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.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Bike to Work Week

Happy Bike to Work Week!  (May 13 – 17).  Bike to Work Day is May 17, but since I can’t do it that day, I figured that another day this week would be fine.  That day was today.

My ride was about 38 miles each way.  Obviously, this isn’t something I can do every day or even with any regularity.  However, I sure did enjoy commuting by bike today.  I took a different route on my bicycle than the one I drive so that I would have less traffic.  Part of my bicycle route took me through the Piedmont Wildlife Refuge, which was absolutely delightful.  This morning I didn’t see a single car in the wildlife refuge, and this afternoon I saw only two cars there.

The weather was ideal for riding today.  It was slightly cool when I left just after sunrise this morning, but a long-sleeved base layer took care of that.  On the way home, it finally felt like a good, warm spring day after the cooler-than-average weather we’ve been having.

I particularly enjoyed my morning commute.  The deep, fresh green of all of the vegetation against the clear, blue sky was breathtaking.  This must be the most beautiful color combination in the world.  I felt so good and alive as I pedaled.  In fact, at one point I thought that that’s what an addiction must feel like!

I do my weekly grocery shopping at the Ingle’s in my small town, and they carry about half a dozen flavors of Clif Bars.  Recently, however, I discovered that the Kroger near my office in Macon carries all kinds of other flavors and at a great price, too.  About an hour and a half into my two-hour ride this morning, I needed some energy, and so I ate one of the fancy Kroger Clif Bars I had packed.  It was chocolate mint.  What a great sensation to eat my bar as I pedaled down the road and listened to the train whistle in the distance.

When I got to work, I immediately changed clothes and headed out for a day of field work with one of my coworkers.  Today was actually a good day to work outside because I didn’t have to worry about being stinky after my morning ride.   Also, it didn’t matter that I had helmet head because I had to wear a hardhat at the jobsite.  I thoroughly enjoyed the change of pace of not being at my desk, but working outside on my feet for nearly six hours on my bicycle commute day turned out to be a little more tiring that I expected.

At the end of the workday, I headed home on my bicycle and immediately could tell that I was fatigued.  It did get better as I continued, but I definitely didn’t have the pep that I did in the morning.  When I got to Hillsboro, which is about eight miles from home, I decided not to focus on the remaining distance to my house.  Instead, being very familiar with this road, I kept setting very short, intermediate goals: the house in a particular bend of the road, a certain church, etc.  It really helped me make it to the end and finish strong.  When I got home, I realized that the nearly 80 miles I rode today plus a workday in the field was pretty much like doing an adventure race.  No wonder I was tired!

Even though I was tired, I truly enjoyed the day.  Exquisite weather, beautiful surroundings, and not a single car honked at me.  Ride on!

No comments:

Post a Comment