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.
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.
Members of BRAVE from Sedgwick Middle School, Smith STEM School, and Conard High School with founder Meaghan Davis. BRAVE recently raised more than $6,600 to send 24 girls in other countries to school. Please click the title of the story to read more!
Velasco Family Supports Heifer International in Memory of their Daughter, Yvette
A music recital benefiting Heifer International’s Empower Women Movement will be taking place on Saturday at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Centre County. Organized by State College native Raina Arnett, the concert is intended to showcase some classical musical talent while also highlighting a terrific social cause. “I believe classical music is something that everyone can enjoy, no matter your age, background, occupation or knowledge of the subject,” Arnett said. “I’ve played on the Young Artists Concert Series at the UUFCC before and each time I like to raise money for a different cause supporting young women around the world. After some research, I decided to support the Heifer International’s Empower Women campaign this year.” Please click the title of the story to read more!
Upon learning that there is enough food in the world for everyone but it is not distributed equally, fifth-grade GATE (Gifted and Talented Education) students at Mabel Hoggard Magnet School in Las Vegas, NV, got rocking on a solution. They rocked in more ways than one. In two short months, students established their own company, created more than 200 original pet rocks, and raised $550 to fight world hunger... Please click the title of the story to read more!
Project recipient, Frank V, expresses his gratitude after his family received a cow from Heifer Int'l in Poland in the year of 1949. Please click the title to read his letter!
In 2013 I took my son, then a second grader, to the Hunger Banquet at Misericordia University where I was a student. There he learned about the difference between poor, middle, and wealthy classes and just how many children go hungry around the world. The distended bellies in the photos really upset him. Afterwards he asked if he could mail food to the poor kids. I knew of Heifer from when I was in youth group and found it was still helping those around the world and explained how it works to my son. He was immediately on board. He approached the school about holding his first physical fundraiser on campus during the Hunger Awareness Week. He now does a fundraiser annually, creating youtube call-to-action videos... Please click the title of the story to read more!!
Our Sunday School has been participating in the Heifer Program for the last four years. In the past, we have purchased chickens, ducks, bees, a lamb and this year the children decided on a calf. They have raised $1277.69. Last Sunday one of our dairy farmers brought a calf so the children could see what was being sent. Praise be to God for this gift of two calves.
I am the adviser of our school's Character Council at Summit Road STEM Elementary in Reynoldsburg, OH. We have been doing outreach fundraisers which impact our school, our community and globally. The council chose Heifer International as the global outreach. They challenged each person in our school to donate 5 "little" pennies which equaled 2,500 pennies. In doing so, we as a building would be able to raise $25.00 dollars. After collecting our "little" pennies, the total was 11,664 pennies equaling $116.64. This number will be changing because the council received more pennies after they made their announcement. The council had originally thought they would like the donation go towards a flock of ducks or honeybees. Now they will need to review the options and decide what the donation will go towards since they collected $91.00 over their goal! I am so proud of the council members and our school community for exceeding our goal!
Our Church (West Lebanon NH UCC) just finished a very successful 2016 Heifer drive. We initiated the month long Fill The Ark calendar on April 3rd by introducing the Fill The Ark program to both the Sunday School youth and the entire congregation. Over the next month the Sunday School would paste paper animals they colored to fill up a large cardboard Ark set up in the Sanctuary. During the Sunday May 1 service the Sunday School youth collected the boxes from the congregation and filled the front of the Ark. This Sunday the youth will decide what animals to purchase with the $1,000 raised. Also in June the youth and interested members of the congregation will travel to the Heifer farm in Rutland MA to learn more about Heifer and have an afternoon at the farm. Heifer's Fill The Ark calendar was a terrific tool that helped energize our congregation's 2016 Heifer project.
Earlier this spring, the Youth of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Southington, CT organized and participated in a ‘Famine Weekend’ to raise money and awareness for Heifer International and other like-minded organizations. The Church Youth, grades 6-12 begin fasting after school lunch on Friday and did not eat solid food again until Sat evening at 6:00, sustaining themselves on only water and some juice during that period. They asked people to support their efforts through monetary donations. After school, they joined together at the church to play a variety of games and exercises... Please click the title of the story to read more!
Heifer International Supporter, Ms. Fitzgerald, shares an article from the Okanogan Independent written on Thursday, May 2nd, 1968, in Okanogan, WA... Click the link below to read the article!
H. Frank Carey High School held a small presentation at which students were awarded with a $1,000 donation to Heifer International... Click the link to read the rest of the story!