summer-long Heifer Project
1 - It started with a dream, around 70 years
ago, in which Midwestern Brethren dairy farmers and their
neighbors, one person at a time, could respond to a tragedy on the
other side of the world.
2 - Much of Europe at that time was in
shambles in the aftermath of World War II.
1 - Something as simple as giving a family a
heifer could provide milk for their hungry children.
2 - And those Brethren farmers had cows to
1 - Thus, Heifer Project was born.
2 - The idea was simple.
1 - Each heifer was given with but one
2 - when that cow had its first baby, the
calf should be given to another family.
1 - And that family would be encouraged to
continue passing along the gift.
2 - Over the seven decades since then,
Heifer International has expanded its mission far beyond its
Brethren roots, encompassing the world, passing along much more
1 - The simple idea behind it remains:
provide people with what they need to feed themselves, and
encourage them to pass along what they’ve received.
2 - Heifer International also provides
education, not only to those in need, but also to folks like us
who have the opportunity to make a difference, one person at a
1 - Perhaps you have visited the global
village at Shepherd’s Spring,
which is connected to Heifer
2 - School children come from all over to
catch a glimpse there of how people around the world live, folks
who can benefit from a simple gift.
1 - Adults are welcome to tour that global
2 - Every year we have a special emphasis on
this ministry, which had its beginning in the Church of the
1 - This year all of us are challenged to “Read
2 - “Read to Feed” is a summer-long reading
program which, ideally, involves all generations.
1 - How does it work?
2 - Well, it starts with those of us who are
1 - We choose a young person with whom we
will connect over the course of the summer.
2 - Perhaps this is our own son or daughter.
1 - Maybe it’s a niece or nephew, or a
2 - It might be a child in our church, or
even a neighbor.
1 - Just reach out and invite them to
participate in this program
2 - You become their sponsor, challenging
them to read throughout the summer.
1 - “Read what?” you might ask.
2 - The sky is the limit. It doesn’t have to
be a book about heifers or hunger.
1 - It can be any book, even one on a summer
reading list recommended by their school, or something from our
2 - We challenge them throughout the summer.
1 - But here is the difference: we sponsor
their reading. For every page, or chapter, or book they read –
whatever the two of you decide,
2 - (It could even be the amount of time they
1 - you give them money to put in an “ark
bank” – which will be collected at the end of the summer.
2 - You choose the amount - per page,
chapter, book, or hour.
1 - This money will go to
Heifer International to pass along the gift to people in need.
2 - We recommend that the first thing they
read is the “Real Kids, Real Animals” student guide, which tells
how each animal can help a family.
1 - You probably should read it, too, before
you give it to them. That way, you learn something, also.
2 - The step first step is for every adult to
pick up a “Read to Feed” packet.
1 - You’ll find these packets in in the back
of the sanctuary.
2 - In every packet is:
1 - an “enrollment form”
2 - a bookmark
1 - an ark bank
2 - and a “goody bag” of items to encourage
along the way.
1 - You can add your own goodies to this bag.
2 - With this packet in hand, connect with
your young person and invite them to participate in this “Read to
1 - Would they like you to sponsor them?
2 - A young person can have more than one
1 - and an adult can sponsor more than one
2 - Have them fill in the enrollment form and
give it back to you.
1 - Your name goes where it says
2 - You will put the enrollment form in a jar
here at church.
1 - Between the 2 of you, decide how much you
are willing to sponsor, and how you will pay,
2 - whether by the page, by the chapter, by
the book, or by the amount of time they read.
1 - Check in with them throughout the summer.
How are they doing?
2 - Give them their money to put in their ark
1 - At the end of the summer they return
their ark bank, either in person on a Sunday, or through you.
2 - The grand total from all the ark banks
will be sent to Heifer
1 - Right now, there are 27 “Read to Feed”
packets in the back. That’s our goal – 27 readers with sponsors.
But we can always make more.
2 - Now, feel free to adapt this program.
1 - “How?” you might ask.
2 - Well, reading is not just for kids.
1 - Challenge the folks in your Bible study,
2 - your Book Club,
1 - challenge the person next to you to
really read our monthly church newsletter,
2 - or our weekly “joys and concerns” emails.
1 - Or, read with your feet. Challenge others
on our Saturday walks – sponsor them step by step.
2 - The possibilities are endless
1 - Fill an ark. In so doing “pass along the
2 - One person at a time does it all.
person at a time”
(a song by Andy