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.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Gentle Giant

Greyhounds can make excellent pet therapy dogs because they are so calm and mellow.  Their unflappable-ness was illustrated vividly one time when we visited “Mr. Thomas.”  He suffered from dementia and usually did not respond very much to the greyhounds.  One evening, however, was different.  As we approached Mr. Thomas, Cosmo stepped forward in a friendly manner.  All of a sudden, Mr. Thomas grabbed Cosmo around the snout and started squeezing!  I panicked inside, fearing that Cosmo might try to bite Mr. Thomas.  Outwardly, though, I calmly and gently loosened and removed Mr. Thomas’s fingers from Cosmo’s snout.  No harm was done, and Cosmo seemed unfazed.  It was as if Cosmo understood something about Mr. Thomas’s condition.  I think that greyhounds – and all animals – understand a lot more than we give them credit for.

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