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.

Monday, June 10, 2013

See You at the Hop!

Where do donations come from for the ML&J Fund?  Many people give generously through the community churches.  Other people place their loose change in the empty boots held by our local EMTs on area street corners on a Saturday morning.  Sometimes a donor will stop Mary Lou Jordan in the post office or grocery store and give her a check or a $20 bill for ML&J.

Organized fundraising events, however, are also an important resource for the ML&J Fund.  Mary Lou Jordan and Debby Kelly have come up with some terrific ideas over the years.  They have hosted a Chastain-style picnic band party, reminiscent of outings at the well known Chastain Amphitheater in Atlanta.  Additionally, there are some annual events, including Cookies with Santa and an art show featuring works from local artists.

In these lean economic times, Mary Lou and Debby can be particularly creative.  One of our fellow church members, named Carol, was scheduled to provide flowers for the sanctuary one Sunday.  Debby made a clever alternate plan with Carol.  Debby picked flowers from her yard, and Mary Lou – flower arranger extraordinaire – made them into a lovely display for church.  Then, Carol took the money she would have spent on flowers and made a donation to the ML&J Fund instead.

The most memorable ML&J fundraiser for me was in June of last year, during the three-month period between my crash and dental surgery.  Mary Lou, Jimmy, and Debby organized a Sock Hop that felt like stepping back into the 1950s.  Local resident Jane Hooper hosted the Sock Hop in her amazing garden.  Additionally, an old fashioned soda shop was set up in her bunkhouse, and there was a tent with a deejay and dance floor.

Attendees were encouraged to dress up in 1950s attire.  Robert and I took up the challenge!  His costume was easy: blue jeans; white T-shirt; loafers; and his black, leather jacket.  I wore a full, purple skirt that I made extra poofy with the crinoline slip from my wedding gown.  I even made it into a poodle skirt by printing a color picture of my mother’s poodle, named Peaches, and taping it to the fabric.  A wide belt, white shirt, Keds for shoes, and a scarf tied around my ponytail completed my outfit – almost.  The finishing touch was my grandfather’s class ring from Auburn, which I wore on a gold chain around my neck.  All the effort paid off because Robert and I won the costume contest!

As you can see, I had gotten pretty used to smiling with my mouth closed.

Then, of course, there was all that fabulout 50s music.  Even though it was before my time, I still enjoy the familiar tunes.  Robert and I know only about two dance moves, but we made the most of them.  The main thing I remember about that evening is that is was the first time after my crash that I really forgot about it for a moment while I had fun twirling with Robert on the dance floor.

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