25 Nov 2012 - Let Me Tell You About a Great Gift Idea

This week I continue a tradition that I began 25 years ago on ‘Samuelson Sez’ on Thanksgiving weekend. While most of us in this country sat down to tables filled with high-quality, nutritious food, there were many in this country and other countries of the world who are not nearly as fortunate.

So, I spend some time writing about ways that you and I can help those people feed themselves. I think it is far more important to give them the ability to produce their own food than it is to just give them food.

That is why, a quarter century ago, I started a relationship with what was then called Heifer Project International, and I continue to talk about that organization, now known as Heifer International. To learn about the organization, you can go on-line to www.heifer.org and there you will find what the organization titles ‘The Most Important Gift Catalog in the World‘. What I like about Heifer International is, it provides people in this country as well as many other countries, the opportunity to feed themselves.

It all started back in 1944 when an Indiana farmer thought about farmers in war-torn Europe whose livestock had been killed and fields destroyed by bombing, left without the means to farm and produce food. So rather than send food, Dan West started a project to send bred dairy heifers to farmers in Europe. The family that received the bred heifer agreed that the first-born calf would be given to a neighbor, and that neighbor would do the same thing. In other words, the gift would keep on giving and multiply across the continent. And it worked, so well, that the program has grown across the globe and added many different items to their gift catalog.

Today for $500 you can still give a heifer to a family; but for $150 you can give a llama or an alpaca; or for $30 a hive of honeybees, or you can provide a goat for $120, and the list grows each year. And the sharing with a neighbor concept is still in place today, so the gift keeps on giving. While it started as a foreign program, it now is also helping people in this country feed themselves.

If you’re like me, you have someone on your gift list who has ‘everything’ and you never know what to buy so I suggest you do what I do, send a gift of a pig, baby chicks or a water buffalo, in their name, to ‘Heifer International’, www.heifer.org, a great organization.

My thoughts on Samuelson Sez.