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, August 29, 2013

Climb for the Hounds

Lots of people do athletic endeavors on behalf of charities, but I just learned of one that’s pretty incredible.  It’s called Climb for the Hounds.  Bruce McDonald has planned a personal cycling challenge to benefit greyhounds – a kindred spirit!  On September 20th, Bruce will attempt to climb Mont-Ventoux, the epic mountain in the Provence region of France, not once, but six times…in one day!  Only 68 people (and only one American, thus far) have accomplished this goal, forming the “Club des Bicinglettes.”  Maybe you have to be at least somewhat into cycling to understand how monumental this is.

Mont-Ventoux is 6,273 feet high.  Bruce will climb the mountain two times each from three towns: Bédoin, Malaucène, and Sault.  His total ride will be 169 miles with an elevation gain of 29,154 feet (an average of about 173 feet per mile).  For comparison, the longest I have ever ridden at one time is 109 miles.  In Middle Georgia where I usually ride, the elevation gain is about 50 feet per mile, and so on a typical ride I might gain 2,000 feet of elevation.  According to my Strava data, I have climbed 226,634 feet year-to-date; Bruce will climb more than 10% of this in one day.  And I thought doing one century per month was a challenge!

As if Bruce’s ride weren’t exciting enough, he’s making it an opportunity to raise funds for two wonderful greyhound rescue groups, Greyhound Pets of America (GPA) Indianapolis and Prison Greyhounds.  GPA Indianapolis finds homes for retired racing greyhounds, just like Southeastern Greyhound Adoption (which is also part of GPA), my April charity in A Year of Centuries.  Bruce’s other charity, Prison Greyhounds, is a terrific program in which nonviolent inmates care for greyhounds from the racetrack, preparing the dogs for permanent homes.  This helps ease the shortage of foster homes for greyhounds, and the greyhounds provide a calming effect for the entire prison population.  It’s a win-win situation for hounds and humans.

For more details about the Climb for Hounds, including information about how to make a donation, please visit  Ride on, Bruce!

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