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Saturday, November 20, 2010

Save-the-World Saturday: Give a Duck

Okay, remember Wednesday when I told you about alternative gift-giving for this holiday season? You know, you can adopt an animal through World Wildlife Fund in someone else's name: a dolphin or a tiger or one of over a hundred other animals, and the money goes toward the conservation efforts for that species? Oh, you haven't read it yet? Well, here it is. Go ahead. I'll wait.
Okay, got the idea? Well here's another one:
Heifer International provides livestock and more to families all over the world struggling in poverty and hunger, and the idea is not that you send a flock of chicks to a family and they eat fried chicken for a month. Rather the chicks are raised to produce eggs that can feed the family and be sold at market to buy other necessities. More chicks can be raised and sold as well - but the deal is that some of the new chicks go to another family in need - and eventually you find that you have a whole village of people who have moved from poverty to prosperity, and all it took to get started was a handful of chicks. Okay, Heifer International also provides a lot of support and education, too. Here, Alton Brown explains it better than I do.

It's this really cool mix of capitalism and socialism. What? You can't have both in a society? Oh, my bad. Somebody should probably tell Heifer International.
All jokes aside, you're probably wondering where you come into this scenario. Well, you can provide the chicks, or ducks, or a llama, or a pig, or a goat, or honeybees, etc. And what's more is that you can (this is where I tie-in the first paragraph) give these animals in someone else's name for the holidays.
The cost varies depending on what you want to contribute. Twenty dollars buys a flock of chicks, geese, or ducks. A goat is $120, but a "share" in a goat contribution is only ten. You could even go in with others for a gift. Do you have nine co-workers? Well, for $25 each ($250) you and they can purchase a water buffalo in your boss's name that will provide milk and fertilizer for a rice farming family as well as help them to increase their crop production by 300%! Now, I think that says a lot more than 10 cheese and sausage packages that are ultimately going to be re-gifted or thrown out eventually, don't you?
Browse their online gift catalog to see if there isn't something there that would hold some meaning for someone on your shopping list, and then take a look at just some of what Heifer International has done.

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