Local 4-Hers raise money for a heifer

Friday, January 10, 2014

By Karen Hall


It's taken them two years, but Claire Garrell and her sisters Sorrell, Kendall and Caroline have raised $500 -- in quarters -- to buy a heifer for a needy family through Heifer International.

The sisters made a special display, with a quarter-size transparent tube, and carried it to all the shows and fairs they attended, collecting donations 25 cents at a time.

"Heifer International empowers families to turn hunger and poverty into hope and prosperity," wrote Claire in an explanation of the project. "Heifer International links communities and helps bring sustainable agriculture and commerce to areas with a long history of poverty."

According to the website www.heifer.org, the forerunner of Heifer International, "Heifers for Relief" was founded in 1942 by the Church of the Brethren in Indiana. The inspiration came from church member and farmer Dan West, who went to the Spanish Civil War as an aid worker. There he saw how the rationed single cup of milk a day was not enough for the soldiers. Then he had the thought, "What if they had not a cup, but a cow?" From this inspiration grew an organization that affects millions of people worldwide every year.

The first shipment was made in the '40s when 17 heifers were shipped from Mobile, Ala. to Puerto Rico to alleviate a milk shortage. In the years after World War II, dairy goats were shipped to war-torn Japan, and other animals went to refugee resettlement centers in West Germany. After the Korean War, more than 70,000 eggs were sent to Korea, and 20 years later it was estimated half the chickens in Korea were descendants of the chickens that hatched from these eggs.

Today, Heifer International raises money to donate animals all over the world. People who will receive the gift are taught how to care for the animals and grow food for them. Recipients must also pledge to pass on the first female offspring of their animal to another family. In addition to heifers, animals now provided by Heifer International include sheep, goats, camels, llamas, water buffalos, pigs, and rabbits. Chickens, ducks, geese, and honeybees are also available. All provide a way for families to be better nourished as well as make money.

"The goal of every Heifer project is to help families achieve self-reliance," states the website.