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.
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.
Regine Ndjiwo, 55, and Justine Passo, 50, are members of Heifer projects in the western region of Cameroon, a little over nine miles from Heifer’s office in Bamenda. They are part of GIC APEB (Groupe d’Initiative Commune d’Apiculture et Eleveurs de Bamepah) created in Bamepah Village.
Two years ago, Heifer International’s partner, IDEAS, was promoting a livelihoods project in a community in Peru. The project, Building Sustainable Livelihoods in Piura's Dry Forest Community, was an opportunity that 42-year-old Maria Esmelda decided she couldn’t pass up, so she signed up. Esmelda recounts her experience as a participant...
Celebrating Passing on the Gift at Concepción de María In early October 2013, the small village of Concepción de María, nestled in the mountain crevices of Honduras, bustled with activity. More than 60 families were gathered at the corner of the local soccer field to celebrate another round of Passing on the Gift. The crew included leaders of the local community, Heifer partners and staff, and joyous family members ready to pass on gifts of calves and chickens. With the lime green mountains acting as the backdrop and silent witness, one-by-one, families took center stage and passed on the same kinds of gifts they had received two years before.
Site Bushal is telling a group of visitors how she has benefitted from a community transformation that resulted in a group spirit of Sharing and Caring.
What happens when a very local, grassroots organization (the Wylde Center- Oakhurst Community Garden in Decatur, Georgia) collaborates with an international nonprofit like Heifer International (you all know who Heifer is!)? Add goats, chickens, a full-petting zoo area, face painting and music from local bands, including a 'Kid Band' called Route 41 to other educational tables telling the story of Heifer and, Voila...
It is up to you. A goat can change the world, you know. Why is it that we think so big- the dream of winning the lottery, the wish to be a billionaire, the wish to turn all the bad to good- But we do not take the time to buy a goat? How is it that our thoughts are so absorbed in small daily tasks, and our own individual goals, that we don't take the time to read the one brochure in the mail that may not be junk? To understand that "Heiffer International" has a plan so small it is reachable by all, A plan so big that it can reach across continents and...
As our children grew, left home, and established homes of their own, my husband and I realized how very fortunate we were. We had everything we needed and much of what we wanted as did our children and their families. So, we decided to give animals through Heifer Project rather than to buy Christmas gifts for all in the family.
When I was given the opportunity to volunteer at Heifer International, I was thrilled because it was an opportunity to support a cause whereby I have personally witnessed its contribution towards alleviating poverty. In my own little way, I hope I can contribute towards the mission of Heifer International in ending hunger and poverty in the world.
Heifer India participant, Jaituna Ameen Khan, recites 12 Cornerstones of Heifer International
My gift to Heifer is a gift to Emma as well. Flowers and cards seemed wrong, but I knew it was no coincidence that I thought of Heifer International to remember her by. I know her family will also appreciate it because the message Heifer spreads is one that they share.
This episode was a life-changer. It totally shifted my paradigm to what Sharing and Caring is all about. Where before I lived without caring whether I made a difference in other people’s lives, that day I vowed with great resolve to share whatever I can with the needy. I will sincerely give, and more.
Greg Baines and Peter Rotundo launched new e-books and announced that profits will benefit Heifer China. Both Rotundo and Baines are teachers at the Shanghai YK Pao School—a Heifer China Read to Feed partner school.
Mrs. Pincus' Third Grade students at H.B. Brunner Elementary School raised almost $900...and they did it all on their own initiative! After reading the book Give A Goat by Jan Schrock, the students learned about Heifer International and found out they could donate money to buy a goat for people in Uganda who need food. In the end, the students raised an incredible $892.94.
Cindy Sellers Roach Talks About Her Visit to Morgan Township to Receive a Check for Heifer International, the result of a very successful Read to Feed fundraiser.
In May, through the annual Worldbuilders fundraising auction, I was given the incredible opportunity to visit Heifer International and the Heifer Ranch in Arkansas. I met volunteers and staff and saw firsthand how Heifer operates and the kind of people with whom it works. I got to milk a goat and feed pigs and see what the lives of Heifer's clients are like. Heifer International is an amazing organization, and I'm proud to support it. I'm proud to Pass On the Gift.
Noel died June 30, 2012 at the age of 23. Noel loved animals, and so the attraction to Heifer International as one of the 23 projects to celebrate his life. We hope the goal of 23 WAYS grows to share the impact that Noel made on all of us who knew him.