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 20 countries.
See where Heifer is working around the world to end hunger.
Big City Mom, Rebecca, throws her 3-year-old daughter a birthday party and asks guests to bring donations to Heifer International! Please click the link below to read her blog post from Big City Moms...
The children at Congregation Beth Am in Los Altos Hill, CA sent a letter and pictures expressing their excitement for purchasing a cow for a family in need. Click the link below to read their letter!
8th Grader in Boulder, CO hosts a concert for Heifer
Orange, pink, yellow, blue and more covered the Foxcroft campus on Friday during the Class of 2017’s Junior Class Walkathon. Following the previous year’s theme of a color run, students and faculty enjoyed the warm weather and sunny day to raise money for a great cause--Heifer International. Click on the title of this story to read more!
My Grandma introduced me to Heifer International when I was 5 or 6 years old. It was near Christmas and she got a magazine, thought it was junk mail and was looking through it. She started reading about Heifer. Then I came over and she asked me, "Do you want to give a trio of rabbits to a family somewhere in the world?" I said, "Sure" and she told me all about Heifer. Now I am 10 years old and I have been giving to Heifer for a long time. I just love Heifer and it is an organization that helps poor people. I wanted my 4th grade class to know about Heifer and how they can help families. I talked with a teacher at my school and asked for help. We worked on a presentation to share with the 4th graders teaching them about Heifer. Then I made a flyer to go home with all the 4th graders. Then they had 2 weeks to donate money to Heifer. After the 2 weeks I counted all the money and we came out with $150.13. I want to buy an irrigation pump because I know water is very important. You can make food with it and you can drink it. I hope my donation impacts the world! Submitted by Elizabeth S.
Dear Heifer International, This entire idea started about two months ago when I saw the catalog lying on our center island. I paged through it and saw all of these people that needed food and income. Then it hit me, it would be a great idea to try to get my family to support me in this project. When the first email came I went crazy. My grandma had just given $50! Then the emails were coming in like crazy. I was getting donations almost once a minute. So then a month later we decided to get a Hope Basket, Clean Water for One Village, and a flock of chickens. Enclosed is $225. Keep the extra $5. Thanks, Nico S.
Hi! My name is Hannah and I am 8-years old. I raised money by making bracelets and instead of Christmas presents, I asked for money. So please buy a goat and (a flock of) chicken(s) with the money I raised! Happy Valentine's Day! Hannah PS: I hope I make a family happy.
Family donates water buffalo as holiday gift... Click the title of this story to read more!
Please accept this donation not just from me, but as a gift from North Park Elementary School. Let me explain how this came about. When I received the Heifer International (gift) catalog at my home, I decided to see if my principal would approve it as a class fundraiser. Needless to say, she did, so the class fundraiser grew into a school-wide fundraiser! All we asked for were donations of loose change and we call our fundraiser, "Change to Change the World." (Along with an introductory letter we wrote to help students, families and teachers learn more about your orgainzation and mission) some teachers also read Beatrice's Goat by Page McBrier, which contains an afterward by Hillary Clinton that mentions Heifer International. In the end we collected $229.76 in loose change as well as $89 in bills. The students were so proud to see the level of generosity found within our school community! So, on behalf of the North Park Elementary community, please accept our donation and use it in any way that will support the communities in need most. Thank you for what you are doing!
It is with great pleasure that we have enclosed a check for $5,000 to give an Ark through Heifer International. Our small, rural congregation initially established this goal 2 1/2 years ago. We have been steadily working toward it using various fundraising efforts. It has truly been a group effort in that money was received from our Sunday School children, our youth group, our women's fellowship, Sunday mission offerings and individual donations. We support in the work of Heifer, especially the idea of Passing on the Gift. We are excited at the prospect of our gift multiplying to provide sustainability, self-reliance and hope to people around the globe. We are blessed and grateful to be able to share this gift. Thank you for the opportunity to reach far beyond our small town to give assistance to those who need it most.
Dear Heifer, I am a teacher in the small, rural school of West Greene District in PA. I also love travel, and do so frequently with my fiancee and have organized an International Club at my school. My fiancee and I have been to numerous countries (17 for me, 38 for him--he is a retired US Marine), and the students have raised money and in the last four years have traveled to England, France, Greece and Italy. They are currently fundraising for the next trip in 2017, a return to London and Paris, albeit with a new group. I do my best to open the world and its experiences to my students, many of whom have never traveled outside of their own state, let alone another country. I try to expose them to the sometimes vast differences between the life they know in the US and that of others in various countries. To that end, I encourage donations whenever possible. In the past, the West Greene International Club has donated twice to Cambodia, a country near to my heart after visiting there. Our last donation was a few months ago, and we received a lovely certificate from Heifer, which is proudly displayed in my classroom. With that certificate came a note concerning Heifer's latest project spotlight--Vietnam--which I immediately showed to my students. I have also visited that beautiful country and showed my photos to the students and told them about the people there. In the spirit of Christmas, my students brought in donations--single dollars, coins, pennies, etc. A fellow teacher donated as well. We proudly enclose our check for $50. Warm regards, Rebecca M.
Shared with permission from Noreen Lewis of New Mexico. This letter was sent to loved ones on her "special Christmas list" before the holiday season began. "...I asked the organization to send me a catalog for each of you. Having your own catalog, you can see for yourself what we've done." Click the title of this story to read more!