How do you give gifts to people that seem to have everything?
This is a problem I faced a few years ago after moving back home from college. I love my parents, and every year when I ask them if there is anything they would like for Christmas they both reply, “You don’t have to get us anything. We have everything we need.” (And then when I take them aside, separately, to ask what the other would like, they usually have a pretty good answer. Ah ha!) I hope they seriously don’t think that their only child will give them NOTHING for Christmas. That’s the most ridiculous shit on the planet.
Anyway — at the time, my mom had been saying for years about how much she missed having chickens in the backyard. (The short version of this very long story is that we always had chickens when I was growing up — Rhode Island Reds — to be exact. At age 3, I named our first one Drumstick. And a few chickens after that, too. They weren’t only egg-laying machines, but pets that were a staple in our household until my early 20’s.) I knew I couldn’t buy my parents actual chickens, so I started looking for chicken shaped items for the kitchen and backyard. Most of what I found was useless and kitschy. Somehow I stumbled upon Heifer International.
Heifer International is a non-profit organization dedicated to eradicating hunger and poverty around the world. They do this through a philosophy of “help people help themselves” by providing animals and other resources to poverty-stricken families around the world. In doing so, they’re not just providing food, but a reliable source of income as well. The organization has been building something bigger than charity alone — they’ve been creating sustainability within the communities that they serve. You can help by donating money or purchasing an animal (or other resource) to help families and communities in need. Check out the catalog by clicking this link.
So what does this have to do with the chickens? Well, that year, I purchased a flock of chickens in my parent’s name. Needless to say, they weren’t expecting that (but loved it anyway)!
Heifer International gifts are great for:
- animal lovers
- eco-friendly family and friends
- college-aged students interested in politics and/or sustainability
- active volunteers
- kids (it’s a great learning opportunity!)