Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Chicks, goats, cows, Worldbuilders, and changing lives

This time of year, I share a lot of posts about Worldbuilders. Worldbuilders is a fundraising organization. It is the creation of author Patrick Rothfuss. The fundraiser contributes 100% of money raised to Heifer International. Pat Rothfuss approached his fans (who are mostly geeks and nerds) to be part of doing something good in the world. Each year, the fundraiser has brought thousands of geeks together who give and promote changing lives.

As a United Methodist and Christian, I believe that giving is important. I feel that it reminds me that I am fortunate. I have comforts that others will never experience. I have necessities that some struggle to get. But it can be overwhelming to find a way to connect my surplus with what feels like a tangible result.

Yes, giving to my church is important. It does good. But I also know what happens behind the scenes. I know where the dollars go. Giving to the church is about giving to the organization that makes my lifestyle possible. I want to do something outside of that and do something good.

Heifer International works around the world to change the future of homes and families, who can then change their communities. Heifer brings necessary livestock, sustainable farming implements, and empowerment to parts of the world where those necessities are not present.

They bring flocks of chickens or geese. They bring a goat or a cow. And they teach people who may have never had direct contact with livestock how to care and increase what they have. Chickens and geese produce eggs. Goats and cows produce milk. Those feed families who may not have access to constant nutritious food. That makes them healthier. But they also produce more than be consumed. That surplus can now be sold to a neighbor. In the case of eggs, they can increase the flock and be sold or add meat into the diet. Goats and cows produce babies. Those can increase the herd or bring even more income into the home. And when they sell animals to someone else, that original family can teach their neighbor how to care for their investment.

$20 buys a flock of chicks or geese. A goat is $120. A cow is $500. I grew up with our house "buying" a cow for beef. That was $750-$1,000 to fill our freezer. The meat would be gone within a year's time. Then we would do it again. $500 changes the life and future of a family.

Worldbuilders takes in hundreds of thousands of dollars. It has crossed over the million dollar mark a couple of years. That money is turned over to Heifer. 100% of it goes to an organization that does good. Heifer uses 75% of that money for programs. Those are chickens and goats and cows and education and business loans that change lives.

I love being a part of that.

There is an incentive that goes along with Worldbuilders. Many fundraisers use incentives. Public radio and television offer you t-shirts and coffee mugs, audio or video collections. Worldbuilders does a lottery. The prizes in the lottery are very geek-centric. There are books, games, and jewelry. There are also big ticket items. There is a geek cruise (Joco Cruise) cabin for two. There are custom game sets (Tak). This year, there is a beautiful hand crafted game table (Wyrmwood Gaming). And every $10 donated provides one entry in the lottery. A flock of chicks provides a family with protein and you get 2 chances to win something cool. As of today, there are over 5,400 prizes to be won.

The lottery is a nice incentive. But I don't believe in luck, so I have the worst luck. So I give to make a difference. I give to be part of something great. I give to feel like I can do something. I want to give more. I know I can give more. And some day I want to make giving a cow something I do every year. For now, I give a flock here and there. And I share this effort with you. Please consider donating to Worldbuilders.