Heifer International is all about passing on gifts and we hope that you'll consider giving to them, so that they can give to others. Of course, Heifer gifts aren't ordinary ones. To their recipients, they represent financial self-reliance and economic salvation.
Imagine giving a person living in poverty the means to earn an income and feed his or her family. That's a huge gift. Heifer gifts are also unique because they make funny sounds. Like "quack," "buk-buk," or "bzzzzz." Your idea of economic salvation might be a big raise or a surging stock in your portfolio. For many people, though, a mere pregnant goat is all they need. It will breed and provide milk -- enough to drink and to sell.
Around the world, Heifer is working with struggling people, helping determine what kind of animal or plant is right for their environment, training them in how to care for and work with the animal, and preparing them for their gift. Gifts include stingless bees, trees, oxen, ducks, chickens, dairy cows, and water buffalo. Heifer has helped inner-city American youth raise fancy fish that they can sell to area restaurants. This provides income for their struggling families and keeps them out of gangs. Organic gardening is also underway in many locales.
Part of the Heifer tradition is "passing on the gift." Recipients are expected to pass on the first female offspring of their animal along with the training they received to another person in need, to help share the wealth. Since 1944, more than 4 million families in 120 countries have been given this gift of self-reliance. More than a million animals have been passed on as gifts by recipients in China alone.
Here's another reason to support Heifer: Forbes magazine recently named them as one of 10 "Gold Star Charities" -- its annual list of organizations that achieve the highest impact from donor's gifts. Just $700 in animals and training can help lift a family out of poverty, so $100,000 can help as many as 140 entire families (hundreds of men, women, and children) become sustainably self-reliant. What's more, on average, another six families are eventually helped by each animal donation through "passing on the gift," making it the gift that literally multiplies. Let's help Heifer out some more!