For a Christmas present back in 1997 we were given “a part of a goat”. Immediately after that there arrived through the mail, a copy of Heifer’s World Ark. In reading through the magazine, I came across information about a school program called Read to Feed. Being the school librarian in our town’s elementary school of 300 children, I introduced it to the staff and that spring we offered Read to Feed to our students. We continued promoting that idea annually until we retired about 10 years ago. A highlight year saw the town’s families supporting an ARK — inspired by a fourth grader. [FYI: She is now living in Ireland where besides her work — she has developed and now directs a children’s choir comprised of young refugees living in Ireland.]
Years back when Jen Girten first headed up the school curriculum, I was on the committee that developed the goals and the lesson plans. We met via phone conferences until the final work when we all met for several hot summer days at The Ranch. Also, Heifer 101, held in Little Rock, was a most significant experience hearing about many working projects in different countries.
Steve and I attended early study tours in Honduras, Latvia and Lithuania. Due to these experiences we were able to present and document peoples’ stories and their involvement with Heifer to many school, church, and library groups here in NH and VT. Using Heifer photos made discussions with children and adults real. The pictures gave credence to explanations about Heifer’s Cornerstones of Gender Equality and Passing on the Gift. The regular Volunteer meetings held in Rutland MA and the large one in Little Rock AK were inspiring — always with friends there sharing stories about their own trips abroad — seeing and internalizing real Heifer projects. Luckily for us too, Rex and Nan and Jan spent important time with us there. Very meaningful times over the years! Thankful for them all.
FYI [One school in northern VT holds classes in a renovated barn and outbuildings. We were asked to present Heifer to the kids. That particular day was also — bring your pet to school day. That afternoon our presentation was accompanied by a wheezing old bulldog AND a second grader’s caged hamster that had to leave the room — “to go to the bathroom”. It really was a fun day.