This story is part of the Pay It Forward series.
My best friend Harriet introduced me to Heifer Project in 1998. The core of Heifer project is simple, it’s passing on the gift.
You donate money to this organization that gives livestock to qualified families in need (you can choose location or let greatest need be chosen for you). You can give as little as $10 for a share of livestock up to $5000 for a selection of goats, cattle, pigs, sheep, etc. The families must agree to raise the animals, breed them and in turn, give the offspring away to others in the village. A worthwhile organization that helps people learn to survive on their own and learn a skill that will help them so much more than a handout. It’s been said that the highest form of giving is empowering people to help themselves. Why give a person a fish when you can give him a fishing pole?
Although this organization provides many different ways to help people, I stick with donating livestock as animals provide life-sustaining products such as milk, eggs, cheese, honey and wool. Because of Harriet, this organization has become near and dear in my heart. I asked close friends and family not to give me birthday presents anymore but instead if they want to give me something on my birthday, please donate to Heifer project in my name (you can print an honor card that said a donation of whatever animal you choose has been made in your name or receive an email notification). In the last ten years, friends and family have been able to donate ducks, chicks, goat, sheep, geese, seedlings/trees and the biggest one was a water buffalo (a birthday present when I turned 40) in my name.
Three years ago Harriet lost her 2 years long battle to cancer and I miss her very much. This time in honor of her memory, her birthday (10/30 – the day you made the pay it forward announcement), and thanks to you for making it possible, I donated a Hope Basket and a share of seedlings in her name.
Read all the stories at the blog tag: Pay It Forward Ideas