Every year I get a gift catalog from Heifer International and every year I say I am going to donate to buy an animal to help a family in need somewhere in the world. Than I don’t.
There are several organizations I donate to on a regular basis as I want to do some good while I am alive. And they are all in my will.
After visiting the world headquarters for Heifer I am now determined to donate at least a chicken this coming Christmas. I am so fortunate to live where I live and have the life I have.
My mother and I had a lot of problems but one thing I am grateful for is giving me a sense of obligation to people less fortunate than I am.
From the website: Heifer International’s mission is to work with communities to end world hunger and poverty and to care for the Earth.
Dan West was a farmer from the American Midwest and member of the Church of the Brethren who went to the front lines of the Spanish Civil War as an aid worker. His mission was to provide relief, but he soon discovered the meager single cup of milk rationed to the weary refugees once a day was not enough.
And then he had a thought: What if they had not a cup, but a cow?
That “teach a man to fish” philosophy is what drove West to found Heifer International. And now, nearly 70 years later, that philosophy still inspires our work to end world hunger and poverty throughout the world once and for all.
The hotel I stayed at was central to everything I wanted to do in Little Rock. It was easy to walk everywhere.
I was privileged to have one-on-one private tours with three representatives of Heifer International. Laura, Patrick and Jinkie.
Laura gave me an overview of the educational exhibits in the main visitor area.
This would be a great learning experience for school kids. But I learned a lot too.
I loved this poster about vegetables. I buy most of my veggies and fruit at the local Culver City farmers’ market every Tuesday afternoon. I plan my schedule around it. Makes me feel good to support the farmers and I know what I am eating is “green” in every way. With a few exceptions I can’t eat produce from the supermarket anymore…. it is tasteless compared to what I buy on Tuesdays.
I was told the docent, Patrick, was ready to give me a tour of the office building.
From the website: Based in Little Rock, AR, Heifer’s headquarters use 52 percent less energy than a conventional office building of similar size and use.
Heifer uses gray water, rainwater captured in a collection tower, to supply non-consumable water. The glass exterior is more than a beautiful design. The windows allow staff to work in natural light. Sensors adjust the lighting based on the amount of darkness outside.
People come to Heifer Village to shop, play and learn.
A Message from Pierre Ferrari, Heifer President and CEO:
To completely end the global scourges of hunger and poverty – and we are getting closer – there cannot be room for hatred, violence, racism, misogyny, anti-semitism, homophobia or religious intolerance.
Heifer’s campus is built on the site of a long-abandoned railroad yard. All of the materials used in the building were sourced within 500 miles of Little Rock. Except for the bamboo. Heifer chose bamboo because it is fast growing and sustainable.
In 2007, Heifer’s headquarters achieved the highest “Green Building” rating possible. The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) platinum certification
Next to the Heifer campus is the Clinton Presidential Library in the distance.
During eco-workshops that defined the project
, Heifer stated that, of all the countries they worked in, the United States treated water with the least respect. As a result, the team responded to this challenge and created a project where no water leaves the site except blackwater, a true example of how to conserve water.
After Patrick’s wonderful and informative tour, Jinkie took over to show me the farm.
The animals given to people in need around the world to allow them to be self-sustaining are local to the area in which they live. They generally don’t ship animals from the US.
I believe the farm at Heifer International is a relatively new project.
No farm is complete without the farm cat.
This apple tree has several different kinds of apples grafted on to it. Now that’s an apple tree I can appreciate!
I was duly impressed with the architecture.
This brick pathway leading to the entrance of the visitor center is inscribed with the names of donors.
I came away with the sense of an organization that is 100% committed to its ideals with no compromises.
I was certainly happy that I was able to get such an in-depth look into its workings.
And now I’m looking forward to receiving that catalog at Christmas so I can pick out a gift for a family in need.
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