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.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Greyhound Leaders

This is not a Greyhounds & Grey Hairs story, but it is one of the most meaningful encounters that I have had with greyhounds and people.  Several years ago I worked as the assistant director of the Jasper County Youth Leadership Camp, which lasted for about two and a half weeks.  The camp was intended to develop leadership skills in the approximately 30 middle and high school students who attended.  Many of these students had severe problems, whether behavioral, family, etc.  In other words, they were a pretty tough crowd.

One morning during camp, I brought in Cosmo and Mr. Spock.  I talked with the students about animals being part of the world just as people are and that we need to look out for them all.  Also, I explained how I am the pack leader for Cosmo and Mr. Spock, giving a simple demonstration by walking them easily on their leashes around the room. Some of the students wanted to take turns walking the dogs, too, which worked great.

Several of the students who were initially kind of scared of the greyhounds relaxed as they saw Cosmo and Mr. Spock greeting and interacting so well with everyone.  One girl who had been a particularly hard nut to crack during camp asked a very poignant question.  She asked, “Why are they so friendly?”  I suspect that she had never encountered anything but a mean dog.  I told her that if you treat a dog with kindness, respect, and love, it will respond the same way to you – the same way it works with people.  I guess I had never really thought of it exactly like this, but adults are the ones who make mean dogs and mean children.

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