Yesterday on NPR's All Things Considered, I heard a heart-lifting story about how giving livestock to families could transform their personal and village ecoomies. It made immediate sense. Give a goat or cow to a family, with the proviso that they give the first newborn female to a neighbor. Then it goes on. Eventually the whole village prospers from livestock: milk from goats and cows, eggs from chicks or ducks, meat from pigs, etc.
I went right away to heifer.org to check it out. What a fun catalog! There are lots of animals from which to choose. You can also give trees. And of course you can give the gifts in someone else's name.
For big animals that cost quite a bit - such as a A$500 heifer - it's possible to buy just a share. For a heifer a share is only $50. A share of a $120 goat is only $10. Or you can send a bunch of chicks for $20. Any of these gifts can transform the economy of a family, and eventually that of an entire village. What a bargain!
It was also heartwarming to learn that a big store in New York City, ABC Home Furnishings, has established a foundation to help people give this kind of gift. They screened nonprofit organizations, then established a website to promote this. Computers are available right in the store, so ABC Home Furnishings shoppers can select a cow, pig, or something else - an eye operation, for example - that can change someone else's life forever.
I may among the last to know about this. Earlier this month, The NY Times did a story on the ABC Home & Plant Foundation and other retailers promoting charitable giving. The Foundation is a gift to the world. This is the kind of Christmas story that to me, provides more light than miles and miles of outdoor Christmas lights. This story turned on my inner lights - and can create a lasting glow.