Meet Stanislaw Debert; at the end of 1945, Mr. Debert was the recipient of one of the 150 heifers sent by the Heifer Project to Poland on the SS Santiago Iglesias. In early October, I had the good fortune to sit and talk with him, his wife, and a daughter in their home near Gdansk about what that heifer meant to them.
At the end of World War II when Europe was seething with displaced persons, Mr. Debert arrived in the area of Gdansk. He fled from Kielce on the roof of a train car with only the clothes he was wearing.
He started his life over with his wife on his allotment of a 50-hectare farm (123 acres). There was nothing to eat, not even fruits and vegetables. However, help was on its way in the form of a heifer from the Heifer Project as well as a horse and canned food goods from the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration. UNRRA is the organization that provided the shipping for the Heifer Project animals.
The heifer was so important to the family that they kept her in the house with them. The Russians, Poland's "liberators," had been stealing and eating farm animals during that time. The Deberts didn't want that to happen to their beloved cow. She was the only cow on their farm and served them well for the next five years. Sadly, she got sick and had to be put down. Mr. Debert said, "The children cried. It was a very sad time." Even talking about it some sixty-three years later brought tears to his eyes.
Mr. Debert, now 89, asked me how he could thank the people who sent him his cow. I told him I would convey the message for him. And so, to you supporters of Heifer International, and especially those of you involved in the early years, on behalf of Mr. Debert and others like him, I pass on to you their hugs and tears of gratitude and say, "Thank you, thank you!"
P.S. I found Stanislaw Debert's name on a list of recipients from the SS Santiago Iglesias shipment in the process of researching Heifer's first decade in order to write a book about it. While in Europe, I also had the opportunity to meet with German recipients of heifers in 1950. I tell their story in a "Letter to the Editor" in the upcoming Spring 2014 World Ark.
- Peggy Reif Miller
The end of hunger isn’t a fairy tale
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The French and Spanish Clubs at Medford Area High School in Medford, WI held a fundraiser for your organization during Foreign Language Week this year. We sold foreign candy, had a Foreign Film Night at the local movie theatre, held a dance with a raffle and took donations in return for Heifer International buttons (they were a big hit)...
Two years ago a 10-year old unknowingly found himself in the midst of a very serendipitous moment. While visiting his grandparents, he noticed a small catalog featuring a photo of healthy, happy-looking livestock. Being curious, Cade Borchard and his grandma sat down to read the catalog cover to cover. What he learned changed his life. The catalog was one of Heifer International’s infamous gift catalogs...
We love giving to Heifer International. We have a quarter tube display in our home. We encourage friends that visit to donate. We recently raised $60.00 to buy a Flock of Hope at Easter. We love to visit the Perryville, AR center, so we took the quarters there for a special time of giving. We even got to love on some baby goats.
In celebrating Cinco de Mayo this year we chose to support Heifer International for our inaugural monthly dinner event at The Rose Room in Venice, CA, just steps away from the beach. While we get to enjoy the privilege of having such a dinner, we wanted to recognize the country of Mexico and also give back to those that do not have swift or easy access to food/water/opportunities.
Center Elementary School reached an incredible fundraising goal of $10,000, or 219,851 minutes of reading, benefiting Heifer International as part of our Read to Feed program! Principal Donna Hutton bravely, and as promised, kissed a lizard in front of the entire school to commemorate their accomplishment. You can read more about their accomplishment at the following link: http://www.masslive.com/living/index.ssf/2015/04/longmeadow_principal_kisses_lizard_after_students_exceed_reading_goals.html. Congratulations to Center Elementary School's incredible students!
My wonderful 10-year old granddaughter decided she wanted to solicit donations from family and friends for a humanitarian cause. She did much research and chose Heifer International. She raised $320.00...
My name is Kaitlyn Akel, and I am a senior at North Little Rock High School and a member of the NLRMYC. I'm 17-years old. Recently, I held a massive community-wide bake sale with the help of the director of the North Little Rock Mayor's Youth Council, Jan Scholl, and several of the Council's kids in order to raise money to buy an animal or two to send overseas to a family in need...
April 1, 2015 Dear Heifer International, We were so inspired by the story Beatrice's Goat in our third grade reading series that we decided we wanted to raise money to purchase a goat for a family in need like Beatrice's. We realized that we take so much for granted and often don't have to work for any of the things we have. Each student in our class did jobs for our parents and other family members and friends to raise money. Please take this check and make sure a goat goes to a family whose life will be changed. Thank you for opening our eyes and hearts. Sincerely, Mrs. Smith's 3rd Grade Class Lincoln Park Elementary School
...when I visited in February, they already knew so much about Heifer and our mission to end hunger and poverty. March was their month for Read to Feed! We celebrated April 16.
My co-teacher, Deborah Goldstein, and I have done this specific project for 2 years now during the Thanksgiving/Hanukkah period. We give the children a list of animals that we think will be within budget and let them vote on their first and second choice animals to purchase...
At the beginning of April Heifer International's Public Relations Manager received 12 "letters of gratitude" from students at Yarmouth High School in Maine. Not wanting them to go unnoticed, she passed them along to When Cows Fly. Reading through each letter, we were compelled to learn more about the project. Here are some excerpts from the letters we received...
My name is Bat-Ella Pessah and I am 12-years old. Since I was a little girl I have had food allergies, so I wanted to help other kids who also have allergies to be able to make some good food...
We first heard about Heifer International in middle school, but it wasn't until our senior year of high school we researched this organization more. We wanted to share our story to show that ANYONE can make a difference!
As part of Heifer International's kid-friendly honor card competition, we received Bailey's beautiful drawing. Thank you, Bailey!
West Virginia student, Austin, sent us this beautiful, serene drawing of a world without hunger. Thank you, Austin!
Emma, a student in West Virginia, graciously shared this drawing with Heifer International as a part of our kid-friendly honor card contest. Thank you, Emma!
Heifer International would like to thank Duke, an elementary school student in West Virginia, for sharing his hope for a world without hunger!
It was an incredible thing to watch my students (6-7 years old) eagerly doing jobs at home to earn money for the cause. I had one child who even gave up his tooth money that he was going to use to buy himself a toy...
Our class of first, second and third graders, called the Acacia Class, has earned $182.00 from a special bake sale. We were selling baked goods and were selling for four days...
What fun we had in Sunday School raising money for 3 Little Pigs for Heifer International during Lent this year! We are a small church, so our goal was to raise money for one pig but our colorful piggy banks inspired many givers. Each Sunday School student painted a small piggy bank and we lined them up under a bulletin board display featuring pigs colored by children of all ages. Even visitors were moved to give! Thank you for this opportunity, Heifer International!
Today's my 40th birthday and I've been raising money for your organization through a Pay It Forward site. I just realized it would be cool for you to know! My goal is $1,000 to be split between you and a local cat rescue organization. I'm 27% there and am hoping more people donate before Saturday.
In July of 2014, the Presbyterian Women of First Presbyterian Church in Pensacola, FL put together their time and effort to raise funds for Heifer International. The first paragraph of their initial fundraiser flier used to call congregants to give reads: "Presbyterian Women of First Presbyterian Church are committed to helping others by extending a hand up rather than a handout. Their goal is to collect $5,000 to fill an ark for Heifer International in the month of July."
This idyllic drawing was sent to us by Marshall, a young Pennsylvanian Heifer supporter. We thank you for sharing your artistry with Heifer, Marshall!
When Cows Fly: Early in 1976 I learned about Heifer International and thought it sounded like an outstanding organization. To become involved, I decided to produce an afternoon musical. Along with other volunteer musicians, we presented our "Goat Concert" in May of that year. We raised $160--enough to send two goats! I am very fortunate in having abundance to share and am still able to support Heifer by donating a goat and some chicks each year. Thank you for helping me do that. Sincerely, Carol King PS: Enclosed is a photo of me singing in our "Goat Concert" in 1976.)
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...