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Encouraging Heroes. You can be one too.

It’s hard to believe, but the Christmas shopping season is once again approaching. If you’re anything like me, you’ve got friends and relatives that are super difficult to shop for. My parents, for example. They’re far enough along in life that they’ve got pretty much everything they want or need. I still like to get them something though. After all, they did so much for me growing up. The least I can do is come up with a decent gift at Christmas.

I got an email from Sandra at Heifer International recently, reminding me of all the great work they do. If you’re not familiar, Heifer International provides livestock and environmentally sound agricultural training to improve the lives of individuals who are struggling daily for reliable sources of food and income. In operation since 1944, Heifer is active in 42 countries around the world.

Through Heifer International’s Gift Catalog, shoppers can select socially-conscious and eco-friendly gifts to dedicate to their loved ones, including:

  • · A Flock of Chicks ($20): A flock of chicks can help families add nourishing, life-sustaining eggs to their inadequate diets. The protein in just one egg is a nutritious gift for a hungry child. Protein-packed eggs from even a single chicken can make a life-saving difference.
  • · A Gardener’s Basket ($20 to $170): Provide an impoverished family with all the tools necessary to start a sustainable farm – tree seedlings, chickens to eat pests, worms and soil for rich compost and a hive of bees to pollinate crops and increase yields.
  • · Honey Bees ($30): As bees search for nectar they pollinate plants. Placed strategically, beehives can as much as double some fruit! This gift can help provide a family with a package of bees, the box and hive plus training in beekeeping, which can be a livelihood or supplement a family’s income.
  • · A New Beginnings Gift Basket ($120): Renew hope and provide a fresh start of a family in need. This gift includes sheep that provide valuable wool and are a vital source of income in impoverished communities. Wool can provide warmth in chilly temperatures and can be sold at market for additional income.
  • · A Goat ($120): A dairy goat can supply a family with up to several quarts of nutritious milk a day – a ton of milk a year. Extra milk can be sold or used to make cheese, butter or yogurt. Families also learn to use goat manure to fertilize gardens.

Family and friends will receive a beautiful card describing the benefits of their gift. Givers and recipients can rest assure that their gift is making an impact as one of Heifer International’s fundamental principles – “Passing on the Gift” – creates a living cycle of sustainability that develops community and enhances self-esteem by allowing gift recipients to become donors.

Earnest Parenting: help for parents who want to give amazing Christmas gifts this year.