Tag Archives: Heifer International

Project 365 – Teach A Person To FIsh

What is that old saying, “Give  a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will eat for the rest of his life.”

I think that’s why I find what Heifer International does every day, across the globe, to be world changing.  And yes, I have written about this organization before but when there are so many lives changed, so many communities lifted out of poverty, I cannot ignore them.

Heifer International deserves all the attention it gets.  Why?

You can read all about the organization.  Or, if you’re into short stories, watch this brief video clip to find out.  (Heifer has been doing this so long and so well, it can explain how it works in exactly 1 minute.)

So, this organization doesn’t arrive with boxes of food and measuring cups.  They arrive with livestock – goats, cattle, water buffalo, chickens, ducks, even bees.  And they don’t just drop the animals off and drive away.

Heifer works with the community, creating a development plan, choosing recipients carefully and providing all the training needed including animal husbandry, water quality and ecologically sound agricultural practices.

People who receive livestock are also expected to raise crops needed to feed their animals, to become self-supporting. And all recipients become donors – passing on offspring to other members in the community or village. The objective is  to help feed hungry people but also, to create sustainable growth.  (They’ve got a short video about this, too.)

Heifer is truly teaching men and women to fish.

Started in 1939 by a relief worker named Dan West, Heifer International has helped more than 12 million families and a total of 62 million men, women and children.  One man’s simple idea –giving families a source of food rather than short-term relief — hasn’t changed since he took the first shipment of cattle to Puerto Rico in 1944.  It is alive and helping people in 128 countries around the world including the United States.

That’s why I love this organization, I support them instead of typical relief organizations and, yes, I write about them.  But they are literally changing the world.  For as little as $20.00 you can buy a flock of chicks or ducklings and start changing the world, too.

If you know any  other people in your town or city who are helping others, please send me the name of the group and any info you want to share and I will do the rest.

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Filed under Gifts, Inspiring People, Life & Death, Project 365, World Changing Ideas

The Gift of Life

It’s the holiday season so I know you get them too.  Appeals for money from every possible type of charity there is.  Who do you share your post tax income with?  How do you choose?

Before being laid off, we gave to many of these charities every year, often without reading about them, without knowing where the money was going.  We still give to charities but, since 2009, our criteria for giving have changed.  We’ve had to be more careful about what we give and which charities get the nod.

Here are the 4 groups we support and why:

  1. Heifer International– Heifer’s gifts aren’t fruit baskets or silky scarfs or fine wine.  They are grounded, living gifts that help indigenous people become self-supporting, able to feed themselves, their families and sometimes, their whole village.  This year we donated enough money to buy three flocks of chicken and two honeybee hives for people in other countries.  These gifts will keep on giving for years after they arrive in their new homes.

    Give a gift of life through Heifer International.

    A gift of chickens can feed a family or a village or both

  2. Sunday Breakfast Mission–  The Sunday Breakfast Mission started small – feeding holiday dinners to homeless and jobless men in Wilmington, Delaware.  Last year, this charity served more than 200,000 meals to hungry men, women and children and provided shelter for close to 300 people . Sitting in my warm home, with my full refrigerator and my full life, I know that this is one charity I have to support, no matter what.

The first two charities support people.  The next two support the planet.

  1. The Audubon SocietyAnsel Adams once said, “It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment.”   I’m not ashamed to admit that I support this organization precisely because it does fight our government; it does insist that our elected officials and the 1% of this nation that continues to get wealthy off the entire country’s resources be held accountable for the damage they are doing to our planet. If we don’t stand up for this world, the ecosystems, wildlife habitats and the birds and animals who live in them, with us, who will?
  2. Nature Conservancy – this organization fights to protect ecologically important land and water in every state in this country and in 30 other countries around the globe.  Donate to Nature Conservancy and help buy endangered land and waterways, help to build coalitions between governments and between and with the residents who live in the area.  Their work is rooted in science, their conservation projects are practical and their outcomes are there for every one to see and enjoy.

There are other charities we support in smaller ways, like the Ocean Conservancy and the Sierra Club.  We still drop money in the Salvation Army buckets and give gently used clothing to the Goodwill but we like the 4 charities listed above because their work will live long after our money is gone and our lives are over.

If you have a little extra cash burning a hole in your pocket this holiday season, you might want to think about sharing it with charitable organizations like these and with people who need food, shelter, and livelihood a whole lot more than they need a new car, a new phone or a new toy.  You might think about giving the gift of life.

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