I just discovered an awesome way to give meaningful gifts to my family and friends that directly benefits needy families in developing countries. Yay!
Heifer International is an organization that works to empower communities in the areas of agroecology, animal management, disaster rehabilitation, gender equity, HIV/AIDS, microenterprise, and urban agriculture.
Their gift program allows you to provide an animal or tree to a needy family somewhere in the world. For example, you can provide a flock of chicks for $20 (U.S.). You can then email or print and send a card from the site to tell your recipient about the gift they have provided for a needy family. There are also printable gift inserts explaining how Heifer works.
You can browse their gift catalogue directly HERE.
This is so awesome. I can hear it now: "Merry Christmas, Dad. Enjoy your honeybees for a family in Guinea!"
"Thanks, dear. It's just what I've always wanted."
But seriously, it's such a fantaaaaaastic program. Here are a couple of clips:
"In Zimbabwe, Mrs. Ndagurwa is a leader in her women's agricultural club. She grows impressive vegetables in soil scratched up and fertilized by her Heifer chickens; their eggs add protein to her family's diet and generate cash to help market her produce."
"Goat's milk is the only milk known to half the world's people, but 80 percent of mothers and children in rural areas do not have any type of milk or milk products. The gift of a dairy goat is a lasting, meaningful way to help a struggling family on the other side of the world.
Goats can thrive in extreme climates and on poor, dry land by eating grass and leaves. Your gift of a dairy goat can supply a family with up to several quarts of nutritious milk a day — a ton of milk a year.
Extra milk can be sold or used to make cheese, butter or yogurt. Families use goat manure to fertilize gardens. And because goats often have two or three kids a year, Heifer partners can start small dairies that pay for food, health care and education."
Merry Season, all!