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!
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.
Together we can make cows fly
See stories of how lives are being transformed around the globe through Heifer's work in more than 40 countries.
Heifer is hosting events across the country as part of our "Beyond Hunger: Communities of Change" series. You can see the calendar of events and register for them online. Join us in celebrating Heifer's legacy of creating social change.
See where Heifer is working around the world to end hunger.
Becky, a beloved 6th grade teacher at Austin Academy in Garland, TX, passed away a year ago in a tragic motorcycle accident. Her school decided to honor her memory by donating to Heifer International. Becky's co-worker and friend, Mindy, was kind enough to allow us to share their story.
A worker from Heifer came to my library and after the program I was inspired to raise money for Heifer. We sold honey that was fresh from our bees at the library and we reached our goal of $20 to buy some baby chicks!
The West Bath School, 150 students Grades K-5, began their 6th annual Read to Feed campaign led by former teacher and now librarian, Mrs. Elena Desjardins (Mrs. D). Three weeks into the campaign, Ethan Reno, a 4th grader, approached Mrs. D saying, “I want to help you inspire more students to join Read to Feed this year because I want to help save more children.”
The Half Hollow Hills High School West Environmental Club is proud to announce that they were able to raise $3,010 to be donated to Heifer International, a nonprofit organization working to eradicate poverty and hunger through sustainable, values based holistic community development.
Our students study ethics with issues of Global Poverty and Hunger through discourse on the Millennium Development Goals. It is a Keystone course for Webster's Global Citizenship program.
My son, Oliver, who is seven years old, was inspired by a friend who was selling home-made cookies in order to donate a flock of chicks to Heifer International. He loved the idea of helping needy families by donating an animal that could provide food as well as a way for the family to make money.
There appeared to be little hope, the viability of the farm was in serious doubt. Then I read about Heifer International and how they manage to fly various animal's across the globe. "It they can do it, so can we," said one of the students.
By continuously passing on the gift of Education, we continue with the circle of sharing the knowledge and training of Heifer International with the old volunteers and the new volunteers, with the staff and projects, with the participants and new participants. There are enough ways to pass on the gift of education to ensure a world where everyone should have enough.
Students were shocked to learn that 1 in 8 people will go to bed hungry each night. Then they learned about Heifer International-an organization that “provides livestock for struggling families who have few resources and need an ongoing source of income,” and how those “gifts help families lift themselves to self-reliance.”
Our son is about to turn 12, and two months ago he said he wanted to talk to us about his birthday. We thought, "Here we go - what does he want this year?" Instead he shocked and amazed us by saying that he had everything he needed and he would like to donate the money we would have paid on a present for him to charity.
High school student and 4H member Madden Shanks was motivated by her community service class at Friday Harbor High School to organize a livestock auction to support Heifer International. Having raised livestock through 4H and San Juan County Youth Livestock, Madden knows how important animals can be to struggling families.
Can you think of a more appropriate day to kick off the Heifer Project than Mother’s Day? Heifer is all about mothers, mothers and their babies. Heifer mothers come in all sorts of shapes and sizes from tiny, little fish to….well, big mothers with udders like me. Have you ever seen a finer specimen?
Napa Sonoma Heifer volunteers were honored to host a 70th anniversary celebration at Wombats' Farm in Napa, Calif., the sustainable farm of Carole and Keni Kent, May 3.
I am thankful for the way Heifer makes those first lessons in giving so accessible for children. I know that this program is helping my children just as much, possibly even more, than the families who receive animals. He knows those animals are helping people - and that HE can help too.
The Introduction to Ethics class at Ozarks Technical Community College, Table Rock Campus in Hollister, Missouri hosted a poster session that featured Heifer International.
The Saint Joseph Regional School Builders Club held a Heifer Fair Share Meal on April 16 to demonstrate the reality of hunger across the globe.
My daughter and friends worked together on making an decorating greeting cards for Easter/Passover/Spring.
Thanks for attending Beyond Hunger: Communities of Change NYC and celebrating 70 years of impact with us. We hope you'll continue to support our work by being a seed of change in your own community.
At Heifer's Beyond Hunger event in New Canaan, Conn. on April 12, staff, volunteers, and supporters gathered at the Carriage Barn Arts Center to celebrate Heifer's 70 years of building a sustainable future.
A group of thoughtful, committed vet students at Texas A&M University created, led, and volunteered to host a banquet where all the proceeds were donated to Heifer International.
In January of 2014, my Builders Club students decided that they wanted to do a new service project. Several students had heard of Heifer International before; one even had a donation made on her behalf for a gift. After a bit of research, the club decided that this was a project worth carrying out.
Late in October 2013, the Sunday School decided to raise money to buy a water buffalo for Heifer as a Christmas present. Barb Oakes, a Heifer volunteer in the area, attended their services in December and offered a challenge: if they raised enough money for two water buffaloes, she would match them.
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.
There are a lot of ways to learn about math and geography using textbooks and maps, but the students at Forest Heights Middle School wanted to do something a little different. Christine Mignot, a teacher at the school, wanted the students to not just learn about pie charts and graphs, but life outside Little Rock, Ark. And what better place in our great state to learn about life outside of it than Heifer International.
For our stewardship project his year, we saved our change and gave it to the Heifer Project. The Heifer Project helps needy people around the world by giving them animals.