Meet Kaitlyn! She is a bright, empathetic, hard- working, caring seventh grader. I first met Kaitlyn when she was a student in my first grade class. She, along with others I have met along the way, have kept my passion and drive for Heifer alive.

During the last six years of my 39-year teaching career I became involved with Heifer. Having grown up as a farmer’s daughter I found myself interested in Heifer and their mission. A contest, sponsored by Heifer, with a first prize of a trip to Africa caught my interest. My class of enthusiastic first graders decided to perform a song with animal puppets and recite a poem. Our entry was recorded by some equally enthusiastic parents and a supportive school principal. Although we didn’t win first prize, the second prize of a trip to the Heifer Farm in Perryville, Arkansas encouraged me to become a Heifer volunteer.

With the support of the school administration I was able to organize “Read to Feed” programs in both my home school as well as our local high school, middle school and four additional elementary schools. We also sponsored a three week fund raiser to promote awareness for the need of milk in Tanzania. These programs gave me the opportunity to teach others about Heifer’s history, values, and sustainable work. The students involved were made aware of the important role they could play in making a difference in the lives of many people in need.

Heifer supports their volunteers with amazing role models. I’ve been blessed to work with Liz Ellis and Rachel Merrill, both whom possess expert knowledge of Heifer’s mission, as well as drive and commitment. Along with dedicated volunteers, I’ve had the good fortune to meet new friends who share our passion for Heifer’s goals and mission statement.

For Kaitlyn’s sixth birthday she asked for donations to Heifer rather than gifts for herself. She then convinced her entire family to support Heifer with monetary donations. Kaitlyn’s continued commitment and interest in trying to make a difference in the world makes all who know her, especially her first-grade teacher, very proud. Kaitlyn is a bright light for the future of Heifer. Heifer transforms lives of all ages!