By Emma Grace Fairchild:
This last Mother’s Day, I was faced again with the question – what to get the woman who has everything and wants nothing? I had a wonderful opportunity to answer this dilemma in a way that made Mom happy, helped another mother in the world, and contributed to a healthier and happier world.
So, in my mother’s name, I bought a share of a goat! This sounds weird, I know – but I didn’t just buy her a goat leg or a few hours with a goat; and she doesn’t need a stable or yard to take care of it, or have to give any extra money. The “share” was a $10 donation to Heifer International, a not for profit organization that provides education and resources for farming to impoverished areas all around the world. My $10 donation for my mom’s Mothers Day gift was paired with other donations to account for the cost of one entire living goat that was gifted to a mother in need somewhere else in the world! Heifer International operates in countries all around the world, from Romania to Haiti to Africa and Asia. These families are educated in animal husbandry and entrepreneurial practices, and left with a support system to provide for themselves and others with the animal. The principle philosophy is the age old saying “Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”
By providing families with animals, supplies and education, Heifer International serves many important functions. It empowers women to contribute crucial skills to their family’s well being by providing education in gender equality and encouraging education of young girls. In many geographic areas, other basic needs (clean water from water pumps and wells, stoves for cooking, irrigation, and home repair supplies) come before animals and gardening.
Sometimes it’s hard to remember that there are people, often in our own countries, living in extreme poverty, people who do not have the resources available to feed their families, enjoy a high quality of life, or have access to education. This organization works in a holistic way not only to help families who then build stronger communities, but also do it in a way that supports a healthy environment and encourages people to protect it. Heifer International has great donation gift ideas for a variety of holidays and occasions, and provides the option of sending an e-card or a paper card to the person donated for!