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, September 5, 2013

Weekly Children’s Book Review: Pat the Bunny

Each week during this month, I will post a review of a children’s book that I have read.  One of the first books I vaguely remember is the classic Pat the Bunny.  The tactile aspects of this delightful book, like the bunny’s soft fur and Daddy’s scratchy face, definitely made an impression on me.  Maybe this doesn’t make for much of a review, but it indicates to me that when it comes to babies and toddlers, reading should be an experience that appeals to all five senses – the sounds of the words that are read, colorful pictures, various textures, maybe some scratch ‘n sniff features, and even sturdy pages that can withstand an exploratory bite.  Presented with such wonders, children learn from the beginning that books are their friends.

Most of my early reading memories are from when I was about five and older, which is just beyond the age group that the Ferst Foundation for Childhood Literacy focuses on.  Even so, I know that my parents made sure I had books from the time I was born.  On the other hand, I don’t remember my parents ever reading to me.  They were always very attentive to my education in every other way, but this apparent lapse began troubling me more and more.  Finally, when I was a teenager or maybe a young adult, I asked my mother why she never read to me.  She said that I wouldn’t let her!  Apparently, I began reading at a very young age and wanted to do it by myself (imagine that…)

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