Around Christmas, I got a piece of mail from Heifer International. Due to the strange name of the organization, I had to take a peek around to see what was up with heifers around the world.
I read through the brochure, which told me that the organization exists to give various animals to peoples around the world who benefit economically and socially from the animal's food, function or byproducts. It's an interesting concept that I liked a lot. It's the whole "teach a man to fish" kind of thing, which I think is an empowering premise for the people who become responsible for the animals. It promotes self-reliance, and many of these animals will stay in families for years or be traded for money to feed them.
You can give a flock of chickens to the Cameroonians, a water buffalo to Filipinos, a flock of ducks to the Chinese, honey bees to the Salvadorians, and other things like tree seeds, vegetable garden seeds, education classes for women, etc.
So I established that I liked the idea, but what struck me as particularly interesting was the purchase method. You don't just give money to the organization, you "buy the animals" for people...and if you can't afford a whole Heifer ($500!!!) you can buy a share.
Hold the phone.
I seriously had to make this part of my New Things. It's not only helping out people, but when, in the rest of my life, will I be able to say that I bought a share of an animal??? Never.
So that's just what I did. I bought a share of a llama.
I favored the return on a llama the best. Most "shares" are 10% of the original cost of the animal...but a llama? 13%. Fewer people need to contribute to make a full llama. It's economical.
Read about my llama contribution, and contribute too, so that we can send a full llama together!