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, July 4, 2013

Happy Birthday, USA! (and Cosmo!)

Happy 237th birthday to the United States, and happy 13th birthday to my greyhound Cosmo!  I’m particularly happy to be celebrating Cosmo’s birthday today because it’s a miracle that he’s still with us.  In August 2011, Robert and I came home from work one day and found Cosmo in terrible condition.  He could barely stand up and kept drinking water almost without stopping.  We immediately called the vet, who actually came to our house.  She got him stabilized, and Cosmo recovered substantially over the next few days.  However, the vet cautioned us that Cosmo had significant heart issues and probably wouldn’t live more than about six more months.  That was nearly two years ago!  I’ve been very careful not to stress Cosmo physically.  That means that he’s had to retire from Greyhounds & Grey Hairs, and he doesn’t get to go to meet & greets anymore.  So, we make the most of our occasional (very slow) walks to the mailbox or his trips to the office with me every now and then.  By the way, when it’s time for his breakfast, you’d never know he’s had any difficulties; he bounds up the stairs from the basement to the main floor like a herd of elephants!

Cosmo has a special bat connection.  To honor his birthday bat-style, here’s the BCI Member Snapshot from the Fall 2010 issue of Bats magazine, published by Bat Conservation International (BCI):

“BCI Member Betty Jean Jordan of Monticello, Georgia, has a retired racing greyhound named Cosmo that is a bit of a kleptomaniac.  ‘Fortunately,’ she says, ‘Cosmo doesn’t chew on anything he steals; he just likes to collect stuff.  And he is obsessed with my stuffed vampire bat,’ which resides on a bedroom windowsill.  If the door is left open, Jordan says, Cosmo is almost certain to show up with the bat.  In fact, ‘sometimes Cosmo stands and stares at the closed bedroom door, and I can almost hear the cogs in his brain turning as he thinks, “Bat, bat, bat.”

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