Heifer for the Holidays

Its that time of year when unsolicited gift catalogs begin clogging our mailbox. Today we recieved “The Most Important Gift Catalog in the World” from Heifer International.

HI is promoted as a charitable organization dedicated to livestock programs that alleviate hunger and poverty. The catalog is full of testimonials and photos of smiling kids from poor countries holding baby goats and pigs. There are also endorsements from Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, Walter Cronkite, Susan Sarandon & Jane Goodall.

When you send in your money, you purchase a gift representing an animal. In the fine print it states, “Heifer does not use its limited resources to track individual animals from donation to distribution to specific families.”

Your dear mama is used to explain how the process works (pg 2):

“You decide to donate a sheep in honor of your mother, who has always loved these gentle animals. Your mother recieves a holiday gift card from you describing the generous contribution you’ve made in her honor.”

Poor mom is used again for the soft sell of the Pig Gift (pg 8):

“The holidays are right around the corner, and it’s time for more pig-themed gifts for your mother. Something about their cute, squishy faces and their curly tails brings a smile to mom’s face.”

The following ‘gifts’ are available:

Heifer $500, Water Buffalo $250, Llama $150, Goat $120, Pig $120, Sheep $120, Rabbits $60, Honeybees $30, Chicks $20

For the more generous among us:

The Gift Ark $5,000 (2 cows, 2 sheep, 2 camels, 2 oxen, 2 water buffalo, 2 pigs, 2 beehives, 2 goats, 2 donkeys, 2 trio of ducks, 2 trio of rabbits, 2 trio of guinea pigs, 2 flocks of geese, 2 flocks of chicks, 2 llamas)

Women in Livestock Development (WiLD) $10,000

Hope for the Future Gift $25,000

Now don’t misunderstand me — I’m sure this is an honorable organization. I am just amused at the marketing technique. For example, the popular amount of $120 can represent a goat, a pig, or a sheep depending on what you want the gift card to say and who you are sending it to.

I hope this helps with your holiday shopping. $Ho$Ho$Ho

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