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.

Friday, November 8, 2013

I Effing Hate Holland

My stepbrother Duane and his wife Jane have a son named Will.  Will was born very prematurely (at 25 weeks) and has a number of developmental disabilities.  Nevertheless, Will is doing quite well, largely thanks to his parents’ unwavering love and support.  I enjoy following Jane on Facebook, where she often writes about life with Will.  She faces their ups and downs with wonderful grit, grace, and humor.  Even though Will doesn’t have Down syndrome, Jane has helped open my eyes to all children with special needs.

Most of the time, Jane is extremely positive.  Even when she writes about the more difficult times, I’m glad for the reality of the perspective she provides.  A few months ago she linked to a blog written by another woman whose son has multiple disabilities.  It’s definitely worth the read:

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