Heifer International Sustainable Gifts for Charitable Giving

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Charitable giving with sustainable gifts is easy for weddings or any occasion.

Heifer International sustainable gifts can be purchased online, making charitable giving easy.

When St. Louis couple Jenny Elliot and Justin Alexander registered for their honeymoon on TheBigDay.com, they had more in mind than just a luxurious Caribbean getaway. Some of the items they asked for were a bit out of the ordinary:

  • 24 goats and sheep for needy families in Palestine and Jordan
  • Wedding financing for 20 Palestinian refugees
  • Medical care for at least 20 Iraqi children injured by the war

Why those gifts alongside requests for romantic dinners and spa treatments? Jenny, 24, and Justin, 27, met while visiting with shepherds in Palestine.

“Sheep and goats seemed appropriate,” Justin says. “We’ve seen how important they are and how the loss of even one animal can bring significant hardship to subsistence farmers who rely on their herd to support their families.”

Committed to United Nations jobs in the Middle East, Justin and Jenny aren’t sure where “home” will be and weren’t interested in carting toasters and china from continent to continent.

“We were having a hard time deciding what kind of wedding registry to have since our lives have been split between continents. We found TheBigDay.com and its honeymoon registry was so flexible that we could tailor it to fit our circumstances perfectly,” Jenny says. “We also want our wedding to reflect our values, so including registry items to help other people, especially ones we care about in the Middle East, made sense.”

The couple met last year while Jenny was studying Arabic in Jordan and Justin was serving in the West Bank with Christian Peacemaker Teams. Their paths first crossed in the remote sheep-herding village of al-Tuwani. Jenny and Justin stayed in touch by phone and e-mail as they zigzagged across the Middle East. The distance didn’t hinder their romance. They were engaged several months later.

But you don’t have to get hitched to give sustainable gifts to families halfway around the world. Heifer International is a non-profit organization that is working to end hunger and poverty through self-reliance and sustainability. This simple idea of giving families a source of food rather than short-term relief caught on and has continued for more than 60 years. Today, millions of families in 128 countries have been given the gifts of self-reliance and hope. Search Heifer International’s online catalog for Heifer International sustainable gifts, and you’ll find gifts of all kinds — a llama, a goat, a flock of ducks or honeybees — for families here and abroad. To learn more, visit www.heifer.org.

You can also purchase life-saving gifts at World Vision, a Christian relief and development organization dedicated to helping children and their communities worldwide reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty. Now in its 11th year, the World Vision Gift Catalog (shown left) features more than 100 farm-related gifts from $15 to $50,000. Your family can give another family seeds, tools, fruit trees or an entire farm complete with two pigs, alpacas, sheep, cows and goats. It might not be a Tickle Me Elmo, but we bet your gift will be appreciated.

Purchasing a sustainable gift like this goat is easy; just go online or call to request a catalog.

Resources — Give the gift of sustainability to families all over the world:

Alternative Gifts International

Global Giving

Heifer International

Trees for Life

World Vision

Published on Sep 1, 2006

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