Small Businesses Lead To Big Changes

Dan West

Dan West: Founder Of Heifer International

Small Businesses Lead To Big Changes

All around the world, in countries of every size, small businesses lead to big changes.   Hardworking families in some of the poorest countries in the world are turning the gift of a lifetime into a lifetime of opportunity.  Often, it takes only a small investment to create a huge impact.  And it all starts with Heifer International and the gift of livestock and the training in its care.

The founder of Heifer International, Dan West, was inspired to provide families with livestock and training, to spare them “the indignity of depending on others to feed their children,” after spending time as a relief worker, ladling out limited rations of milk to starving children during the Spanish Civil War.  Often, West’s determination of who would receive milk and who wouldn’t, was a matter of life and death.

These Children Don’t Need A Cup, They Need A Cow

West returned home resolved to make a difference.  In 1944, his organization, “Heifers For Relief,” shipped its first 17 heifers from York, Pennsylvania…destination:  Puerto Rico.  The 17 heifers went to families whose malnourished children had never even tasted milk before!

“Why heifers?” you ask.  A heifer is a female cow who has not yet birthed a calf.  By sending pregnant female dairy cows to families in need, “Heifers For Relief” was able to help not only the families in Puerto Rico who received those first 17 cows, but also farmers in Europe who were able to rebuild their farms, devastated during WWII.

A heifer meant so much more than just a ladle of milk.  Now, families would not only have milk every day, but they could retain the dignity of being able to provide for their own families…while also helping other struggling families!

“Paying It Forward” has always been a part of what has since become known as “Heifer International.”  Every gift recipient promises to “Pay It Forward” by giving another family in need the same opportunity to lift themselves up by making a gift of the female offspring of livestock.  “Paying It Forward” is a means to share the wealth; it provides those in need with a lifetime of opportunity, with a world of possibility.

The gift of Heifer livestock and training in its care leads to small businesses.  A gift of bees, and soon beekeepers are busy bottling honey; a gift of sheep, and soon shepherds are opening sweater shops; a gift of a cow or a dairy goat, and soon farmers are busy making cheese.

Small Businesses Lead To Big Changes

Families use the earnings generated from their surplus to pay for food, education, medicine and shelter.  And in many parts of the world, it only takes a few dollars to help a poor family turn their lives around.

“Making a Heifer Gift is like providing the start-up capital for a small business.”

But throwing money at a problem isn’t the same thing as a solution.  That’s why Heifer International makes sure that Heifer Gifts of livestock also come with special training in small business management, saving and marketing.

It’s a great way to give the gift of hope and possibility; to gift the gift that truly keeps on giving

Take some time to check out the website at Heifer International.  You’ll find that for the equivalent of 2 lattes at Starbucks you can make a lasting contribution, and powerfully (and positively) impact the lives of a family in need.  If you can do more, do more.

If $10 is more than you are willing to afford, then at the very least, please take a moment to share this post with YOUR circle of influence.  Together, we can get the world out and continue Dan West’s dream, “Paying It Forward,” one cow, one chicken, one goat at a time!

Read more here…


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