Sunday, December 15, 2013

Goats: Loose Change to Life Change

Have you ever given or received gifts at Christmas time that you (or the recipient) forgot about, or broke, or used up by January? What if we could give a gift this year that outlasted the thank-you note? A gift that would never be forgotten? A gift that marked a changing point in someone's life--an entire family's lives. Guess what...we can!


My husband and I have been unrealistically toying with the idea of raising goats. We love goat cheese. We love self-sustainability. We also live in the city...a mind-bender, I know. The point is though that we appreciate what having a goat or two could mean; milk, cheese, baby goats...micro business. To us this would be an interesting side job/hobby, but to a family in a poverty-stricken country or region, a family struggling to put food on the table, or send a child to school (or having to choose which child they can afford to send to school); a goat is a game changer.


Check out this story of how goats are changing lives in Uganda, and this one about a family in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Pretty amazing stuff.


Maybe you aren't in love with [the idea of] goats like we are. How about a donkey, a sheep, a fish pond or some chickens? Samaritan's Purse has info on all these life-changing animals, here. For a one-time gift as little as $14 (for a brood of chicks) a family can provide nutritious food for their children and themselves--indefinitely--and for many that's just the beginning.

After reading the book Unpoverty earlier this year, I'm convinced that the biggest thing we can do to combat poverty is provide the desperately needed tools for families to sustain themselves and build their micro businesses. It's not just loose change, it's real life change. What a privilege to give this gift. I can't think of anything I'd rather give someone than hope and dignity. Can you?

Thank you for reading, and for making a difference!
- Haley

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