If you asked Zoe Prekop about herself, she would say she is a junior from Chicago that loves traveling, exploring new places and even cliff jumping! But in addition to being a fun-loving teen open to new ideas and experiences, Zoe has been a huge advocate for ending hunger and poverty and organizing support for Heifer International.
As a member of the Lincoln Park Presbyterian Church--a congregation of about 60 people--she has been doing Living Gift Markets in her community since she was 9-years old. Over the years, Zoe has raised approximately $7,000 and says she plans to continue doing this popular fundraiser as long as she can. Zoe recently spoke with Beth Gunzel, Community Engagement Coordinator for Heifer in Chicago, to share her story.
Beth: What inspired you to get involved in hunger and poverty issues?
Zoe: My family has always been one to give back to the community in one way or another, so I grew up with not only an expectation, but wanting to help those in need. When I was nine years old, back in 2005, I saw a Heifer magazine [World Ark] in my grandparents’ house. I looked through the whole magazine and loved the idea of a sustainable donation. I’ve been working in LPPCs homeless shelter for many years and I find myself attracted to helping the homeless and hungry, which is probably why I was so drawn to Heifer.
Beth: How do you get church members to support your Living Gift Market?
Zoe: I sell Heifer [animals] during LPPCs Alternative Christmas Fair where there are multiple people from different organizations selling a variety of merchandise. Everyone is so supportive and they realize that even though they don’t walk off with a physical gift, what they bought is more important than anything they could have gotten wrapped from a store.
Beth: Are there any particular countries that Heifer works in that you are most interested in?
Zoe: As of now the Goats Give Back project in Nepal seems very exciting! Most of the time I don’t have a specific country that I want to send to, it’s always been about helping as many people as I can. One day I hope I can travel to all these different places and participate in person.
Beth: What three tips would you give on having a successful Living Gift Market?
Zoe: I would say that make sure you have enough information about what you’re selling and why it’s important. Having an honor card as proof of purchase never hurts, and lastly you need to be passionate about what you’re doing because people will feel that energy and it will not only get you excited about their purchase, it will get them excited too.
Beth: What words of encouragement can you provide for other teens considering doing a Living Gift Market?
Zoe: Never give up or get discouraged about not selling tons of stuff. In my very first year I sold around $80 in chickens and geese. It didn’t seem like I was doing anything, but then I realized that even if I’m only helping four people, that’s four more people that won’t go to sleep hungry for years to come. Do what you can and know that every bit helps.
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.