Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Teaching Giving at Christmas

I strongly believe that giving is something that can be encouraged and taught at a young age to foster a giving spirit when older. You may recall that my husband and I are trying to pay off our debt and really focus on family, fun and memories. Even though we are paring back our Christmas overall ( as far as gifts, wow did we buy the kids too much!), there is one tradition we love keeping.

We give goats. Or chickens. Or geese- to people in need through 

We've been giving to this organization for a while ( 15 years maybe?) and when my oldest daughter started Kindergarten, she wanted to give a goose in her teacher's name for Christmas. Talk about making this momma proud.

To backup just a bit, according to the website Heifer's mission is to:
We empower families to turn hunger and poverty into hope and prosperity – but our approach is more than just giving them a handout. Heifer links communities and helps bring sustainable agriculture and commerce to areas with a long history of poverty. Our animals provide partners with both food and reliable income, as agricultural products such as milk, eggs and honey can be traded or sold at market.
When many families gain this new sustainable income, it brings new opportunities for building schools, creating agricultural cooperatives, forming community savings and funding small businesses.
I love that Heifer promotes "passing the gift" meaning that when a family accepts a gift, they are trained on how to care or manage that gift, then are expected to give the knowledge to others around them. They have projects all over the world, even right here in the United States. They help provide everything from actual heifers.... to ducks, geese, goats, sheep, rabbits, vegetable gardens, bee hives and more. It's a great way for us to teach our kids about sustainability as well. 
Once you donate, you can order free "honor cards" in a variety of beautiful prints, to give to whomever you are honoring. 
This year both of our older daughters decided to get this: USE THEIR OWN MONEY to purchase a gift for their teachers. One "bought" a flock of geese, the other a flock of ducks. I also purchased a gift of a gardening project in honor of my boss who has been extra amazing this year. 
We love to give at the holidays, I think this is an amazing way to share our blessings with those that can benefit from it. It's not a handout, anyone that has hand milked a cow twice a day, or made goat's milk cheese, know that these families work hard, but just giving the initial gift of an animal can make such a difference in their world. 
Happy Homesteading Y'all!

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