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!
The end of hunger isn’t a fairy tale
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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
Submitted by Camden M | Age 9 | Lexington Park, MD
Submitted by Chris | Age 11 | West Branch, MI