts of Kindness" challenge the school held earlier this year. They personally selected what animals they wanted to donate. The children had so much fun picking which animals to select and were so excited to receive the opportunity to help others to create a better world. We are giving them your animal buttons and stickers to give them additional recognition. Thank you for sending them to us. Thank you, Jane Tucker International Relations Committee Co-Chair Althrusa International, Inc. of Richardson, TX