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
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See stories of how lives are being transformed around the globe through Heifer's work in more than 20 countries.
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The youth from Mt Carmel Church of the Brethren in Scottville, NC painted this in support of Heifer after studying about the organization and raising $1200.00!! (Photo posted by Tara Temple Hanson)
There have been a number of attempts to snap the Curse of the Billy Goat that supposedly afflicts the Chicago Cubs, but this one might be the best, if only because it’s for a pretty good cause. Heifer International, a charity that looks to end world hunger by handing out livestock along with agricultural training to those in need, is running an “End the Curse” goat drive. Please click the title of the story to read more!
My Little Ones Creating Paintings for Heifer! Photos Submitted by Serena G.
The event featured international crafts and games, live music, delicious food and, of course, farm animals. Photos by Joyce Roberts - http://www.thelandmark.com/news/2016-10-06/Rutland_News/Heifer_hosts_Global_Harvest_Festival.html
Since 1944, communities, churches, families, and businesses have carried forward the mission of Heifer International by providing a hand for those in need all over the world. The impact of these generous and caring hearts is beyond our imagination. Click the title of this story to read about the tremendous goal the Overseas Relief Committee in North Carolina set on giving 'A Cow A Month" for 1947!
Walt and Jean Wist shared a beautiful letter about their church's opportunity to Fill the Ark! 60 Campers experienced a week of singing, reading, and learning during Camp Grand Safari,at the end of the week they raised over $5,000 for families and communities in need. To read the full letter, please click on the title of this story!
In September, First Congregational Church of Perry Center, NY introduced Heifer International to their congregation because they wanted to expose their members to a variety of different giving opportunities. On the last Sunday of the month they held a Living Gift Market. They had a special focus on cows because in Wyoming County (where their church is located) there are more cows than people! They served cow shaped cookies and milk for refreshments. They also made custom Christmas tree paper ornaments shown in the picture to people who purchased animals. They raised over $500 and chose to buy a cow. Some donations are still coming in, so hopefully they will be able to purchase some chickens as well! Way to go First Congregational Church of Perry Center, NY! We are so grateful for your support.
Bring the whole family to a fun-filled festival of food and farming this weekend, October 1st & 2nd, at Heifer Farm in Rutland, MA! Celebrate the harvest at home and around the world with their friendly animals and knowledgeable staff.
The Rozell Family stopped in for a tour of the Heifer International Village over the weekend. Please click on the title of this article to see photos and read about their experience at the Village!