Sunday, May 25, 2008

Baaad Boys Rock My World

These aren't your normal, everyday bad boys. Not motorcycle-riding or hotel-room-trashing Hollywood stars. Not the high school rebel boy who cuts class and defies dress codes. Not even the romantic hero with a rough exterior that secretly covers a sensitive heart (my favorite kind of hero, btw).

No, I'm talking about these baaad boys:

Okay, before you freak out and say, "Um, Tera. You're posting about sheep. Do you need a CAT scan?" hear me out. These aren't just any sheep, these are sheep donated by the Heifer Project to help families in undeveloped regions earn a sustainable living.

The Heifer Project is one of my favorite charities because, instead of just giving people money or food or whatever, they provide them with the skill and resources to support themselves. Their motto could be that Chinese proverb, "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." Heifer is all about teaching people to fish. (Or raise goats or rabbits or honeybees.)

For example, in areas of extreme climates, where traditional farming is impossible, Heifer might give a family a dairy goat along with the training necessary to raise her. From that simple gift a family will receive: several quarts of milk per day (extra can be sold--to pay for necessities, education, or medical care--or made into yogurt, butter, or cheese), manure that can be used to develop a vegetable garden, and 2-3 kids per year (which they can sell or keep to grow their dairy farm). This can change a family's entire life.

But that's not the end of the story. Heifer also requires the families to "pass on the gift." They must share the offspring of their gift animals, their knowledge, their skills, and other resources with neighbors so that they, too, will develop a sustainable life. Pay-it-forward in action.

This is one of the most forward-thinking approaches in the quest to end world hunger. What begins with a single family gradually grows into a neighborhood, a community, even an entire country able to feed, clothe, and educate themselves without outside help. As their mission strategy states, "As people share their animals’ offspring with others – along with their knowledge, resources, and skills – an expanding network of hope, dignity, and self-reliance is created that reaches around the globe."

That totally rocks my world.

Check out their website, their gift catalog, and their mission statement.



TinaFerraro said...

Wow, TLC, this is right up my alley. Just last month I got enough donations from a charitable project to buy a Haitian village a goat, and right now I'm working on buying chickens. (Yay to girls who give back, too!)

Anonymous said...

Wow, that's so cool. I've never heard about this charity, but it sounds so neat - bookmarking the page.

Sharie Kohler

stephhale said...

I've heard of this fantastic charity. I think their work is amazing. That last pic you posted was gorgeous. And who knew Tina was off buying goats in her free time?