I can’t relax in the evenings without first making sure that the cat and dog are safe indoors, the goats are safe in the barn, and they and the livestock have plenty of food and water—oh, yes, Hubby too! The heartbreaking truth, however, is that our animals are better off than over one billion children on this planet. Look at these facts from UNICEF (in The State of the World’s Children: 2005):
· 33.9% of the world’s children share a room with 5 or more others and/or live on a dirt floor.
· 30.7% of the world’s children have no toilet.
· 21.1% of the world’s children have no access to clean water.
· 16.1% of the world’s children are malnourished.
· 14.2 % of the world’s children have no medical care whatsoever.
· 13.1% of the world’s children have never been to school.
But the worst statistic of all is that 1.2 million children are trafficked for slave labor or prostitution every year (according to UNICEF in The State of the World’s Children: Special Edition). Some of these children are kidnapped or found in the streets, but many are actually sold by their parents because they think their kids may have a better life in slavery than at home with them, starving.
Fortunately, there are well-established and reputable non-profit organizations, made up of hard-working, smart, compassionate and courageous people, who are helping these desperate families. Charitable donations are converted into meals, water wells, medical supplies and clinics, school supplies and schools, homes and orphanages.
Or—get this—you can give a goat! You can donate rabbits, chickens, ducks, dairy goats or cows, sheep, llamas, donkeys, water buffalo, honeybees or even camels to families who are trained in animal husbandry, supervised, and required to donate the first offspring to another needy family. Livestock not only provide families with ongoing sources of food (eggs, milk, cheese, meat, honey) and/or fiber (wool), they also provide income from the sale of food, fiber, offspring or manure.
Hubby and I are giving a dairy goat. By doing so, we aren’t just giving a handout, we’re giving someone hope, dignity, and entertainment. (If you don’t know what goats have to do with entertainment, or if your life is a bit predictable and dull, then you need to give yourself a goat!)
If you’re at all interested in contributing a cow, bestowing a beehive, sharing a sheep, or providing a pig, check out the following organizations: Heifer International (heifer.org), Samaritan’s Purse (samaritanspurse.org), and Gospel for Asia (gfa.org). Please let me know of others that are doing the same type of thing.
If you are generous with the hungry and start giving yourselves to the down-and-out,
your lives will begin to glow in the darkness, your shadowed lives will be bathed in sunlight. Isaiah 58:10-11