Heifer International gives us the opportunity to make a positive difference in the world. Heifer International is perfectly consistent with the objective of The Vitruvian Man blog as stated in our first post in May 2011:
“To create a better world with better people … that is what this blog is about … The world can be a better place, but it takes good people to make it that way. You can be one of them.”
Yesterday afternoon, my mailbox was filled with catalogs, sales flyers and other advertisements to influence my spending during the Christmas gift-giving season. I tossed them one by one into the recyle bin, but the photograph of a sheep and the title on one cover caught my attention: “The Most Important Gift Catalog in the World.” I heaved the others, sat down and read this one. Within minutes of perusing the catalog, I was researching Heifer International on the Internet.
Simply put, the Heifer International program gives us the opportunity to purchase a heifer, a sheep, a flock of geese and many other options, and send them to people of need around the world. We donate in honor of a friend or loved one, and they will receive a card from us describing the contribution we made in their names. I could not think of a better gift, a gift to help those who need help and to raise awareness in those whose awareness may need to be raised. Keep your eye on that poll in the right sidebar … ‘ignorance’ still leads the lists of the world’s problems according to our respondents.
Here’s how Heifer International explains its origins …
A Midwestern farmer named dan West was ladling out rations of milk to hungry children during the Spanish Civil War when it hit him.
“These children don’t need a cup, they need a cow.”
West, who was serving as a Church of the Brethren relief worker, was forced to decide who would receive the limited rations and who wouldn’t — literally, who would live and who would die. This kind of aid, he knew, would never be enough.
So West returned home to form Heifers for Relief, dedicated to ending hunger permanently by providing families with livestock and training so that they “could be spared the indignity of depending on others to feed their children.”
In 1944, the first shipment of 17 heifers left York, Pennsylvania, for Puerto Rico, going to families whose malnourished children had never even tasted milk.
Why heifers? These are young cows that haven’t yet given birth — making them perfect not only for supplying a continued source of milk, but also for supplying a continued source of support. that’s because each family receiving a heifer agrees to “pass on the gift” and donate the female offspring to another family, so that the fit of food is never-ending.
This simple idea of giving families a source of food rather than short-term relief caught on and has continued for more than 65 years.
The Heifer International program is the perfect extension of the time-tested proverb
Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day.
Teach him to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.
Whether or not you are struggling to find “the perfect gift,” tVM encourages you to explore the gift-giving opportunity available at Heifer International. Your gift can make a world of difference.