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.
Dear Family & Friends,
Again, I apologize for making this a form letter... But there are too many of you on my "special Christmas list" for individual letters. (More than two!) Those of you who know me well know I'm not good with words and that writing anything is very difficult for me. (So PLEASE read between the lines!)
Some of you are "new" on the "list" this year so let me explain briefly what this is all about.
Every year we each make a list of those we love and try to get them gifts that will show them how much they're loved and that will bring them joy! Lately, instead of buying each of you individual gifts, I've taken that money and combined it to make a donation IN YOUR NAMES.
I want each one of you to know how much you mean to me and how much I love you even though there's no gift from me under your tree! I want you to share the JOY your gift has brought to others. (I want to) pass on the gift. Something I heard on TV the other day really spoke to me.
"What we do for ourselves dies with us.
What we do for others lives on."
As you read thorugh the enclosed (Heifer) catalog, you will see that the recipients of our gifts promise to give them same to someone else and on and on. You'll also see that I could have gotten each of you a free honor card to thank you for your gift. Instead, 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. AND you'll be able to share this giving idea with your family, friends, church groups, those at work or school classmates.
Here's what we did this year:
- 1 goat (I loved milking goats as a kid)
- 1 sheep
- 1 hive of honeybees
- 1 flock of chicks (I grew up with 5,000 laying hens!)
- 1 share of a Gardener's Basket
My tender heart wouldn't let me sponsor anything that would be killed. And for you vegans who don't approve of the milk, cheese and eggs, I chose the sheep for wool, the bees for honey and the garden share.
Merry Christmas to all of you!
I love you,
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.
Submitted by Jane S | Age 11 | Redford Hills, NY
I heard about Heifer International when I went to my first church conference in Syracuse, NY with my pastor and my mother. I'm a church school teacher at Northville United Methodist Church in Northville, NY and I thought that it would be a great project for our church and for my kids in my church school. The two little girls (Brooke and Mia) thought it was something fun and they both picked out the pig! We then got two jars, and every other Sunday we passed a collection of change and some bills around to the church members. At the end as a church an as a church school we were able to buy a PIG!! I thought this new mission for the church and for my church school was a success!
Thank you to the Diocese of Greensburg, Monsignor Kiniry, Judy Huber, and everyone involved with the 21st Afternoon of Reflection at Our Lady of Grace in Hempfield Township, PA last November - for loving your neighbor and raising 18 flocks of chickens to help end hunger and poverty in the world!
Mrs. Weinheimer's Class | Lewistown, MT
Submitted by Maya A. | Age 8 | Elkridge, MD
Many years ago, when my daughter was in Girl Scouts, she needed a service project. She chose to raise money to purchase an animal for a needy family through Heifer International. Months after that, we received their magazine. I saw a brief article in that magazine mentioning Heifer Project's upcoming Educator Tour to Honduras. I applied and surprisingly, I was chosen as one of two teachers from Iowa to go. I had a wonderful learning experience over about ten days in Florida and Honduras. Since then, Heifer International has had a near and dear place in my heart. People who have very little have the opportunity to work, receive animal(s), and improve their lives. They may be able to send their children to school, their health improves, they are encouraged to pass on the gift to others. Our Girl Scouts continued to help Heifer, as have my church family. Heifer International is a worthwhile non-profit organization!
For a couple decades, Sacred Heart Church of Enumclaw, Washington has supported Heifer during the Lenten season. But it wasn’t until parishioner Kathy told the pastoral assistant, Mathew Weisbeck, to have faith that they could raise an Ark that they set a goal of $5,000. That was 2006 and every year since the parish has raised or “floated an ark”, as Mathew likes to say. Over the years, numerous animals have visited during Lent to help raise funds for Heifer. Please click the title of the story to read how Sacred Heart Church has helped change lives with their Lenten project!
Interact Club sponsors a teacher Halloween costume competition each year at Washington High School in Washington, MO. Students bring in change and cash and vote for their favorite costumed teacher. The teachers are working together on small teams to raise money for a project they selected. This year the English teachers won and are sponsoring an irrigation project, and since Social Studies came in 2nd, they are sponsoring a pig. We were able to also purchase bees and chicks! It's a lot of fun for a good cause!
My congregation in Jesup, Iowa hosted our community-wide ecumenical Vacation Bible School this past August. We used a curriculum that taught the kids about Peru, so we decided to learn about South American animals and designate our VBS offering to go to the Heifer Project. To see how many llamas we could buy, we challenged the kids to buy one llama and by the 2nd day, we had enough for 2/3 of a llama. The kids got so excited about buying llamas that they brought more money each day, and by the end of the week, we had raised enough for four llamas!
I donate so all families can enjoy a full table together. Submitted by Marissa | Age 8
Many thanks to Annie, Georgia, Julia, Sophia, Scarlett, Clare, Jade, and Olympia for hosting their annual Art Sale to help end hunger and poverty! Each Spring, Olympia and her friends support a charity with the proceeds they raise from their art sales and this year, they chose Heifer International! With the funds raised, they were able to purchase Honeybees, a Flock of Ducks, a Water Buffalo, Pig and a Sheep for families in need. Please read Olympia's letter to Heifer by clicking on the title of this story!
Third graders at St. Thomas the Apostle School in West Hartford, CT host a prayer service to support a local food drive and Heifer International!
"Actually, we brought TWO beautiful 10-day-old calves to Our Lady of Good Counsel Church in Endicott, NY, to celebrate the kickoff of the beginning of our 5th year of partnership with Heifer International. They were a HUGE hit with young and old. All of the donations from the kids in our Religious Education classes, Grades 1 -5, are contributed to Heifer International. Over the years, that has added up to a almost $10,000, and 145 animals!" ... Please click the title of the story to read more about their awesome fundraiser!
"I was stuck indoors for a week during Hurricane Harvey and not being able to run (first world problems!) and thinking about how developing nations are devastated by natural disasters..." Please click the title of the story to read what inspires Miss Osuan to make a difference around the world!
During the Summer, our church children collected over $500 in coins for a Cow. They did this by taking up an offering from the congregation by using metal cooking pots and only accepting coins. It was called their "Jingle Pan Offering" This was in keeping with the Hebrew bronze funnel that collected the temple offerings, that noted the jingle of many coins from the wealthy, and often scorns of the few "jingles" from the poor.
In Oct. 1950, Pratt & Julia Byrd traveled to Germany with the Heifer Project to transport heifers to families in need while celebrating their Honeymoon in Europe! Please click this photo to read the article written by Mrs. Byrd.
For the 2017 "Build a Better World" summer reading program at the Verona Public Library in Wisconsin, kids who finished their reading log earned a brown sticker, which they placed on either a paper cow or two paper goats to vote for what they thought the library should choose. The Friends of the Verona Public Library donated the funds to purchase the winning animal, a cow!
"On Saturday, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet donated $5,000 to Heifer International. Heifer, in turn, will give animals to families in need to ease hunger and poverty. Heifer provides tools, training, livestock and partnerships that help families live with dignity and opportunity. Here, Sister Mary Anne Rodgers, left, and Sister Diane Zigo, center, present the check to Kate Sheehan, community engagement manager for Heifer Northeast." -Article and photo shared by timesunion.com
Cornerstone Community Church's first Annual Heifer International Mission Project was a success! The children of Cornerstone collected donations for the project for the whole month of June and received a wonderful $1,100. Last year, as part of the East Avenue UMC, the children collected over $5,000 which included a matching donation from a long-time church member. The children were excited to choose the items we were able to send to countries in need, which included a heifer, pigs, and chicks. Cornerstone hopes to collect even more in the years to come.