Celebrating Passing on the Gift® at Concepción de María: In early October 2013, the small village of Concepción de María, nestled in the mountain crevices of Honduras, bustled with activity. More than 60 families were gathered at the corner of the local soccer field to celebrate another round of Passing on the Gift®. The crew gathered included leaders of the local community, Heifer partners and staff, and joyous family members ready to pass on gifts of calves and chickens. With the lime green mountains acting as the backdrop and silent witness, one-by-one, families took center stage and passed on the same kinds of gifts they had received two years before.
Local resident and Heifer farmer Bartolo Zepeda chatted about the young calf he was going to gift to María Isaura Hernández, a single mother who lives in his community. His message to her: “I have cared well for this calf and I hope you will do likewise. I am happy to be passing on my gift to a single mother.” To sweeten the deal, Bartolo added a pound of treated salt and grass seedlings to plant and grow fodder to feed the calf. He even offered María a small plot of land for growing the grass.
On that joyful day, 17 families received calves and 21 families brought home chickens. Some had walked from distant communities, and their excitement could be felt in the air. “We had never received something like this, not ever,” Bartolo said. “My family’s life has changed since we were passed our gift. My daughter will grow up well nourished. I milk the cow daily so she has fresh milk each day. My family’s budget improved as well, because my wife began making cuajada, or cottage cheese, and selling it. That brings in more money each month that we didn’t have before.”
While Bartolo passed María her gift of a calf, Olga Marina Alvarez passed a calf to Fredyvinda Castillo, Lucrecio Munguía passed a calf to Jacoba Zepeda, Norma Lopez passed a calf to Servín Sánchez, and on and on and on. These families are all part of the Project Planting Seeds of Hope project through Heifer Honduras. It was truly a happy occasion for both the recipients and those who were Passing on the Gift. As is tradition in the small towns of Honduras, a group of teenage boys and girls from the town’s high school danced to folk music. Dressed in colorful, native costumes, they were the highlight of the event.
Heifer has been working in Honduras for 35 years. Since 1978, it has empowered more than 6,000 rural families in poor, isolated communities to improve their livelihoods. Heifer projects in Honduras work to diversify agricultural production, promote the use of better farming practices, strengthen grassroots organizations and foster gender equity.
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.
Last year our 2nd Graders voted to raise money for 1 cow ($500). We ended up raising enough money for one cow and MANY more animals ($1,349)! The money was doubled because we fundraised during a matching season. This year we hope to duplicate our efforts. The students of this year's 2nd Grade are excited to pass on the gift and loved reading Flora and the Runaway Rooster with Heifer International's very own Asmi Patel (who visits us each year to kick off and celebrate after our fundraising). They are empowered by last year's success and hope to have their own this year! Our school has children from all over the world - knowing that as we Read to Feed we are sending shockwaves of love and passing on the gift to an international community keeps the teachers wanting to do this year after year.
"What Heifer International means to me is putting animals into people's lives that really need them. Without Heifer so many people's food and land would be taken from them and without Heifer, hunger would still be a very big thing. Another thing that Heifer means to me is 'cow', Heifer means cow. To me cow represents all of the cows and other animals that have been given to people. Because of Heifer, stopping hunger has a very, very big chance. This is what Heifer international means to me." Submitted by Gertie A.
It's been a year since the unexpected death of beloved Leominster High School history teacher Michele Oshman, and her departure still resonates with faculty and students. "She had a really solid core group of people here who were friends and there's no way you can't feel her absence," said friend and fellow teacher Andrea Grimes. "There's definitely a light that's missing, but I also feel that people have tried to pitch in and fill whatever voids they can." For Grimes, pitching in means making sure that her friend stays remembered at one of her most favorite places by raising funds to have a play structure installed at Heifer Farm in Rutland. Please click the title of the story to read more!
When given the room, given the training, given the space, [leaders] pop up.Pierre Ferrari, Heifer CEO
As part of an economics unit, Altamahaw Ossipee Elementary's second grade students learned about donating money. Teachers read their classes the story of Beatrice and her goat to introduce Heifer International to the students, and students then prepared to open a lemonade stand to raise money. We asked parents to donate supplies, and we invited the entire school to visit the stand and purchase a glass of lemonade. It was a huge success! We raised $460.00!!! We used the money to gift a llama, honeybees, a flock of geese, a flock of chicks, a sheep, and a goat. We are so excited to know that we were able to help families around the world!
I just have to brag a little and share the story of my daughter, Rylie. She is an 8th grader at Clinton Middle School. Rylie had a school project of researching and reporting on something that she had a passion for. She researched several things on the internet and then found the Heifer International Send a Girl to School. She loved the idea of helping another girl across the world to go to school and have the opportunities that she has. Not only did Rylie report on this project - she raised money for this project. Rylie did a brief report of Heifer at our church one Sunday morning and asked for donations from the congregation and then she held a volleyball tournament at her school during their RTI (Free hour) and charged everyone $1 to participate. She had 20 teams involved including a teacher team. Through both of these events Rylie raised $353.00. She not only had enough to send a girl to school for $275.00 she also put the balance to the Women Self Help Group. I am so proud of her for going above and beyond to help with this amazing project.
Over two decades ago, a group of ladies met each other at a workshop and have been celebrating their friendship every year since. This past Christmas, Afton, Barbara, Cruz, Eleanor, and Gloria wanted to reach out with their support instead of gifting to each other. They researched the organization and decided together that they would give the gift of a goat. Afton wrote, "The goat that will be offered to a family comes with a lot of thought, best wishes, and support. This gift adds to our holiday season as we know it will add to many people's lives." Last year marked their 25th year of friendship! Thank you to Afton, Barbara, Cruz, Eleanor, and Gloria for your generous hearts and support!
This picture shows the baby jersey and mother jersey. It was taken about two weeks after the birth. | Sung Ji won Orphanage, 1963
"I am a clergywoman whose ministry has shifted from parish work to fiber art in the last five years. I recently sold one of my pieces. I try to match each piece with an appropriate charitable organization and you are the group I found to match this one. It is called 'Texture of Water' and is part of a texture series I did of the five elements. As a long-time supporter of Heifer International, I thought one of your safe water programs would be the ideal project to receive my donation. My hope is to keep the price of the piece low enough that is is affordable to a wide range of people, so that it can go to someone who needs it..." -Rev. Andrea La Sonde Anastos.
This year Celebration High School held a 5K to raise money to support the efforts of Heifer International. I am so happy to say that we had almost 500 students participate and we raised $6000. It was a great day and we look forward to doing it again! This picture is from a petting zoo we had at the end of the race because most of our students have never actually seen farm animals.
"My name is Lauren and I told my church about Heifer International. Before Christmas, my mom and I were going through our catalogs and I found this one. The next minute my mom asked who I was calling, I told her Heifer International. She had many questions, but she had to wait till I was done. A month later, I was speaking at church. I raised $2,055 to give to Heifer International..." Please click the title of the story to read Lauren's speech!
Students at Putnam Indian Field School hosted their annual Art Show, which showcased the beautiful artwork they created throughout the school year. The children adopted Heifer International as the charity to benefit from their work! Throughout the show, they posted their thoughts about what Heifer means to them to help their parents understand the importance of helping others. One student wrote, "Mommy and Daddy want to see our art, and we want to help the people who don't have things to have things and be happy." Please click the title of this story to access the full article!
I teach kindergarten at West Cypress Hills Elementary in Spicewood, TX! In my classroom I stress critical thinking, aiming to inspire students to be curious about the world. I tie in real life applications to my lessons, which increases student engagement and interest. When students have questions about a concept, maybe something we're reading about in the classroom or an issue they bring in from home, we take the time as a class to explore. In doing this it allows for exposure to research and collaboration. Recently, we read the book Beatrice's Goat and my students were very curious about Beatrice's life and Uganda. We did some impromptu research into Uganda and Heifer International and this resulted in the students wanting to make their own impact and with some brainstorming. We devised a plan to raise money for this organization... Please click the title of the article to read how the Welephants are reaching their goal!
Pamphlet produced by Heifer Project during the 1940's & 50's