Both of my kids have attended the Heifer International camp through their school (International School of the Americas), and I’ve donated to the school so they could send other less-fortunate students as well. I think it’s a wonderful program – regardless of if they actually give a family a water buffalo or not. The education my children got during their stay was remarkable. The appreciation for what they have – the understanding of doing without. But that being said, I think what the people in this story did is incredible – and the video is very well done. It’s worth 8 minutes of your life to watch it – preferably with your family.
Back in December, Philip Greenspun was debating the gift of a water buffalo to a poor family in Asia through Heifer International, but he found out that the animal is merely a symbolic gift: A friend got a water buffalo for Christmas from her dad. She won’t actually take delivery of the animal. The Web page says that it will be given to a family in Asia. If you read the fine print on the page, however, it turns out that there is no actual buffalo and no actual family and you won’t get a photo of your family and your buffalo. The money simply gets dumped into the common fund at the charity. We are trying to decide if this is the crummiest possible Christmas present.
Bob Thompson, currently a resident of Yunnan province in China, read Greenspun’s post and offered to help him donate an actual water buffalo to an actual family in the area. Greenspun and his friend Craig MacFarlane took him up on the offer and an animal was purchased for ~US$460 and given to a family in need