Edmonds, Wash. (March 29, 2016) — For the four weeks leading up to Easter Sunday, children at Edmonds United Methodist Church learned about and prayed for families in need around the world. But their concern didn’t stop there. Through Heifer International, they took action to help.
“We gave each child a bag of plastic Easter eggs and asked them to make a small sacrifice by putting coins in the eggs,” said Jennifer McLaughlin, director of Family Ministries at the Edmonds Church. For more than a month, children learned how animals purchased with their combined coins help families in need. “I shared with them how chickens provide eggs for families and how honey bees pollinate plants,” McLaughlin said.
Founded in 1944, Heifer International is a global nonprofit leader of sustainable agricultural development for smallholder farmers. Family-oriented, community-based development models remain at the core of Heifer’s programs, along with the “Passing on the Gift®” process where families agree to give the first offspring of their donated animal to another family in need.
Starting their effort in February, the Edmonds children decorated paper plates with the word ‘Alleluia’ and placed them in a box that sat in the front of the church during the entire season of Lent. On Easter Sunday, the box was opened to reveal the amount of money raised and the animals that would be purchased. The egg collection of coins totaled $222.30, enabling the congregation to purchase a goat, a trio of rabbits and a flock of chicks for families in need. The Easter Sunday celebration included a live petting zoo with chickens, bunnies, baby chicks and goats. “It was a celebration of life,” said McLaughlin. “We also acknowledged the small sacrifice each child made to help families in need.”
“Support from churches like Edmonds United Methodist Church is critical in helping Heifer International reach our goal of helping four million families annually, within the communities where we work, achieve living incomes by 2020,” said Pat Keay, national community engagement director for Heifer International. “Research tells us that an estimated 870 million people in the world don’t have enough to eat. We know that with the right tools, training and livestock, small farms in impoverished nations can be transformed.”
ABOUT HEIFER INTERNATIONAL
Heifer’s mission is to end hunger and poverty while caring for the Earth. For more than 70 years, Heifer International has provided livestock and environmentally sound agricultural training to improve the lives of those who struggle daily for reliable sources of food and income. Heifer is currently working in more than 30 countries, including the United States, to help families and communities become more self-reliant. For information, visit www.heifer.org, read our blog, follow us on Facebook, on Twitter @Heifer or call 888.5HUNGER (888.548.6437).