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Heifer Memories

John: Heifer Memories

I'm an Iowa retired farmer, 90 years old. I live alone. I lost my wife two years ago. I have seven children, fifteen grandchildren and twenty-one great grandchildren. I first heard about Heifer Project in the 70's when a Heifer Volunteer came to our church. He gave a...

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John: Heifer Memories

I’m an Iowa retired farmer, 90 years old. I live alone. I lost my wife two years ago. I have seven children, fifteen grandchildren and twenty-one great grandchildren.
I first heard about Heifer Project in the 70’s when a Heifer Volunteer came to our church. He
gave a talk and showed some slides of his help delivering some cattle to a project in Guatemala. I was impressed and decided that I would like to do that someday.
I did some reading about Heifer and became convinced that this was something I wanted to do. A little while later, I got a call from our district superintendent of the United Methodist church. He asked me if I would be the Heifer representative for the Cedar Rapids district. He said Bud Lent of Mt. Vernon had been doing it and he was going to move to Florida. I was hesitant but told him I would try to do it. I got together with Bud Lent and he mentored me on what I needed to do. This is how I got involved with Heifer. This was one of the best
decisions I have ever made. I love helping people who are poor and hungry and less fortunate than me. There are many scripture verses in the old testament and new testament to tell us that God and Jesus want us to do this. The next thing my wife Louise and I did was to visit the ranch in Perryville, Arkansas and we
loved it! We were hooked. We helped deliver livestock and supplies to the ranch after In­
Gathering and stayed six days. We did chores-painting and maintenance while there and got
acquainted with the staff. We did this for several years and enjoyed it. When we drove into the ranch, we felt like we were home. One summer we chaperoned 22 teens at the ranch while they experienced the Global Village. My grandson was one of the teens and he loved it. Louise and I worked in the cook shack to feed the group. Howard and Wilma Lord were there too and we developed a great friendship with them.
One time while at the ranch, Rex Enoch, one of the teachers at the ranch told Louise and I that we would make good candidates to take a study tour. We asked him where we should go on our first tour. He recommended Honduras, so we signed up and went in 1992 for 10 days. We helped build a goat barn. We stayed in a dormitory, men on one side and women in another. We were told to be careful what we ate because the water wasn’t pure. Our cook fed us lettuce and we were afraid to eat it, but she said she washed the lettuce in Clorox. We ate it and it tasted like Clorox.
We were talking to a goat owner, Hector with an interpreter and asked him, how many children he had. He said three, two lived with God and one with he and his wife since Heifer Project gave them a goat. We asked him how he came to have a goat. He told us that his wife got pregnant and gave birth to a baby boy but she was malnourished so she didn’t have enough mother’s milk and the baby died. They were sad and depressed. Then Hector said he heard about a goat project in a nearby village and he applied and was accepted. They trained him to care for the goat and build a goat barn. About a year later, they received a goat. His wife drank goat’s milk and became healthier. Then she got pregnant and had a boy. She had enough mother’s milk and also fed him goat’s milk and he was healthy. Where there was sorrow now there was joy because of Heifer.
While in Honduras I took many slides and Louise took notes and we gave many slide presentations after our tour. During our presentations we explained one of the great things about Heifer is the “Pass on the Gift”, where the recipient promised to pass on the first female offspring to another family in need picked by Heifer. After that, the animal they received would continue to help their family and they get the honor of helping some one else as they were helped.
In 1996 the United Methodist Men of Iowa got together eight cattle to go to a beef project in Uniontown, Alabama. I had a pickup and livestock trailer so I volunteered. The United Methodist’s Men’s leader and I picked up the eight bred heifers in Montezuma, Iowa and headed for Alabama. We drove all night and got there the next morning. The project consisted of descendants of slaves who received a few acres of land after the civil war. There were 16 families in the project so eight got the heifers and the other eight would get the pass ons. The land that they had was kind of swampy and not good for crops like soybeans or cotton. It was only suitable for pasture. They treated us to a steak dinner in a nearby town and also told us to visit a project that was two years old. One of the project men said he was doing well and his daughter was in college with the extra income from the Heifer Project cow. The project manager then called me after I got home to see if we arrived safely. We also gat a Christmas card from him.
In 1997, Louise and I took a sturdy tour to India for three weeks. Our tour guide was Wendy Peskin and she was wonderful. Every day we had a school on the culture of the people and the country and what projects we were going to see. We saw goat, chicken, rabbits, water buffalo, and camel projects. The camels are used for hauling bricks in carts to the cities where the buildings were being built. The people working in the brick yards earned about a dollar a day and with the gift of a camel they cleared about three dollars a day. We also got to see the Taj Mahal and a ceremony of flowers and candles on the sacred river, the Ganges. We attended a Pass On of goats. We rode an elephant to the Red Fort, and another elephant ride in the Corbet National Park and Preserve to see wildlife.
In 1998 we took a three-week study tour of China. We visited the Ming tomb and walked on the Great Wall of China. We visited the Heifer Headquarters in Chendu. The head man Dr. Pu and I have stayed in touch by email. The Communist Party in China wanted to help the poor and they liked the way we worked, so they invited the Heifer tour group to the Communist Headquarters, fed us dinner, and talked with us about how Heifer operates. That was an honor and made me feel humble. We saw many projects and learned that the money for Heifer was raised in China. We helped educate the office but we don’t send any money for projects.
One of the highlights of our tour was a visit to a yak project in Tibet. The people live in yurts and move to have enough pasture and hay for winter. The group we visited had children but they did not attend school. They learned from their parents if the parents could read and write. We ended our tour with a cruise on the Yangtze River.
In 2000 Louise and I took a tour to Cameroon, Africa for twelve days and to Ireland for three days. A group in Bothar, Ireland gives dairy cows to Africa every year so the Africans have milk. In 2003 I lost my wife Louise to cancer after being married 49 ½ years. I decided to do more tours so I signed up Peru in 2004. Some of Peru is modern but the Inca Indians are poor and Heifer is helping with sheep, goats, chickens, and alpacas. I attended an alpaca “pass on” where they passed on fifty five alpacas. I was honored there. They asked me to raise the Peruvian flag to start the ceremony. I asked a recipient how far he had come. He said he and his wife walked 2 ½ hours to get there. He said it would be a lot of work to get the alpaca home because they are kind of one-person animals and so they would have to pull and push it for a long way. We got to visit Machu Pichu while there. Every time I get home from a tour I am all fired up and ready to help raise money for Heifer.
My daughter, Melody, belongs to Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Cedar Rapids and they have a companion church in Tanzania, Africa. It is in the village of Marindi near Same. After I gave a presentation about Heifer, Gloria Dei raised enough money to purchase 10 cows for the village of Marindi through Heifer Project. Several Gloria Dei members took a trip to Tanzania to visit their companion congregation. I got in touch with Heifer in Same by email and set up several Heifer Project visits. I joined my daughter and son-in-law on the trip to Tanzania. We visited fish, cattle, and camel projects. We stayed with the villagers while there and they treated us like kings and queens. My daughter says that the village now has quite a few cattle and are
doing well. While there we went on safari to Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Crater and saw many African animals. What a tour.
At home in Iowa I have set up displays and manned them at the United Methodist yearly
convention for 15 years with about 1000 attending. I also took on setting up a display booth at the Iowa State Fair when the former person had a health problem. I did that for 15 years. I enjoy talking to people about Heifer and handing out literature. The fair has attendance of over one million in the 11 days. One lady came by and said that she had stopped by the year before and had never heard of Heifer. She said I told her about Heifer and gave her some literature. She read the literature and decided she wanted to get an ark. She tried and did
fundraising but came up a little short only raising $3800. I told her that she was successful for only knowing about it for a year. Stories like that make me try harder.
In the fall the United Methodist Church of Iowa has an In-Gathering where we give to missions. We have five sites and I try to get a Heifer representative to every site, because we get a lot of money for Heifer. I’ve been to all the sites and like to help. I’ve given over 100 speeches and presentations and I am ready to do some more if asked.
I never got to meet Dan West the founder of Heifer, but I know a lot about him because his daughter Jan Schrock was on the India tour and we heard her talk about her father. He was a miracle worker!

Heifer is my heart.

Marianne: Heifer is my heart.

Take one look at Marianne Muellerleile and you'll recognize her. Muellerleile has been an actor for more than 45 years and has a resume that includes plays, musicals, television, feature films, commercials, print and voice overs. She has appeared in movies we've all...

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Marianne: Heifer is my heart.

Take one look at Marianne Muellerleile and you’ll recognize her. Muellerleile has been an actor for more than 45 years and has a resume that includes plays, musicals, television, feature films, commercials, print and voice overs. She has appeared in movies we’ve all seen and loved like Return to Me, Smokin’ Aces, Memento, Liar Liar, and The Terminator. She is currently voicing “Lucille” on the Disney Jr animated series The Rocketeer as well as appearing in the GEICO “Aunts” campaign.

Muellerleile is hard at work behind-the-scenes, too, trying to make the world a better place. She’s been an active volunteer and supporter since 2003, and has motivated a network of her followers to Fundraise for Heifer to the tune of over $418,000. We talked to her about why she chose us and what she has in the works.

Heifer: When did you first hear about Heifer and what drew you to the organization?

MM: I was on a TV series as a regular and needed to find a worthwhile charity to which we could donate, fulfilling our long-held commitment to tithing. I had asked our wealth manger to send me a list of highly rated charities. Then I saw a segment on OPRAH and thought, “Yes, THAT is the charity we need to support. “Not a handout but a hand up.”

Why did you decide to start volunteering?

My volunteering started in kindergarten when I helped pull out the napping cots. In grade school I was in charge of the milk carton distribution and a bookmobile captain. High school I was on Student Council, Parliamentarian and Evaluation Chair. In college I made my first Red Cross blood donation. That has led to my being 50+ year blood donor.

Volunteering is second nature to me. It is part of my faith tradition and was nurtured at home.

What is interesting about my volunteering for Heifer is that it is the first organization where my passion has grown, the more I learn about it. In the past, I often became disillusioned once I saw the inside workings of an organization. It is just the opposite with Heifer. I am more committed now than when I first simply wrote a check in 2003.

What was your first volunteer gig for Heifer?

My first volunteer effort for Heifer was when I was asked to join the Heifer California Leadership Council. I was very reluctant, as I was no longer on a TV show which meant I could no longer write a big check. I was assured that I was being asked for my creativity and resources, not my ability to donate.

It was a very intriguing offer, as I knew I would learn much more about Heifer, and also understand a great deal more about how to run a successful nonprofit. I would be sitting at the “Big Kids Table.”

What has been your most rewarding experience with Heifer?

I’d have to say visiting Honduras. It was positively extraordinary. We visited 10 projects in seven days. Meeting the Heifer project partners and the communities working with Heifer and of course, the absolute highlight was witnessing a Passing on the Gift ceremony. People bursting with pride at being able to share their bounty with a family bursting with hope and determination.

Of special note was an optional visit I took to the first project Heifer did in Honduras more than 35 years ago. A happy, vibrant community, with a school, cinder block houses and healthy children. Their joyful reception of our Heifer rep reminded me that they were seeing an old friend, someone they loved.

I left Honduras knowing in my bones that Heifer International is the charity I want to support for the rest of my life. And after.

How do you fit Heifer into your busy acting/auditioning schedule?

Well that is the beauty of being an actor and being a volunteer: None of it is full time! I confess to being very well organized and a self-starter. The good nuns taught us never to procrastinate. That has served me well.

Do you give Heifer gifts to friends or coworkers? If so, what’s the reaction?

Most every person I’d give a gift to, has already given a gift to Heifer because I invited them to do so. My friends know of my deep commitment to Heifer as I take every opportunity to tell them about it.

I have more recently come up with a reciprocal donation idea that has worked very well.

When I am asked to buy school candy, donate to a AIDS ride, support a friends pet project, ETC., I tell them I am happy to do so if I can count on them to match my donation with their own one to Heifer.

Then I ask them to tell me how much they want me to donate to their cause knowing they will reciprocate when I send my own annual fundraiser invitation.

Some call us even but most say, sure, and give me an amount.

Have you ever influenced another coworker/actor to give Heifer?

Most definitely. Every May I put on my “Just Stay Home Fundraiser.” It means exactly what you think, write me a check if you don’t want to attend yet another boring fundraiser with long-winded speeches, lousy wine and surf ‘n turf. Oh, and I have a drawing for ten door prizes! My friends are so used to this May invitation they have already budgeted their donation for that month. It works.

Every other Christmas we put on a very large holiday party. We pull out all the stops with valet, catering, flowers and lots of decorations.

In lieu of a hostess gift, I invite people to donate to Heifer through my personal Heifer link https://fundraise.heifer.org/mariannemuellerleile . I even suggest they can bring a cash donation and deposit it in the labeled jar on our entrance hall table. Our friends are happy to skip the bottle of wine or scented candle and donate. It works.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Six years ago I was at a donor event as a volunteer. The donor had invited his friends to form a group of major donors who would be more hands on, as well as write a check.

I joined on the spot.

Our Partners for Change group have been raising money for specific projects ever since.

We visited our Mekong Delta Dairy Development projects in Vietnam. And now are raising money for the Guatemala Green Business Belt Phase I (spice production). I can’t wait until we visit those projects too.

One of the silver linings to the covid 19 pandemic is that my husband and I have had the time to look at our will with fresh eyes.

With the help of the Heifer Foundation we are putting the finishing touches on documents that will establish the Norris-Muellerleile Family Endowment.

I am as excited by this as I was when I first found Heifer. And I am committed to growing that endowment while I am alive as well as after we are gone.

Heifer is my heart.

Leading by example

Deborah: Leading by example

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...

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Deborah: Leading by example

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!

A tragedy and a miracle

John: A tragedy and a miracle

September 11, 2001. I was horrified by the events of the day, and confused. Why would anyone do what those 19 people had done? I could not make sense of it. And about two months later, a Heifer Catalog (mysteriously) ended up in my mail box. I had never heard of...

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John: A tragedy and a miracle

September 11, 2001. I was horrified by the events of the day, and confused. Why would anyone do what those 19 people had done? I could not make sense of it. And about two months later, a Heifer Catalog (mysteriously) ended up in my mail box. I had never heard of Heifer, but it seemed like a great approach to ending hunger and poverty. And so, I started a tradition within my family and circle of friends, that for special occasions, people would get something that they wanted and a Heifer gift. I think the first year, people were like “Huh?” When I explained that most of us fortunate enough to live in the USA have more “stuff” than we could ever use, AND we definitely did not need anymore “stuff,” people (acted like they) got it.

Anyway, this went on for about 10 years or so, and at the time, Heifer would allow people to visit Heifer projects. So I chose to go to Poland. It was an AMAZING experience. It was my first time in Poland (I have since returned to Poland three more times). And seeing the work that Heifer did in Poland, really got me excited. Since then, I have continued my tradition of giving Heifer gifts and I also volunteer at the Orange County Fair (when we have them) to tell people about what I saw in Poland.

Georgia: A lucky chance encounter

I moved to CT and on the front first page of the second section of the local paper was an article by Sharon Blair about her volunteering for Heifer; that was in the early 1980's. I went up to Overlook Farm with her and was immediately pulled into the incredible work...

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Georgia: A lucky chance encounter

I moved to CT and on the front first page of the second section of the local paper was an article by Sharon Blair about her volunteering for Heifer; that was in the early 1980’s. I went up to Overlook Farm with her and was immediately pulled into the incredible work that was being done!!! I went on a trip to Honduras where we did some work. I was happy to go to schools and churches to talk about Heifer and all they were doing for so many all over the world. I then became involved in the school community service program and arranged for seniors after they had completed their course work to go up to Overlook for a week of volunteering there. I have picture of a girl who had never made her own bed shoveling one of the stalls for manure!!!! My favorite of all!!!
Later I was able to be part of the goat kidding for several years and once for the lambing week. Just such a beautiful experience capped by a snowstorm and going out into the night to check on the status of the mothers waiting to give birth. Not a sound anywhere and the most beautiful sky. Made some great friends that we were able to keep for several years.
One year I went on a trip to Nepal and the coordinator at Overlook arranged for the head of the Heifer office in Kathmandu to take me up to a village where the rabbits had been already passed on and to meet the wonderful women who had become a real team. How lucky was I on that trip!!!!
Took some friends up to the farm from time to time, encouraged my godchild and her daughter to go for a volunteer weekend, and continued to volunteer most places that I could find a time.
I really miss the farm and wish I could get to Arkansas at some point…Had some great times with some of the MASS staff for sure…I try to stay involved as mush as I can and we do Alternative Giving at my church on several occasions. Heifer is always the one with the most donations.

How lucky I am!

Suzanne: How lucky I am!

My Heifer story spans many years punctuated by experiences and friendships that I could not have imagined for myself. Compassionate, ecumenical, world-savvy mentors set the example. Among them, Louise Johnson at First Christian Church in Vallejo, CA. During the 1970s...

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Suzanne: How lucky I am!

My Heifer story spans many years punctuated by experiences and friendships that I could not have imagined for myself. Compassionate, ecumenical, world-savvy mentors set the example. Among them, Louise Johnson at First Christian Church in Vallejo, CA. During the 1970s and 80s Louise welcomed worshippers to the “Produce Table,” where fresh bounty from her family garden was available to anyone for a donation to Heifer Project.

That was my introduction to Heifer. By 1990, my husband and I had settled in the Sacramento, CA area. There, we encountered Ray and Dorothy Miller and the Sacramento Area Heifer Volunteer Committee…..a somewhat legendary group for the tens of thousands of dollars collected for Heifer each year. I became a member of the Committee and organized Fill the Ark campaigns at Sierra Christian Church in Rocklin for over 20 years. Sometimes we took a carload of church kids and parents to Heifer’s Learning Center in Ceres, CA, where another mentor, Rev Bill Beck, was Heifer’s Regional Director in the West. At the Ceres Learning Center I met other Bay Area and Central Valley volunteers and Heifer Cowboys, and was a sometime docent for school programs.

In 1998, Bill Beck nominated me to serve on Heifer’s Board of Directors as a Pacific West representative. Being a Board member for six years enlarged my Heifer network and deepened my knowledge of sustainable animal agriculture, community development and environmental stewardship. I remember Heifer’s revenue reaching $10 million, the introduction of Heifer’s Cornerstones for Sustainable Development, and the purchase of land for a new LEED-certified headquarters building in Little Rock where I attended Heifer’s 60th. There were Heifer Study Tours to Bolivia, Peru, Poland, Slovakia, Albania, Kosovo and Ecuador, as well as visits to project sites in Appalachia and Chicago, Tanzania and Kenya, and participation in Women’s Lambing Weekend and Heifer University at The Perryville Ranch. I witnessed numerous ” Passing on the Gift” ceremonies, and participated in a ribbon-cutting for a milk collection facility in Kosovo, experiences that have stayed with me.

In 1996, my husband Roy and I enlisted the assistance of Jerry Bedford to establish a Charitable Remainder Trust with Heifer Foundation. Following Roy’s passing in 2006, I established The Awalt Family Endowment, also at the Foundation. Both of these estate gifts are still growing and blessing Heifer’s work. I have returned to live in the Bay Area and to First Christian Church in Vallejo, the place where I was introduced to Heifer Project. Each December, for over 20 years, First Christian Church has hosted an ecumenical Global Holiday Faire. Heifer has been one of the alternative gift options since the beginning. I love to share the good news that is Heifer and my witness to the transformative power of Heifer’s partnerships with families around the world. I have been a Heifer volunteer and donor for thirty years now, and I credit my association with Heifer for developing in me a passion for global citizenship and sustainable philanthropy. Heifer has also afforded me wonderful friendships that continue to sustain me. How lucky I am!!!

Suzanne Awalt
Member, Heifer Volunteer Committee, Sacramento, CA
Benicia, CA

Cleo: Passing on the gift

In 2008, my wife, Judy Parsons, and I joined a Heifer tour group in Guatemala. It was a great group and we had amazing, heart touching experiences. We had the good fortune to experience several "passing on the gift" events; as others have said, "It's hard to tell who...

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Cleo: Passing on the gift

In 2008, my wife, Judy Parsons, and I joined a Heifer tour group in Guatemala. It was a great group and we had amazing, heart touching experiences. We had the good fortune to experience several “passing on the gift” events; as others have said, “It’s hard to tell who is the happiest, the family receiving the life transforming gift….or the family who is empowered to offer it.” In one village they were passing on rabbits. The parents and children were all smiles as they offered the two does and one buck. Then they also provided a container of grass they had dug up for transplanting…grass the rabbits especially liked, and another container of small red worms that would work in the rabbit manure to change it into a valued fertilizer for growing flowers to take to the local market. Such amazing generosity!! It is one of my favorite Heifer memories from over 40 years of volunteering.

A lifetime with Heifer International

John: A lifetime with Heifer International

When I was 8 years old we had a barn fire and lost our entire herd of cattle in the fire, except for two young heifers. We kept one for a “family cow” and our church bought the other one and donated it to Heifer Project. Some time after that we received a letter from...

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John: A lifetime with Heifer International

When I was 8 years old we had a barn fire and lost our entire herd of cattle in the fire, except for two young heifers. We kept one for a “family cow” and our church bought the other one and donated it to Heifer Project. Some time after that we received a letter from the recipient family in Germany. My Dad could read enough German to translate the letter.

In 1969 my wife, Miriam, and I accompanied a plane load of Brahma cattle and Hampshire pigs to Ecuador. By the end of that year we were living and working in Ghana for Church World Service on secondment to the Christian Council of Ghana. Heifer Project, Inc. did not have a representative in Ghana but I took on that role and received a shipment of pigs, chicks and funds to purchase oxen for distribution in our oxen training program.

In 1975 I began working for Heifer Project International as the country representative in Belize where we developed programs that are still in operation today. After 5 years we returned to the States and I became the Mid Atlantic (and the Atlantic South) Regional Director. I served in that position for 18 years. I then served as pastor of churches in Manheim, PA and Greensboro, NC, churches that continue to support Heifer International. Since retiring I have volunteered with Heifer to present programs to schools, clubs and churches. I have also written a book about my experiences titled, “Intended for Good” which provides more information.

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Steve: A Flock of Geese

I donated a flock of geese and was so thrilled with Heifer’s commitment to sustainable development. I wanted to help them hands-on, so became a volunteer.

The Trip of a Lifetime

Barb: The Trip of a Lifetime

Barb was looking for something meaningful to do after retirement. When she received one of Heifer’s famous gift catalogs in the mail, she knew this was an organization she wanted to get involved with in a meaningful and long-lasting way. From the very first hours she...

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Barb: The Trip of a Lifetime

Barb was looking for something meaningful to do after retirement. When she received one of Heifer’s famous gift catalogs in the mail, she knew this was an organization she wanted to get involved with in a meaningful and long-lasting way.

From the very first hours she devoted as a volunteer in 2002, Barb has seen Heifer’s amazing work all over the world. “I’ve seen our projects in action in quite a few countries. I decided to become a donor and set up an endowment through the Foundation.” Most impacted by Heifer’s practice of Passing on the Gift®, she established the Barbara Oakes Endowment to ensure that even more families will continue to improve their lives for decades to come. “What we give may not seem like a whole lot of money to us, but it’s so much more to even the first person who receives, and then that person is going to give and it goes on and on.”

Barb attended a Seagoing Cowboys celebration in Medford, Indiana, during Heifer’s 70th anniversary in 2014. She hopes her love for Heifer and her example might inspire another friend to step forward to help.