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
Welcome to the Heifer family. Donors, volunteers, recipients and our teams around the world share a common goal: To end hunger and poverty in a sustainable way. It’s a lofty goal, but we know it's achievable. Together we are the family that can create this change.
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See stories of how lives are being transformed around the globe through Heifer's work in more than 20 countries.
See where Heifer is working around the world to end hunger.
Bring the whole family to a fun-filled festival of food and farming this weekend, October 1st & 2nd, at Heifer Farm in Rutland, MA! Celebrate the harvest at home and around the world with their friendly animals and knowledgeable staff.
The Rozell Family stopped in for a tour of the Heifer International Village over the weekend. Please click on the title of this article to see photos and read about their experience at the Village!
As a principal there are several jobs that have to be done that are not found in any job description. Sacred Heart Principal Dr. Gary Manning can certainly attest to that after what he was asked to do for his students on Thursday afternoon. His assignment: to kiss a goat... Please click the title to read the story!
When Heifer International was founded in 1944, Dan West and his fellow brethren started sending heifers overseas for war relief efforts. Seagoing cowboys would volunteer to help transport the animals! Heifer Int'l has now started purchasing the livestock within the local country, which helps funnel money back into the local economy where the animals are purchased. According to this advertisement in 1946, the cost of purchasing a heifer and sending it overseas was $160. Now a Heifer can be purchased within the country for $500.
Allison Masthay (13), a Hartford County 4-H member from East Windsor, and Abby Rogers (14) of Enfield, wanted to find a way to use their 4-H interests to help others. They decided to make felted soaps to sell at the fair and donate the proceeds to Heifer International... Please click the title of the story to read more!
Lauren Berghman, Young Adult Librarian at the Dover Town Library, picks the first winner of the town’s summer reading program... A Read for a Cause program enables kids to convert their reading into a vote for either an animal or tree that will be donated through Heifer International. This year, the children may choose between a llama, duck, goat, honeybees or tree. Please click the title to read the full article!
Photo Submitted By Joyce Brewer | Atlanta, GA
Submitted by Students from Mount Carmel, UT
I had read the article written by Chelsea Clinton, titled 'Why Some Countries Are Poorer Than Others' in the summer edition of your Worldark magazine. I was especially touched by Chelsea’s mention of her grandmother’s gift of animals through Heifer International in her grandchildren’s name and of the story of Beatrice’s Goat. I obtained a copy of Beatrice’s Goat and fell in love with the story and wanted to promote its cause during our upcoming Vacation Bible School... Please click the title to read the rest of the story!
Submitted by Student | Pennsylvania
Submitted by Sarah B | Mount Carmel, UT
I wanted to share my daughters display that she put together for her 4h agricultural fair that she and her club (Doesy Doats Dairy goat club) participated in. The public loved the display and many people took advantage of the pamphlets and goodies that you generously sent her (Sarah L). Thanks again for letting my daughter and her club be part of your wonderful foundation!
1966 - A photo of a Korean mother and her two children who received the gift of livestock through Heifer's mission efforts.