Charity Logo

Charity Logo

Charity of the Month


In December I am riding for Heifer International. Founded in 1944, Heifer International works with communities around the world to end hunger and poverty and to care for the Earth. Its approach is more than a handout. Heifer provides animals (e.g., heifers, goats, water buffalos, chickens, rabbits, fish, and bees) and training to impoverished people in over 30 countries. The animals can give milk, meat, or eggs; provide draft power; or form the basis of a small business. Communities make their own decisions about what crops, animals, and market strategies make sense for their everyday conditions and experiences.

Heifer International is based on 12 Cornerstones, such as Sustainability; Genuine Need and Justice; and Gender and Family Focus. Perhaps the best known Cornerstone is Passing on the Gift, in which Heifer recipient families pass on the offspring of their animals to others in need. In this way, whole communities can raise their standard of living.

A donation to Heifer International also can make a wonderful alternative holiday gift. Instead of yet another sweater for Grandma that she really doesn’t need, why not donate a Heifer animal or a share of an animal in her honor? Does your child really need so many new toys? Instead of five new toys, give him/her three new toys and a Heifer flock of chicks. Heifer has honor cards to let your loved ones know of your gift on their behalf.

I have set up a Team Heifer page to support Heifer International through A Year of Centuries. My goal is to raise $500. Please make your donation through If you would like more information about Heifer’s work, please visit Whether you give to honor a loved one or make a regular donation, thank you for taking steps to transform the world for the better.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas from Bats!

Our bat friends from Bat Conservation International have given us gifts for the 12 days of Christmas!

Bats give us the gift of pears!  They help control pests that otherwise would destroy or damage pears.

Bats give us the gift of hot cocoa!  Chocolate comes from the cacao tree.  Bats help control the cocoa pod borer, the primary pest of cocoa growers.  Additionally, bats are important for seed dispersal of the cacao tree.

Bats give us the gift of pecan pie!  They help control pests that otherwise would destroy or damage pecans.

Bats give us the gift of apples via pest control!

Bats give us the gift of mittens!  They help control pests of cotton plants.

Bats give us the gift of gingerbread via pest control of ginger!

Bats give us the gift of bananas via pollination!

Bats give us the gift of pumpkin pie!  They help control insects that feed on pumpkins.

Bats give us the gift of cacti!  They pollinate cacti and disperse their seeds.  Bats also pollinate agave, another desert plant.  Agave is what gives us tequila for our margaritas.  Ole!

Bats give us the gift of coffee via pest control!

Bats give us the gift of tamales!  They help control pests of corn.  Also, tamales are traditional for Christmas in Mexico.

Bats give us the gift of fruitcake!  They control pests of many fruits, including cherries, peaches, blackberries, strawberries, cranberries, and many more!

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