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.

Sunday, May 26, 2013


The young people on the BRAG Dream Team set an ambitious goal: riding all the way across Georgia.  Striving for and reaching goals keeps me engaged with life, and so it thrills me to see the Dream Team have opportunities to grow and excel through goal setting.  Here’s an article I enjoyed writing for Georgia Magazine, published by Georgia EMC in June 2011:

Headed for the County Line

I consider myself a goal setter.  In fact, I even have a list of “100 things to do before I die.”  On October 10, 2009, I crossed a big item off of my list: visiting all 159 Georgia counties!

My adventures across the state began with the Bicycle Ride Across Georgia (BRAG) in 1994.  That year, BRAG went from Bainbridge to St. Simons Island.

Growing up in Atlanta, I had been through South Georgia on many family trips to Florida, but I had never gotten off of the interstate to really experience the region.  On BRAG, however, I was able to visit an old friend from Brooks County, taste blueberries in Bacon County, and ride through a downpour in Ware County.

The 159-county goal really materialized later when I worked for an engineering company in Macon.  My job took me to numerous rural areas.  Burke County?  Check!  Worth County?  Check!  I started keeping track of all of the counties I had visited, shading them with a red pencil on a map of Georgia.

Next, I began dreaming up expeditions that would take me to unvisited counties.  One year, my husband Robert and I celebrated our anniversary at Providence Canyon in Stewart County.  On the way home, we planned to go to the Andersonville National Historic site via Schley County.  Unfortunately, I fell asleep, and Robert didn’t drive us on the intended route.  No worries, though.  After visiting Andersonville, we drove approximately two miles west to the Schley County line, got out of the car, ran around the county line sign, and went back the way we came.

Robert used to play a lot of golf, and one time I accompanied him on an outing to a course near Thomaston because the drive would take us through Pike County.  I was excited to finally pick up Pike until we passed a sign for Camp Pine Valley, a Girl Scout Camp.  I went to Camp Pine Valley in 1978; I had already been to Pike County!

Finally, at the beginning of 2009, I was down to Screven County.  Thanks to an article about Georgia wineries in the March 2009 issue of Georgia Magazine, I devised a plan that would let me finalize my goal.  Robert and I and several friends had a wonderful fall weekend of bicycling and wine tasting in East Georgia.  We rode to Meinhardt Vineyards in Emanuel County, Butterducks Winery in Effingham County, and last – but certainly not least – Shannon Vineyards in Screven County.  I sprinted on my bicycle to the Screven County line and had Robert take my picture (along with my map) next to the county line sign.

From the Cohutta Wilderness in Fannin County to the mysterious Georgia Guidestones in Elbert County, Georgia has an adventure waiting for everyone.  Now that I’ve been to all 159 counties, it’s time to visit all 50 U.S. states.  Forty down; 10 to go!


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