Helping Kids Think Globally with Beatrice’s Goat

Goats, pigs, bunnies, chicks, a yak and a llama greeted us at church last week. This could only mean one thing.. it was the highly anticipated Heifer Sunday.

The kids collected change for 3 weeks. They couldn’t wait to see how much money their friends brought to Sunday School in their ark coin banks. Each Sunday School class counted up their nickels, dimes and dollars, pooled their resources, and decided on what to buy: things like honeybees or a share of a water buffalo for impoverished families in other parts of the world. They chatted excitedly, looking over the animals, and discussing the merits of sheep vs. chickens. Which would be better? Which would cost more? How could they get the most for their money?

Heifer International is a nonprofit organization working to end world hunger and poverty through gifts of farm animals and training. Over the past 60 years, Heifer has helped 4.5 million people striving for self reliance in 128 countries, including the United States.

The idea is simple. Instead of providing hungry families with a temporary source of food, Heifer provides a living animal. A family’s health and standard of living is greatly improved by what the animal can provide. Heifer also turns recipients into donors, by asking that an offspring of the first animal be given to someone else. This program lifts up whole communities.


In this season of giving, I want the kids to think of others and not just themselves. I want to show my kids how their gifts can change lives. To that end, I bought a beautiful picture book called Beatrice’s Goat by Page McBrier. Written for 4-8 year olds, Beatrice’s Goat simply but powerfully tells the true story of a 9 year old Ugandan girl whose family receives a goat through Heifer International. She names her Mugisa (“Luck”). Mugisa gives birth to twins, who will eventually be sold. Mugisa’s sweet milk makes Beatrice’s family healthier, and there is enough left over to sell at market. Pretty soon, the family has enough money for Beatrice’s dream to come true. She gets to attend school.

Beatrice received her goat in 1991. Click HERE to see what her life is like now.

What do you want for Christmas? Is a water buffalo on your list? Maybe you already have everything you need, and all you could ask for is Peace on Earth and an end to world hunger. You must check out Heifer’s gift catalog. It just might have exactly what you’re looking for.

6 Responses

  1. Great post, wonderful organization!

  2. Thanks for sharing! I love that and will check out the website for the girls. I think it’s definitely something we try to be sure the girls are aware of…that not everyone in the world has a warm bed or enough food or a loving family. That we are all very lucky and can do much to make a difference in the world.

    Great post!

    Happy Thanksgiving to your family from ours!

  3. I’m so glad to learn about this. I’m gonna get M. that book. We’re all so blessed.

  4. I like the new look! I LOVE roller coasters. Christmas will be very special this year because the two families (mine and my hubby’s) will be together fir the first time in five years or so. The thought of Christmas shopping in a real store and not just on-line is both exciting and terrifying all in one. I have a good sized list but also can’t wait to give gifts to the family too.
    Happy Thanksgiving!!!

  5. Hi guys, thanks for the comments. We are very blessed, and I think it’s good for kids to be aware of how blessed we really are.

    K, thanks! I like roller coasters too. The picture is one I took at Disney’s California Adventure last January. It must be hard to be away from your family, so I can imagine the excitement over everyone being together this year. Personally I’d rather shop with the crowds than at my computer screen (I’m weird that way). Happy Holidays!!

  6. We’re doing Heifer’s Read to Feed program, as well as collecting change — the kids’ goal is a llama.

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