The Ultimate Christmas Present

Don’t have a cow this Christmas. Instead, give a cow to a family in poverty. It might be the ultimate Christmas present that lifts the family out of poverty into self-reliance.

The Ultimate Christmas Present

Xhevrije Shkurti, 58, with a Jersey cow she received in October 2006 from Heifer Albania. Xhevrije gets 10 to 12 liters of milk per day from the cow. She uses the milk to produce cheese, yogurt and curd for her family, which includes six children and three grandchildren. This cow is the only income in her home. (Photo by Geoff Oliver Bugbee / Heifer)

Heifer International, a global nonprofit humanitarian assistance organization, helps poor families become self-reliant through gifts of farm animals. Those who receive the animals then agree to pass on the animal’s first-born female offspring and help train others in need. This allows the benefits to increase to entire communities.

Gifts to Heifer provide cows, goats, water buffalo and other livestock — a total of 28 animals — to people in more than 50 countries, including the United States.

The animals provide the families with benefits such as milk, eggs, wool and manure for fertilizer. This means better nutrition and income for education, health care and housing.

For more than 65 years, Heifer has improved the livelihoods of families that go through a daily struggle for food and income. In all, the organization has helped more than 62 million men, women and children.

Heifer’s mission is to work with communities to end hunger and poverty and to care for the Earth. The organization offers gift donations options starting as low as $20, which would provide a family with a flock of chicks, ducks or geese. Other options include honeybees for $30, a pig or sheep for $120, a heifer for $500 and a camel for $850.

You’ll find more details at Heifer’s Gift Catalog. Any of those gifts will be the ultimate Christmas present for the family that gets it.

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