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.
Our Golden Rule Sunday School has been supporting Heifer International for several years. Social action projects are a big part of our program, and we try to combine local and international projects, including volunteering at a nearby forest preserve, collecting books for children that have no books in their home, making lunches for a homeless shelter, and an ongoing change jar to collect for Heifer International. Click the title of this story to read more...
We raised this money with our 4-H group by making a lemonade stand that supports "Chickens for Change." We are donating all of the profits from our lemonade stand to Heifer International. Click the title of this story to read more...
My name is Shiloh. I live in Durham, NC and I just turned 10-years old. I know I am so lucky to live in a family that is able to take care of me, but I know a lot of people can't take care of their families so I asked my friends to donate money to Heifer International for my 10th birthday party instead of giving me presents. I was HOPING to receive enough to buy a goat for a family and I DID!! I am so excited that a family will now have milk and cheese for themselves and to sell for profit!! Yay!! A goat!!! I hope the goat and the family will be very happy!! Love, Shiloh
I am happy to announce that after two weeks of hard work, our students from Preschool through 8th grade have raised $1,417.31 to give to Heifer International. This fundraising was a school-wide service project and we are very proud of the students! Click the title of this story to read more...
We filled the Ark and had a great time doing it! ...As an incentive, the Religious Education staff promised to kiss a pig if the goal was reached. Click on the title of this story to read more...
The Ark became the conversational topic of the community. It offered our members a wonderful opportunity to spread the word of the fantastic work done by Heifer International. Click the title of this story to read more...
I have 30 students from a Title I school where more than 75% of them receive free and reduced lunch. They participated in two swap meets, a bake sale, the Chores for Change fundraiser, collecting cans and bottles and asking for donations in order to collect enough funds to help send a girl to school. Click the title of this story to read more...
Valentina, a kindergarten student in North Carolina, shared, "I like helping people." Thank you, Valentina, for helping Heifer help people!
On Wednesday, the Vacation Bible School at Henderson United Methodist Church in Little Rock received a visit from Heifer Village and learned how a simple animal, such as a goat, can have a great impact on families in need! Click the title of this story to read more...
In 2012 we began a 20k trail run. Hoof It for Heifer is held on the Boy Scouts of America hiking trail in Petit Jean State Park atop Petit Jean Mountain near Morrilton, AR. The popularity of the run among trail runners has increased each year and with that we have been able to increase the amount we give to Heifer. We held our fourth run in April 2015 with 126 runners registered. Click the title of the story to read more...
...I had challenged the children of our congregation (ten children ages 3- to 11-years old) to help raise money to buy one sheep for Heifer. And when I gave them that challenge, one of the older girls said that they would raise enough for two sheep and the rest of the children cheered--they were very enthusiastic! Click the title of this story to read more.
Transitional kindergarten student, Carla, shared, "Heifer helps people!" If you would like to learn more about our mission, please click on the following link: http://www.heifer.org/ending-hunger/index.html.
A student at Hickory Day School in North Carolina sent us this photo, depicting their idea of a world without hunger. Thank you for sharing!
Reid said about his drawing, "Heifer gives a poor person a chicken." You can learn more about our chick donations here: http://www.heifer.org/gift-catalog/index.html.
In 2005 I was an intern as a pre-service teacher in a first grade classroom where we studied all about insects. As a parting gift to my class, I made a donation to Heifer International in their honor. I made a donation of a honeybee hive. We talked in class about how donating these bees would be a lifelong gift and that when they had children who were in first grade learning about insects and honeybees that hive would still be producing honey in a village somewhere. If you are interested in learning more about Heifer International's honeybee donation option, please click here.