And it got me to thinking. Erich and I would probably say that social justice is very important to us, we don't have faith in the trickle down approach and know that there are a whole lot of vulnerable people in the world and how fortunate we are. But what has been bothering me for a while is what are we actually doing about it? It's important for us that our girls understand these things too...it's time for us to put our money where our mouths are. So this morning, as I was doing my usual survey of favourite blogs, I came across this one, at the Crafty Crow and got really excited! Because while I found that video inspiring...I wanted to have something to do. I did some research into this organization called Heifer International and I really LOVE what they do!
This is from "Skip to My Lou"...
“Heifer International works to end world hunger and save the earth. For close to 60 years, Heifer has helped more than four million impoverished families in 128 countries lift themselves out of poverty and achieve self-reliance.
The idea is simple and it works. Instead of providing hungry families with a non-renewable source of food, Heifer International provides a “living loan” of an animal. The family’s health and standard of living is greatly improved by what that animal can provide. This might be milk from a cow or goat, eggs from poultry, meat from rabbits, draft power from water buffalo or wool from llamas.
Key to success of the program is that Heifer provides extensive training in animal care, ecologically sound agriculture practices and community development. The result is to transform not just families, but the environment and community.
Another key cornerstone of Heifer International is “passing on the gift.” Families who receive an animal repay the loan by passing on one or more of the animals’ offspring to other needy families. That family passes on their gift to another family and so on. So one gift multiplies through the community.
Heifer International currently provides more than 27 types of animals that provide food and/or income to struggling families in 48 countries (including the U. S. )”...and Canada, check out the list of projects.
So we (The Meyrick-Zirnhelt family) have joined a team of people through Skip to My Lou and are participating in a Read to Feed initiative, to raise money for Heifer International...you can find out the full details here, but the idea is that we are collecting pledges from folks like you, kind of like a walkathon but instead of sponsoring per mile, you would be sponsoring per book that G. reads or we read with V. between now and September 14th. Or...if you would like to join in, you can download a pledge sheet, a reading log and info sheet to let sponsors know what you are doing.
If you would like to sponsor G. or V. you can email me privately at email@example.com, Erich and I will match the amount raised dollar for dollar....you can also donate directly or check out our progress here.
There are some great videos about some of the Heifer projects here ( I really liked the one on the Urban Agriculture initiative and the Women in Livestock Development project).
**FYI -excerpt from Wikipedia - A 2005 report by the Better Business Bureau's Wise Giving Alliance (WGA) found that Heifer International met all of its standards for charity accountability. The WGA found that Heifer International is truthful in its representations of how money is spent, does not allocate an excessive part of its budget for fundraising or administrative expenses and makes its financial statements readily available to the public.