As Christmas 2012 was approaching I decided to purchase a $500 Nikon camera for my personal enjoyment and use. During that same period of time I received a letter from Heifer International asking that I make a donation to provide a farm animal to a needy family somewhere in the world. It just so happened that a donation of $500 would provide a needy family with a heifer (cow).
I found myself caught in a dilemma - "The Camera vs. The Cow."
I went to the camera shop to purchase the camera and while speaking with the salesperson I kept thinking about the cow. I left without making the purchase. Several days later I went back to the camera shop, spoke to another salesperson, and had a similar experience.
That week I was attending a Newman Nights meeting with my church group and asked for their help in solving my dilemma of "The Camera vs. The Cow." The group suggested that I purchase the camera since owning the new camera appeared to be so important to me. I went back to the camera shop the next day to purchase the camera, spoke to yet another salesperson and the same thing happened. I could not stop thinking about the cow and left without making a purchase.
I felt strange that I could not make a decision and decided to turn to prayer for some additional help.
The answer to my prayer came by way of matching the cost of the camera by making a donation of the cost of a heifer. I then went online and made a donation of $500 to Heifer International for the puchase of one heifer. The next day I went back to the camera shop and spoke to the fourth salesperson, and not only purchased the $500 camera but another very small Nikon camera that was on sale for $100. After adding the cost of the required memory card, an extra battery, two lenses and a small camera bag I was nearing a $1,500 total. That meant that I needed to donate the cost of two more heifers ($1,000) in order to match my camera purchases.
Well, I was stretching my Christmas budget to the very limit if I made a donation to cover the cost of two Heifers, but three Heifers were out of the question. Fortunately for me, Heifer International sent me an email letting me know that a generous donor was willing to match any donations up to $200,000. This allowed the make my donation of another $500 for my second heifer and having that donation matched for a total of three heifers. Needless to say I was greatly relieved and appreciative of the generous donor's matching funds.
This whole process of struggling with "The Camera vs. The Cow" dilemma has taught me a very good lesson. If we as individuals are to follow our belief that we must "Do unto others as we would have them do unto us," then we must strike a balance between serving our personal desires and needs and meeting the needs of so many others in this world who depend on our help in their times of need.
Thanks Heifer International for letting me tell my story!
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Submitted by Isabelle T | Age 8 | Foxboro, MA
Sacred Heart School Assistant Principal Holly Wilson pours slime over Principal Gary Manning at an assembly Thursday morning in the school’s gymnasium. For the second year in a row, Wilson won the “Penny War” for the school’s Christmas Service Project donated to Heifer International. When Manning lost last year, he had to kiss a goat. Please click the title of the story to read more!
Submitted by Chloe J | Greenville, SC
Submitted by Ms. Armstrong's Class | Garfield Elementary | Lewistown, MT
Our 7 year old wanted to buy a water buffalo as part of her Christmas gift. We offered to match her 50% and she worked hard taking care of neighbor's dogs, extra chores around the house, and saving any money she received as a gift for several months leading up to Christmas. She met her goal!
As I get older, I have started to realize that it doesn't take great acts to change the world, it takes each day looking at each moment and wondering.... "What could I do right now that would make a difference in the world around me?" So, on my granddaughter's first birthday, I thought, hmm... she's over 1100 miles away from me, but I feel just a bit inspired to do something that will make a difference today. I received a notification that Heifer was partnering with the Little Rock Marathon and they were looking for people to sign up and commit to raising funds for Heifer. I don't run - no really - If you see me running, something is chasing me... for real. But I thought, well why not give it a try. People may donate money to Heifer, just to see my updates and laugh at the grandma who finally decided to MOOVE! ... Please click the title of the story to read more!
I signed up for Team Heifer to inspire me to take on a bigger challenge than any I had done before. I have a group of friends that I have trained with in the past, and they were encouraging me to try a full Ironman race, but I just didn’t have the motivation. I felt that if I was going to put in that much work, time, and money, I would need something even more powerful than just a finish line to keep me going on cold, rainy, or windy days. I challenged my friends to donate the equivalent of the cost of the race to Heifer as a way for me to know that this race would mean more – I wouldn’t have to feel guilty that I was spending so much on a race when other people are struggling just to survive AND I would know that people were counting on me finishing which creates accountability when I just want to sleep in... Please click the title of the story to read more!
For Kimberly Ewing’s third grade class at Deer Creek School, the holidays aren’t just about receiving gifts. The students focused their holiday season efforts on giving, earning $1,200 in donations for Heifer International. Heifer will send a representative to give the students a certificate of recognition at 10:30 a.m. Jan. 3.
The 7th graders at Oak Middle School in Shrewsbury, MA have found a great way to integrate learning about Heifer’s work into their studies. After visiting Heifer Farm Learning Center and learning how Heifer helps families to rise above hunger and poverty, Ella and Hannah and their classmates completed cross-subject learning projects in Social Studies, Science, Math and English Language Arts to deepen their understanding of poverty and to hone their academic skills. Please click the title of this story to read more!
I received a catalog for Heifer Int'l in the mail in November. I am a beekeeper in Spring, Texas with a small business selling honey, body butter, lip balm and handmade soap. When I saw the Honduras Honey Bee project I knew it would be a perfect way for my small business to give back. Customers liked it as well and it was great to highlight Heifer Int'l. I was able to give $166 (10% of sales). I hope I can do it again next year! - Just Bee Well
Mr. Agler, from Rossford United Methodist Church in Rossford, Ohio, has collected over one million pennies in support of Heifer International! Please click the title of this story to read the full article!
Hello! My name is Anna Finkenauer and I am a teacher in Denver, CO. My second grade class has been studying what it means to be a good citizen so we decided to do a service project together. We looked at many different charity organizations and decided on Heifer International because of your mission to empower people in need. We loved to idea of raising money to buy an animal, the students had a blast looking at all the different animals and learning about them. We decided to host a hot chocolate stand after school to raise money. The class came together to create a plan, gather supplies and advertise for it. It was an awesome way for our class to bond and we ended up raising $700! Seeing our whole school come to support our stand was amazing, and many students have found a new passion for community service after this experience. We voted on what animals to buy and decided on a Heifer, a flock of chicks, a goat and two honeybee hives. Thank you for everything your amazing organization does, we are so excited to continue to raise money for Heifer International throughout the year!
I am happy to report that my first grade class raised $475 for our Read to Feed Christmas outreach project and read nearly 300 books in 3 weeks. My big-hearted children did this in lieu of exchanging gifts with each other and some gave that money toward the program. Through their efforts, we were able to purchase 3 llamas which will provide annual income for 3 or more needy families in other countries. We learned about the various resources/animals available for purchase through Heifer throughout this process and about some of the children who have benefited from it across the globe. My class has been doing this for 6 years and loving it every year!