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.
My husband, three grown kids (pun intended) and their kids, our four grandchildren, encouraged me to share this poem with Heifer at the time. Somehow, I never got around to it. This holiday season will be a somewhat difficult one for all of my family as my mother, Kitty (Katherine Ahern Habing), is no longer with us. She passed away this past March, just six weeks prior to her 102nd birthday!
In her honor and in memory of all her charitable work (only a tiny bit of which is referenced in my poem) I now wish to share this poem as a tribute to my mother's long life of giving and to the wonderful work that Heifer does! No words can do justice to Heifer's mission across the globe to better the lives of so many, but I hope my modest, little poem will serve as a small tribute both to this wonderful organization and to the memory of my mother's generous life.
Wishing all of you who might be reading this a happy holiday season!
Gratefully, Trish Cancilla
The Gift of a Goat:
We give you the gift that will go on giving,
To honor your life of generous living
You scored high marks on the "Giving Meter"
When you served as my top-notch Brownie Leader
Your points in giving continued to build
As you volunteered for the hospital guild
And those custards you baked for your sick friends,
Did your generosity never end?????
Driving the "seniors" to here and to there,
Giving your time with unselfish care
Now, for those years of generous giving
Here is our gift that will go on living
For many years after we all have passed
The effects of this gift will last and last
A symbol of what Christmas truly should be,
When we give of ourselves most generously
Opening our hearts to goodness and grace,
Helping others in some far-away place
This gift of a goat is our gift to you,
Hoping the benefits that will ensue
Will affect someone in a positive way
And remain in their heart beyond This Christmas Day!
- Trish Cancilla
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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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.
While viewing a DVD on missions, our Sunday School class of 5- to 9-year olds wanted to find a way to help the world. Since they all love animals and since they knew this gift could continue to grow, they decided on Heifer International. In our small church, it became affectionately called the Feed the Pig project! Click the title of this story to read more!
Becoming a bar or bat mitzvah is significant, and Heifer International wants to be a part of your celebration. Join us at the Mitzvah Project Fair in Tarrytown, NY, on Sunday, November 22 or check out www.heifer.org/faith for A Guide for Choosing Heifer International as Your Mitzvah Project.
For four generations, Courtney Tanner-Bellows' family has donated to Heifer International. Recently Courtney, her sister Tiffany, and Tiffany's daughters decided that they wanted to donate a water buffalo to carry on the tradition. It took them a couple of years to raise the money, but they were able to raise enough to give a water buffalo, an irrigation pump, a flock of ducks and geese, a flock of chicks and a share of a pig! What makes this story extra special is that the Tanner-Bellows family own Creamery Brook Bison Farm!!
First published on his personal blog, David, a young Heifer supporter, wrote about his experience at Heifer Farm in Rutland, MA for a school field trip. Click the title of this story to read his story!
Our students were so touched by the book Beatrice's Goat and the videos that they far exceeded our expectations! Even though our school is 98% free and reduced lunch, our students worked very hard to raise money to purchase three goats and three flocks of chickens rather than the one goat we had planned to purchase. Click the title of this story to read more!
World hunger is a huge problem! That's the first conclusion that the fourth and fifth grade students at Windy Ridge K-8, in a class called "Feeding the World," came to. The second conclusion was that it isn't an easy problem to solve either. Click the title of this story to read more!
June 19, 2015 Dear Friends at Heifer International, Enclosed is a donation of $240.00 for 2 pigs! For the fourteenth year we have asked our students and staff to read 200,000 minutes for our "Read to Feed" program. Upon reaching this goal, our PTA donated the funds for the pig purchase. Our students again surpassed this goal by reading 251,894 minutes. We are very proud of them. In the photo is the wall where we tracked our progress. Sincerely yours, Joan Mommsen & Gail Leslie Belle Aire School LRC
Dear Heifer International, Our class earned $120, enough to buy a goat for a family in need! We earned this money by being respectful listeners, good participators, cooperative classmates and by donating money we earned at home. We hope that our gift will bring "light" to the family who receives a goat and that they will bring their "light" to other families. Collin, Conner, Brandon, Adrian, Anthony, Charley, Elizabeth, Gianna, Matt, Jordan, Tammy, Alex, Madison and Judy Michalek (teacher)
Our club spent the whole year raising money for Heifer. We raised money through many activities, including: hosting a tailgate at a University of Missouri football game, collecting spare change at our school, organizing a Read-to-Feed partnership with a local elementary school. Click the title of this story to learn more!
Heifer receives thank you mail from our donors all the time. In this particular instance, we wanted to thank the students that attend University Presbyterian Church for their very generous donation!
Join Ted & Company at one of the 3 performances of 12 Baskets and a Goat!
Enclosed is over $6,000 that my school, River Crest Elementary, in Hudson, WI, raised for Heifer Project through the Read to Feed Program. This is the second time we have done Read to Feed, having raised $9,000 in our first effort two years ago. This year, we completed a month-long program of reading, educating ourselves about Heifer Project, and learning about the global issue of poverty and the inequitable distribution of world resources. Our 480 students raised this total. Click the title of this story to read more!
Deep River UCC of Deep River, CT raise $5,000 over 18-months! Congratulations Deep River UCC Sunday School! Click the title of this story to read more.
We are a Sunday School class of elementary kids at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Springfield, MO. We recently (finally!) saved $60 for rabbits. Enclosed is a photo of us and another of Carter demonstrating how we deposit our coins. Our bank has a lid that adds the total amount in the bank. We love to see those dollars and cents add up, so it inspires us to bring money as depositing it is fun. We also feel good about helping the cause. We are now saving for a flock of chicks. That should be easier--a third of $60! Sincerely, Janet Trotter, teacher
A very creative donor sent her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren a ballot of possible animal donations for them to vote on. Click on the title of this story to read more!
Dear Heifer International, We are a small school of approximately 220 students in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. We have been learning about the work you do for people who need assistance all over the world. We have been inspired by your work and we wanted to raise money to help in your worthy cause. We read books, created artwork and had an art auction on art night. We know it's not thousands of dollars, but we are proud of what we collected. We know you will put it to good use! Thank you for everything that you do! Love, Mrs. Myers and the students of Sylvan Heights Science Charter School
Dear Heifer International, We really enjoyed using "Animal Crackers" last year to learn about animals and how they help people. We learned that all God has created and was created for a reason and we should do our part to take care of it and help take care of others, too! We raised $783.00 at our Christ's Kids Carnival for Heifer International. We made a poster at the carnival but it was too big to send, so we are sending you a picture of it. Thank you for all you do to teach and provide for others around the world. Peace & Love, Christ's Kids at 1st UMC Crane, TX
We own a business called Crafter's Closet. For about two years, we have been selling our knitted and crocheted goods to raise funds for clean water. Click the title of this story to read more!
I am in 5th grade and go to school at New Hope Christian Academy. We participated in the Global Gateway Experience. I thought it was incredible! When we arrived, we played a few games, but lunch was very important. Not everyone got enough food, but I did. Click the title of this story to read more!