Project Advent II, Day 2: Heifer International


Sundays are pretty busy times at the Holwerda house.  Courtney usually works on Saturday nights, so she's sound asleep during the day.  I get the kids up and dressed, and off to church.  After church and a bite of lunch, we usually have time to do one or two things together before we go back up to FUMC for the Bible study that I lead on Sunday afternoons.  On top of that today, Courtney and I had a fancy-schmancy party to go to this evening (WITHOUT CHILDREN!).  Today is just the kind of day that I had in mind when I made sure to give myself an out if I needed it.  Time to get out the wallet.

Fortunately, I got something in the mail a few weeks ago that I've been really excited to follow up on.  Heifer International is an organization that uses donations to provide livestock and agricultural training to underprivileged people around the world.  Their vision is a classic "teach a man to fish" scenario; they aren't providing just food to people, they're giving them the opportunity to continue providing for themselves.

There is a huge range of things that can be donated through Heifer, from a hive of bees to sheep and beasts of burden.  I wanted to find something that cost close to one hour of my pay, and there were several things that fit the bill.  I decided to go with a flock of ducks, because awwww, ducklings...
See?  Look how cute!
So... yeah.  Easy as that!  Go to the website, choose your gift, enter your information, and they take care of the rest.  What's cool is that the animals aren't all that the recipients will get.  They also receive training in how to care for the animals, grow their flock, sell the eggs, and even use the ducks as, um, a source of fertilizer.  It's exciting to me because it seems like a way to do something that will be a direct and ongoing benefit to a family.

Affirmation Project:  I may not be able to do this in every single day's post, but I'm trying to see if I can relate the service that I do each day to a specific person in my life.

Today I want to lift up Mrs. Anita Phillips, my eleventh grade US History teacher, and continuing friend.  When I arrived in her class in the fall of 1991, history was not a living thing to me, it was a source of trivia facts.  Through her lessons, though, I started thinking about how our world is defined not just by the choices our leaders make, but also through the actions that all of us take.  I started thinking about how we relate to the world.  I started thinking about how I am supposed to define myself as a citizen of this world.

Since I graduated, Mrs. Phillips has always kept up with my family, and her husband Darrell (another educator) has kept a loving and protective eye on my sister for years in her work as a school counselor.  Her daughter Ann, as well as Ann's children, attends the same church we do, and she was one of the kindest sources of help to me when I lost my father last year.

The donation to Heifer International that I made today was given in Mrs. Phillips' honor,and she'll receive a card to let her know about it.  Thank you, Mrs. Phillips for lessons that continue to shape my thinking about what kind of world citizen I want to be.


Ali said...

I love this post. I LOVE your affirmations. I love Heifer International. But, is it weird this made me wish I had my own hive of bees?

Ann Haag said...

Danny, you are so wonderful!! My Mom will LOVE this gift! You are so sweet to honor her in this way. Although, I am a little concerned that you are attempting to take my rightful place as her "favorite student ever". Keep up the good Advent work. Love reading your blog!

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