I remember the first time I heard of Heifer International. I was sitting in a Peace Corps van, driving through the streets of Thies, the second largest city in Senegal. Two of my fellow volunteers started excitedly chattering as we passed a sign. They slapped on the window and shrieked at each other. I didn’t really understand the excitement, but I noted the sign, a cow jumping over the word “Heifer.” At the moment, it didn’t mean much to me, but looking back on that moment, it was the start to something amazing.
Heifer International didn’t come back into my life for almost 2 more years. During those years I worked as an Environmental Education Extension Agent for the Peace Corps in Senegal, West Africa. This was a job that would change my life for the better, opening a door into international development and aide work. This is where I was meant to be; this is why I am on this Earth. I fell in love with Senegalese culture, seeing the world and working for Peace Corps, but it all had to come to an end eventually and I needed to figure out what life held for me post-Peace Corps.
That’s when I was reintroduced to Heifer International came back, through the same friends who had been in that van years before. They ranted and raved about their experiences working at the Heifer Ranch and Heifer Farm (known then as Overlook Farm). They said I would love it and it would be a perfect fit. I wasn’t sure about it, but I took the leap and applied. It was a smooth process, including couple of emails, a less-than-audible phone interview, and before long I received notice I had been accepted onto the Heifer Farm as an Education Volunteer. So I moved my life home from Senegal, West Africa to Los Angeles, CA, where I spent a couple of weeks before moving to Rutland, Massachusetts, the home of Heifer Farm.
I had no idea what would be in store for me once I arrived but I knew I needed a new home. From the moment I stepped foot on the farm I was surrounded by like-minded, open, exciting people; people who were excited to have me and eager to include me in this new community. There were even some returned Peace Corps volunteers, like myself, from Panama, Kenya and Paraguay. Living on Heifer Farm and learning about the various Heifer projects all over the world motivated me to take my education into my own hands and start exploring new realms of interest. This was the beginning of a binge of documentaries, TED talks, and podcasts, topics surrounding food, food systems, hunger, poverty and international development. In the first few months at Heifer Farm I felt like a sponge, soaking up everything and all that was thrown at me.
I could see this love to learning coming out in my work through my facilitation of groups. I knew I was not ready to leave the farm after my original contract ended, so I decided to extend through the summer, even deferring graduate school for a year, to make sure I could feel complete in my Heifer experience. I will have completed 7 months on the Heifer Farm in November and each month has brought a new, exciting load of information about what Heifer and other similar organizations are doing to bout hunger and poverty all over the world. Without this Heifer experience, I would not feel as confident as I do now to take on graduate school and continue my career path into development and aide work.
Heifer Farm has created the perfect environment that helps to educate the local public, while also allowing the volunteers, who devote 24hr/7 days a week to the organization, to grown as individuals. Heifer International is a community of people. An environment I will seek out no matter where this life takes me and I am so proud to have spent this time as a residential volunteer on Heifer Farm.
- Nicolette Ulrich
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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Velasco Family Supports Heifer International in Memory of their Daughter, Yvette
A music recital benefiting Heifer International’s Empower Women Movement will be taking place on Saturday at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Centre County. Organized by State College native Raina Arnett, the concert is intended to showcase some classical musical talent while also highlighting a terrific social cause. “I believe classical music is something that everyone can enjoy, no matter your age, background, occupation or knowledge of the subject,” Arnett said. “I’ve played on the Young Artists Concert Series at the UUFCC before and each time I like to raise money for a different cause supporting young women around the world. After some research, I decided to support the Heifer International’s Empower Women campaign this year.” Please click the title of the story to read more!
Upon learning that there is enough food in the world for everyone but it is not distributed equally, fifth-grade GATE (Gifted and Talented Education) students at Mabel Hoggard Magnet School in Las Vegas, NV, got rocking on a solution. They rocked in more ways than one. In two short months, students established their own company, created more than 200 original pet rocks, and raised $550 to fight world hunger... Please click the title of the story to read more!
Project recipient, Frank V, expresses his gratitude after his family received a cow from Heifer Int'l in Poland in the year of 1949. Please click the title to read his letter!
In 2013 I took my son, then a second grader, to the Hunger Banquet at Misericordia University where I was a student. There he learned about the difference between poor, middle, and wealthy classes and just how many children go hungry around the world. The distended bellies in the photos really upset him. Afterwards he asked if he could mail food to the poor kids. I knew of Heifer from when I was in youth group and found it was still helping those around the world and explained how it works to my son. He was immediately on board. He approached the school about holding his first physical fundraiser on campus during the Hunger Awareness Week. He now does a fundraiser annually, creating youtube call-to-action videos... Please click the title of the story to read more!!
Our Sunday School has been participating in the Heifer Program for the last four years. In the past, we have purchased chickens, ducks, bees, a lamb and this year the children decided on a calf. They have raised $1277.69. Last Sunday one of our dairy farmers brought a calf so the children could see what was being sent. Praise be to God for this gift of two calves.
I am the adviser of our school's Character Council at Summit Road STEM Elementary in Reynoldsburg, OH. We have been doing outreach fundraisers which impact our school, our community and globally. The council chose Heifer International as the global outreach. They challenged each person in our school to donate 5 "little" pennies which equaled 2,500 pennies. In doing so, we as a building would be able to raise $25.00 dollars. After collecting our "little" pennies, the total was 11,664 pennies equaling $116.64. This number will be changing because the council received more pennies after they made their announcement. The council had originally thought they would like the donation go towards a flock of ducks or honeybees. Now they will need to review the options and decide what the donation will go towards since they collected $91.00 over their goal! I am so proud of the council members and our school community for exceeding our goal!
Our Church (West Lebanon NH UCC) just finished a very successful 2016 Heifer drive. We initiated the month long Fill The Ark calendar on April 3rd by introducing the Fill The Ark program to both the Sunday School youth and the entire congregation. Over the next month the Sunday School would paste paper animals they colored to fill up a large cardboard Ark set up in the Sanctuary. During the Sunday May 1 service the Sunday School youth collected the boxes from the congregation and filled the front of the Ark. This Sunday the youth will decide what animals to purchase with the $1,000 raised. Also in June the youth and interested members of the congregation will travel to the Heifer farm in Rutland MA to learn more about Heifer and have an afternoon at the farm. Heifer's Fill The Ark calendar was a terrific tool that helped energize our congregation's 2016 Heifer project.
Earlier this spring, the Youth of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Southington, CT organized and participated in a ‘Famine Weekend’ to raise money and awareness for Heifer International and other like-minded organizations. The Church Youth, grades 6-12 begin fasting after school lunch on Friday and did not eat solid food again until Sat evening at 6:00, sustaining themselves on only water and some juice during that period. They asked people to support their efforts through monetary donations. After school, they joined together at the church to play a variety of games and exercises... Please click the title of the story to read more!
Heifer International Supporter, Ms. Fitzgerald, shares an article from the Okanogan Independent written on Thursday, May 2nd, 1968, in Okanogan, WA... Click the link below to read the article!
H. Frank Carey High School held a small presentation at which students were awarded with a $1,000 donation to Heifer International... Click the link to read the rest of the story!
Dear Heifer International, I am the first grade teacher at St. Bridget School in Manchester, CT. The past few years, I have done the Read to Feed service project with my class. I am writing you this letter because this enclosed gift of $60, raised specifically for three flocks of chicks to help bring some families out of poverty, is very special... Please click the link below to read more...