Fri, Apr 25, 2014 ●
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Holiday gifts that keep on giving

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Holiday gifts that keep on giving

If you're looking for something different to give as a holiday gift this year, you might want to consider a gift that's more than just "stuff." Many individuals and families are looking for alternate giving ideas that help people in need. And with one in eight people going to sleep hungry every night worldwide, there is plenty of need to be met.

One way you can give a gift that makes a life-changing difference is to shop via Heifer International, a nonprofit humanitarian organization dedicated to ending hunger and caring for the Earth. Heifer currently provides livestock, trees, seeds and training in environmentally sound agriculture practices to families in more than 40 countries, including the United States. Since 1944, Heifer has helped more than 15.5 million smallholder farmer families in more than 125 countries move toward greater self-reliance.

Heifer is drawing attention to the need and the opportunity to help through their "AltGift" and "NOW" campaigns, which, respectively, encourage honoring loved ones by giving alternative gifts, as well as showcasing the powerful success stories of women and families who can now improve their nutrition, generate income, and Pass On the Gift to others in their communities.

Here are some exciting ways you and your family can give an alternative gift that will help other families in need:

* Shop the Gift Catalog at www.heifer.org. Donate a flock of chicks, a rabbit, a goat, a water buffalo or maybe even a heifer to a family somewhere in the world. Your gift will improve their nutrition and help them generate income in sustainable ways.

* Contribute to one of Heifer's Special Giving Opportunities. Participate in the Worldbuilders Match Challenge; become a Friend of Heifer to make a monthly gift; or donate to the Disaster Rehabilitation Fund to provide resources that make long-term recovery from natural disasters possible.

* Fund a project. You and your family can choose a particular project and help fund the gifts of livestock, training for the community and veterinary care needed to make the project successful.

* Join Team Heifer. Whether as a family or part of a faith or community group, you can team up with others to raise funds and help Heifer recipients Pass on the Gift, becoming donors themselves who help others in need.

* Honor someone with your gift. When you give a gift in someone's name, they will receive an Honor Card to let them know about the special gift you've given.

When you give to others, making it possible for them to lift themselves out of poverty and become self-reliant in a sustainable way, you are giving a life-altering gift that will have a positive ripple effect for years to come. Learn more about how you can receive the joy of giving at www.heifer.org.

Heifer International

Photo: Geoff Oliver Bugbee

Photo: Geoff Oliver Bugbee