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.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

What a Week of Groceries Looks Like Around the World

In the book Hungry Planet, authors Peter Menzel and Faith D’Aluisio have compiled an amazing array of photos that show what a week of groceries looks like in a number of countries around the world.  It’s a study in nutrition as well as the cultures and economics that shape what people eat.  Although this isn’t specifically a post about Heifer International, Heifer works in countries as varied as the foods in these pictures (and actually does provide services in many of the countries shown).  We all can strive for a world where everyone has adequate and nutritious food.

Photos from this book are available at a number of websites, but I like this link because it gives some good cultural context with each photo.  Interestingly, the photos from some of the less affluent countries depict a healthier diet than that of the typical American.

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