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.
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Eli's artwork arrived with this note: "I hope you're happy!" Knowing that someone donated in your name, Eli, has definitely made that donation all the sweeter. Thank you for supporting Heifer International!
My Aunt made a donation in my name as a Christmas present. She knows I like to draw, so thought I should enter the contest to be featured on next year's card! It's so important to help people feed themselves in the long term. Thank you for having a wonderful vision! - Elicia H.
"We excitedly share the amount of a 'Gift Ark' from our 'Joyful Noise' collection! Our congregation supports us as we learn to be God's servants by our participation in the church service with the collection of their coins once a month. We use this offering as an on-going service project to help those in need. Thank you for accepting our gift to support your mission! The children of Glossbrenner United Methodist Church"
For Christmas, Audra's grandparents donated a hive of bees in her honor. When Audra sent Heifer International her drawing, she included the note that her grandparents had written to her. A portion of their sweet note reads, "This is from us to you and you to them. Now that family is lucky, too." To Audra and her grandparents: Your generous, giving spirits mean so much to everyone at Heifer but, most importantly, they mean everything to the recipients of your donation. Together, we have power over poverty.
"The young ladies in my 4th and 5th grade Sunday School class raised this money as a Fall project at Charity UMC. We did a modified Read to Feed program using the book Once There Was and Was Not. The girls hosted a lasagna dinner on November 12th and distributed Arks to the adult Sunday school classes. The girls were very enthusiastic about the project and got the church behind them. They did presentations on Sunday morning and to the adult classes. Thank you for all you do to make the world a better place."
"Hello, This was drawn by my 10-year old daughter, Sarah. We've 'received' the Heifer gift for many years from my best friend, Andrew. This is the first year that Sarah truly understands the benevolence of what Heifer International is all about. Thank you! David S."
Many thanks to Kairi, one of Heifer International's young supporters, for the beautiful artwork!
About mid-December Heifer International received a generous donation from New Freedom in Christ Church, located in South Dakota. Along with their donation, they included the featured photo and the following letter. We hope you find it as inspiring as we did!
What does Caitlin see when she pictures a world without hunger? A happily roaming cow. We fully agree with your vision, Caitlin! Thank you for sharing your artwork with everyone at Heifer International and all of our supporters.
This kid-friendly honor card artwork was submitted by Franchesca, a 2nd grade support of Heifer International's mission. As a result of her family's generous donation of three goats, Franchesca wanted us to know that this is what she envisions is a world without hunger--a leaping, happy horse. Thank you for sharing your drawing with Heifer International, Franchesca!
After several months, the 4th - 6th grade Franklin Christian Church Sunday School class reached their fundraising goal! Along with their donation, they sent Heifer International the featured letters thanking Heifer for the work we do. We so impressed by your dedication, Franklin Christian Church, so we thank you for the hard work and dedication to Heifer's mission!
We received Garet's artwork submission with the following statement: "I donated because it was a nice thing to help someone who needs it." A simple and sweet quote that sums up Heifer International's mission in the purest form. Thank you for submitting your artwork, Garet!
When Heifer International received Nate's letter detailing his fundraising experience, we knew we had to share it with our community of donors.
Patrich, a 6th grade student, believes that a world without hunger could be similar to this scene. We at Heifer International think it would be awesome if everyone on the planet was able to indulge in a cookie. Thank you for sharing your artistic talents with us, Patrich!
Michael Henry, a 5th grade supporter of Heifer International, drew this fantastic depiction of what Heifer gifts mean to him. We, too, believe that a world without hunger would look similar to this scene. Anyone fighting hunger is a superhero in Heifer's eyes!
It’s always exciting for Heifer International when we learn about the creative ways our donors are raising funds for our mission. When we caught wind of the innovative fundraising IgnitionCo was pursuing, we had to learn more. Matt Blaisdell, one of a team of three alongside Seth Anthony and Julie Moretti, generously volunteered his time to answer a few questions about their pursuits.
My sons had given a flock of chicks to Heifer International on behalf of their grandmother because she would tell them stories about how she raised chicks on the farm she grew up on in NW Iowa. It brought a huge smile to her face to know that her stories impacted the boys and she was honored by the thoughtful gift. This Christmas the boys have again decided giving through Heifer is a good idea. This time they are giving on behalf of their grandpa. He helped them save a duckling that had fallen into our window well. They named it Oscar and fed it bugs until we could secure a home for it. Now they are donating a flock of ducks and are excited to share this gift with their Grandpa Bob. I appreciate how Heifer helps teach my children not only the value of animals, but how great giving to others feels. Thank you!
Brooke, an 8th grade homeschool student, was recently assigned a community service project with her Civics class. About 4 years ago her family began raising bee colonies, so she decided to take this idea further and fundraise for bees through Heifer International!
When most people think of a child's Christmas wishlist, they envision lists of toys and games and clothing. While Allyson may have written those items on her Christmas wishlist, she included a unique and awesome request: that an animal be sent to a needy family in Africa. When a close family friend saw this request on her list, they immediately thought of Heifer International.
Our stamping group made Heifer International our project for fund raising this year through the First United Methodist Church of Loomis, CA. We decided that we would like to buy a cow for Heifer. However, the goal of raising $500 was larger than we had done in the past. We worked diligently and made enough packets of handmade Christmas cards and, along with selling individual cards as well, were able to raise the necessary funds! We are very proud to be able to bring happiness and support to a needy family who will benefit from your wonderful organization. Thank you for this opportunity to be of help.
This adorable drawing was submitted by Colin, a young Heifer supporter in New Jersey. We want to thank you for taking the time to share your view of Heifer International with us, Colin!
Thuy received the gift of geese and they have been a perfect match on her small farm. The training she received provided essential knowledge in their care.
The chickens her grandmother received made it possible for her to care for Gladys and her 11 cousins who have been orphaned by HIV/AIDS.
Emilia is a member of the impoverished Roma community and the chickens her family received are empowering them to overcome the severe discrimination her people face.
Devota has used money from milk sales to send her children to school and diversify her farm by investing in ducks.