You may not know this about me, but I have a whole heck of a lot of experience in the nonprofit world.
As a college student, I was a Bonner Scholar, and as such, completed the equivalent of 1 year of full-time work in community service endeavors between the time I started college and the time I graduated 4 years later. My service work took me all over Memphis and even all over the United States.
After graduate school, I came back to my alma mater and coordinated the Bonner program. During my 6 years in this role, I oversaw 120 students doing the same exact thing, and I played a role in each one of their journeys into community service, learning ALL about different issue areas.
So it is safe to say that I’m pretty well-versed in the world of nonprofits. I’ve seen some AMAZING programs. But there is one that I hold in the very highest regard. It really is my very favorite nonprofit. I’d like to introduce you to it today.
Heifer Project, International is a nonprofit based in the United States but located worldwide, and dedicated to helping end hunger and poverty, and simultaneously protect the environment and care for the Earth. That’s a tall order, right? But they are so successful at what they do, and I’ve seen their success with my own eyes!
From their website,
- “Heifer provides living gifts of area-appropriate livestock and training in environmentally sound agricultural practices to families in need to help lift themselves out of poverty to become self-reliant.
- Heifer provides cows, goats, water buffalo and other livestock—28 animals in total—in values-based community development projects involving hundreds of thousands of people in more than 50 countries, including the United States.
- Each animal provides benefits such as milk, eggs, wool and manure for fertilizer, providing families not only better and more secure sources of nutrition, but access to income to help secure education, health care and better housing. Heifer projects are environmentally sustainable, using trees, bees, organic compost, biogas and other techniques to ensure they have a lasting impact.
- Additionally, project participants agree to honor Heifer’s Pass on the Gift cornerstone, sharing the first-born female offspring of their animal as well as their own training to others, extending the benefits to entire communities in an ever-widening circle of hope.”
I used to take my students to the Heifer Ranch just outside of Little Rock, Arkansas every May for an in-depth look at how Heifer operates all over the world. The image to the right, which you can find on the Heifer website, is actually of 3 of my former students! 🙂
I wanted to share information about Heifer today because it is awesome, obviously. But also because there are some really cool ways that you can be involved. Namely, I want to highlight their gift catalog. It provides you the opportunity to purchase livestock, trees or even bees that are all part of Heifer’s program. I purchase gifts from this catalog every single year for various people on my Christmas list. And I am overjoyed every time I receive one of these gifts. I look around my house and I can tell you that on a global scale, I’m ridiculously wealthy and have far too much and need to share MUCH more. When someone gives me a gift such as a share of a sheep or a flock of chicks, I know exactly what a game-changer that is for the family who is going to be receiving it. That is worth so much more than any material object that could be given to me.
Can I encourage you to spend just a few minutes poking around the Heifer website today, especially the gift catalog? Will you keep Heifer in mind the next time you are trying to think of a gift for that person who has everything?
And will you share this post with others to help spread the word? Facebook, Twitter, Stumble, Pinterest, whatever floats your boat!
I’d also REALLY love to hear what nonprofit you would consider to be your very favorite!
Nobody asked me to write this post. I simply wanted to share a nonprofit that is changing lives, mine included.