“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day.
Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”
Volunteering in aid efforts during the Spanish Civil War, Ohio farmer Dan West was ladling rations of milk into refugee children’s cups when he realized, “They need a cow, not a cup of milk.” That thought would lead to Heifer International, which has fed millions of families in over a hundred countries — including the United States.
The basic Heifer model is simple: give a family a heifer, along with the training and resources to promote self-sufficiency through agriculture. The heifer will provide not only milk for nutrition for the family, but surplus milk which can be sold to they can pay for other needs, such as food, clothes, medicine or school. Moreover, Heifer helps the entire community where the family lives.
Passing on the Gift, another key element of how Heifer helps the hungry, extends the gift. Recipients agree to become contributors within their own community, giving the first female offspring to another family so they, too, share in the growing self-sufficiency in that community. More than simply teaching one man learning to fish, Heifer works to help whole communities learn valuable lessons in agricultural and economic self-sufficiency.
In the 70 years since its founding, Heifer International has expanded the original model to include other animals: chickens, ducks, geese, rabbits, llamas, goats, water buffaloes, bees and other sustainable livestock, chosen as appropriate for each region and community. Additionally, Heifer can provide needed equipment such as irrigation pumps and biogas stoves.
Something as simple as a starter flock of chicks, ducks or geese costs just $20; honeybees $30. I urge you to help Heifer this holiday season.