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, July 29, 2013

Bat Fruit Salad

Lucille, my plush bat named for my grandmother, reminded me of how much fun she and I had riding together on the Rapha Women’s 100 and on my century earlier this month.  At the rest stops on the century, she enjoyed posing with several fruits that bats pollinate.  Many products we use every day, like fruits, nuts, hardwoods, balsa wood, spices, dyes, and fibers, depend on bats.  Some commercial plants, like bananas and peaches, do not rely directly on bats for pollination or seed dispersal, but their genetic ancestors do.  If agriculturists ever want to improve the disease resistance of the commercial plants or cultivate new varieties, they must obtain genes from the ancestral plants.

You can make a delicious Bat Fruit Salad to showcase bat-dependent foods.  The recipe below is from The Educator’s Activity Book about Bats.  Adjust the quantities according to your taste and what’s available.  For example, I use fresh mango and fresh figs when they are in season but use dried ones other times of year.

Canned guavas
Peach or banana yogurt
Carob chips

Cut fruit into bite-sized pieces and place in a large mixing bowl.  Stir in yogurt.  Place in a serving bowl.  Sprinkle with cashews and carob chips.

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