As Christmas 2012 was approaching I decided to purchase a $500 Nikon camera for my personal enjoyment and use. During that same period of time I received a letter from Heifer International asking that I make a donation to provide a farm animal to a needy family somewhere in the world. It just so happened that a donation of $500 would provide a needy family with a heifer (cow).
I found myself caught in a dilemma - "The Camera vs. The Cow."
I went to the camera shop to purchase the camera and while speaking with the salesperson I kept thinking about the cow. I left without making the purchase. Several days later I went back to the camera shop, spoke to another salesperson, and had a similar experience.
That week I was attending a Newman Nights meeting with my church group and asked for their help in solving my dilemma of "The Camera vs. The Cow." The group suggested that I purchase the camera since owning the new camera appeared to be so important to me. I went back to the camera shop the next day to purchase the camera, spoke to yet another salesperson and the same thing happened. I could not stop thinking about the cow and left without making a purchase.
I felt strange that I could not make a decision and decided to turn to prayer for some additional help.
The answer to my prayer came by way of matching the cost of the camera by making a donation of the cost of a heifer. I then went online and made a donation of $500 to Heifer International for the puchase of one heifer. The next day I went back to the camera shop and spoke to the fourth salesperson, and not only purchased the $500 camera but another very small Nikon camera that was on sale for $100. After adding the cost of the required memory card, an extra battery, two lenses and a small camera bag I was nearing a $1,500 total. That meant that I needed to donate the cost of two more heifers ($1,000) in order to match my camera purchases.
Well, I was stretching my Christmas budget to the very limit if I made a donation to cover the cost of two Heifers, but three Heifers were out of the question. Fortunately for me, Heifer International sent me an email letting me know that a generous donor was willing to match any donations up to $200,000. This allowed the make my donation of another $500 for my second heifer and having that donation matched for a total of three heifers. Needless to say I was greatly relieved and appreciative of the generous donor's matching funds.
This whole process of struggling with "The Camera vs. The Cow" dilemma has taught me a very good lesson. If we as individuals are to follow our belief that we must "Do unto others as we would have them do unto us," then we must strike a balance between serving our personal desires and needs and meeting the needs of so many others in this world who depend on our help in their times of need.
Thanks Heifer International for letting me tell my story!
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This Thanksgiving, I brought my family on board to Heifer International by giving a gift in their names. Each of the 24 family members was given a picture from the catalog of the animal he/she gave.
I love to ride my bicycle. In April 2012, I was involved in a serious crash in a bicycle race. It was a long recovery, but I am extremely thankful to be doing so well. To express my gratitude, I have a special project for 2013 called "A Year of Centuries". I am riding one century (100 miles in a single bicycle ride) each month. Each century highlights a charitable organization that is particularly meaningful to me. As a longtime supporter, I am so pleased to be riding on behalf of Heifer International for December.
What do you give someone who is 94 years old, has lived a very full life, downsized her home of 51 years and moved to a small, assisted-living apartment? And since that someone, as in my mother's case, is an individual who has spent much of her life giving to others, the gift of a goat from Heifer International would be perfectly appropriate! I am well known in my family for coming up with poems for special occasions, so of course it was expected that I would write one to accompany this gift.
On Sunday November 17th, Linda McBee and I had the pleasure of going to Fort Bragg to present the pastor, Dan Fowler, and his congregation, with an Ark Plaque for their generous donation of $8,000 for a goat project in Nduma near Nairobi Africa. We were warmly welcomed by the church members and were each given a gift of a jar of ingredients to make a winter bean soup.
The Xi Kappa Omega Chapter, of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, recently partnered with Heifer International for a reading of the children’s book Beatrice’s Goat in Oxnard, California. Beatrice’s Goat is based on Beatrice Biira’s real life story of how her life changed after her family received the gift of a goat from Heifer International.
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Paula and Camila Rojas just moved to South Africa from Colombia. Although they’re still getting a feel for the South African environment and change in curriculum, the sisters embarked on their own campaign to raise awareness and funds for Heifer South Africa after they heard about Heifer through the Read to Feed program at their school.
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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.
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I recently played the music for a retreat Mass at a nearby Catholic parish. I received a very generous, and totally unexpected, gift card in the mail from the church secretary, Geralyn, to thank me for my music...
Valerik Khachatryan is a skillful tailor. He is famous in his village for his beautiful work. When he is not busy sewing or tailoring, he does small-scale farming. His family, which includes his wife Amalya, daughter Zhanna, 16, and son Vanik, 13, owns two calves, six hens, 10 chickens and a small pool with carp fish. Valerik dreams of growing their family farm.
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...
Winnifred Senn of Walnut Creek, California celebrated her 100th birthday on October 10, 2013. In honor of this special milestone, an Elderly Wish Foundation was contacted to grant Winnifred (Winn) a special wish. When asked what she might want, Winn replied that she would like a cow to be given to another family through Heifer International...
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.
Nikhil Chetty, a grade two learner at Crawford Preparatory School in La Lucia, South Africa has always participated actively in the Read to Feed Program. His passion for the program and determination to help end hunger and poverty is an incredible affirmation of Heifer’s belief that young people have the power to change the world.
Picture seven tall kitchen waste baskets full of used, empty bottles and cans. It looks like a pile of junk! That is, unless your name is Shea Berry. With many of the bottles and cans carrying coding for refundable recycling, Shea recognized their true value.
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.
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