Has loving him changed your world? Does knowing her make the world a better place? This Valentine’s Day show your love by changing the world for a family in need with a gift through Heifer International.
(ARA) – When Elizabeth and Michael Robinson got married in June 2002, they decided they didn’t really need wedding gifts. “We’re both adults, combining two households. . . . we just didn’t need more stuff,” said Elizabeth.
Instead of wedding gifts, the South Miami, Fla., couple asked friends and family to make an “alternative gift”- contributions in their name to Heifer International, a nonprofit organization that provides livestock to hungry families around the world to help them become self-reliant.
It was not the first time Elizabeth, an acupuncturist, and Michael, computer consultant, have given alternative gifts from Heifer. “We did Heifer one year for Christmas and got a really good response,” said Elizabeth. “Once we decided we wanted to do something good and practical with our wedding gifts, it just took a second to choose Heifer.”
The couple decided to put together a “Wedding Ark” — a $5,000 donation that includes two of every animal provided by Heifer. The response was overwhelming. “People loved the idea,” said Elizabeth. “Our friends and relatives were really positive and impressed by Heifer,” she adds.
Heifer, chosen by Worth business magazine as one of the top 100 charities in the U.S. in 2002, works with families to help them become self-reliant. Families receive 6 months to a year of training before their animals’ delivery. Every recipient promises to “pass on the gift” of their animal’s first offspring and training in its care to another family in need, multiplying the benefits of every gift. “Our recipients not only help themselves, they gain the means to help other hungry families, so they become equal partners in fighting hunger,” said Ray White, Heifer’s communications director.
With Heifer’s program, farmers learn sustainable, environmentally sound agricultural practices, producing nutritious milk or eggs, earning income for school clothes and tuition, health care and better housing. Communities go beyond meeting immediate needs to fulfilling their dreams.
Elizabeth was especially touched by a gift from one of her mother’s childhood neighbors, a dairy farmer in Kansas City, Mo. Now in his 90s, he was so taken with Heifer’s efforts that he bought a “milk menagerie” (a quality-breed heifer, two goats and a water buffalo) in honor of the newlyweds’ grandparents. Both Elizabeth and Michael are originally from Illinois farm families.
Making a donation is easy. Simply choose which farm animal you’d like to send to a family in need. Heifer offers a variety of giving opportunities, from bees and trees to chickens and ducks to llamas, buffaloes and cows. Prices range from $500 for a heifer to $120 for a goat or pig to $20 for ducks and geese, or $10 for a share of an animal. Your gift can be made in honor of a friend or loved one. View the complete catalogue and order online to learn more about Heifer International.
Courtesy of ARA Content