Tomorrow on February 15, Vermont Woods Studios Fine Furniture is doing a fundraiser for one of my very favorite charities, Heifer International. 50% of all profits will be donated to Heifer, a non-profit organization that benefits children and families all over the world who are suffering from poverty, war and starvation. Heifer was started 60 years ago as an effort to end world hunger by helping people obtain a sustainable source of food and income.
Their idea is to give a family a heifer and teach them how to care for it and make it a part of their family and their livlihood. When the animal has an off-spring it is passed on to another family and a wonderful chain reaction of empowerment begins to occur. The program has been widely acclaimed and has achieved tremendous success. Now you can give heifers, goats, chickens and all sorts of other animals to help families make a living.
Did you know that 55% of the people on this earth are suffering from hunger…getting nothing more than a small bit of rice and water to eat every day? Hard to imagine, isn't it? But it's true. Check out this story about Beatrice Biira a young African girl who was able to go to school in her village, thanks to Heifer. Beatrice did so well that she was offered a scholarship to Northfield Mount Hermon high school (the same school that Kendall and Riley go to) and from there she has gone forth and done great things.
So if you or someone you know has been looking at our Vermont made furniture and waiting for the right time to buy, consider tomorrow! Your purchase will change someone's life.
That's you! Let's be honest. If you're reading this, you can probably count yourself among the "ones who have everything" right? And your friends and family are in that group too. OK, I'm not trying to be a big grinch and stomp down on all our Cyber Weekend shopping fun. I'm just suggesting that some of the frenzy whipped up over these unbelievable deals is a bit contrived– maybe you and those on your List don't really need or want an extra flat screen TV anyway.
So what to buy that would have some meaning?
Here's a short list of my Top 4 Favorite Christmas and Holiday Gifts:
- A $20 donation to Heifer International could offer an education (and a new world) to a child otherwise doomed to a life of poverty in a third world country. If you can read this story about Beatrice Biira and not be inspired to swap a goat or flock of chickens for the Blu-ray player, I'll be surprised.
- For the animal lovers on your list, what could be more thoughtful than the World Wildlife Fund symbolic adoption of an endangered species? Tigers are my favorite animals and they are among the most critically endangered species on earth, but WWF offers over 100 adoption choices from Red Eyed Tree Frog to the Ring Tailed Lemur. Adoption gifts include a stuffed animal, a personalized, framed adoption certificate and a photo of the animal in the wild. These are fun for kids and adults alike.
- Do you have any outdoor enthusiasts on your list? How about an acre of rainforest for them? The Nature Conservancy has several gift options including adopting an acre of rainforest in Costa Rica, planting trees in Brazil and adopting hummingbirds. I should mention too that TNC has a cool Green Gift Monday webpage with all kinds of ideas for gifting repsonsibly.
- Swimmers? Surfers? Sailors? Definitely check out Oceana's Marine Wildlife Adoption and Gift Center and adopt a whale, turtle, shark, octopus, penguin or whatever your favorite ocean species is.
The best part is that there's no Black Friday or Cyber Monday RUSH on buying these items. But… you could take a big load off your shoulders and get everything done today. Then you could relax and enjoy the rest of the Christmas season in peace– what a concept!