Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Heifer at Hanukkah

For something a little different, and maybe a little more significant, than the eight nights of gifts and gelt, Heifer International has its Heifer at Hanukkah campaign.  Here's what they have to say on the web page devoted to this holiday-time social action appeal:

Looking for meaningful Hanukkah gift ideas for that special child in your life? Why not give the joy of helping a family in need. 
Donate a flock of chicks, tree seedlings, a goat, a water buffalo or maybe even a heifer to a family somewhere in the world. Your gift will improve their nutrition and help them generate income in sustainable ways. 
Watch this fun video as Hollywood celebrities Ed Asner and Mark Feuerstein tell you why a gift to Heifer is the perfect Hanukkah gift!

And here is the video:

On their web page they have a nice little spiel about tzedakah that's worth sharing here:

Giving to charity (tzedakah) is a mitzvah – a good deed in Judaism. It’s one of the most important things we do as Jews. 
Your family’s gift to Heifer is special. Not only will you and your children experience the joy of helping others, your gift will also multiply as recipients give their first female offspring to another family in need – what we call “Passing on the Gift”. Thanks to your family, the recipients will experience the joy of giving as well.

And they also have a few words to say about tikkun olam:

It’s our responsibility as Jews to help repair the world – to fix what’s broken (tikkun olam). That’s what Heifer does, every day all around the world. 
Our work helps families rise from poverty to self-reliance, what Maimonides considered the highest form of charity. With your generous Hanukkah gift, a family or perhaps an entire community will acquire the resources and training it needs to do so.

They have a whole catalog of gift ideas, and as they explain

You’ll have an opportunity to personalize a Hanukkah gift card for your children or grandchildren. We’ll also send you the link to a special Hanukkah video message from Ed Asner and Mark Feuerstein to your children. 
On that special Hanukkah night, show your children the gift card, play the special Hanukkah video message from Ed Asner and Mark Feuerstein, and share with them in the joys of tzedakah and tikkun olam.

And we might as well take a look at this other video:

And let's see what Heifer International has to say about themselves:

Heifer International does so much more than put food in the mouths of hungry people; we help them feed themselves. This simple idea of giving families a source of food rather than short-term relief has always been at the heart of our mission and has continued for almost 70 years. Today, millions of families in 128 countries have been given the gifts of self-reliance and hope. 
The goal of every Heifer project is sustainability – project partners achieving self-reliance through training and a starter gift of livestock. Partners receive training in our Twelve Cornerstones, support to form community organizations and women’s groups, and the necessary tools and knowledge to properly care for their gifts.
Year after year, as Heifer project families Pass on the Gift of knowledge and one or more of their animals’ offspring to others in need, they become links in a network of hope, dignity and self-reliance that helps hundreds of others care for themselves. Heifer at Hanukkah is here to help you donate a sustainable gift that can last throughout the season.

Their slogan is:


and if Lou Grant says it's true, it's gotta be so!

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