I'd like to buy a cow, please Alex
July 5, 2006 11:29 AM   Subscribe

What is the charity you can "buy" an animal or seeds for a 3rd world family to help them become self sufficient? I'd like to get my kids involved this year.
posted by hollygoheavy to Human Relations (21 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
There's Kiva, if that's what you mean. Donors can select what entrepreneurs they want to "fund."
posted by timetoevolve at 11:32 AM on July 5, 2006

I think you're looking for Heifer International. A great charity, I might add.
posted by almostcool at 11:32 AM on July 5, 2006

posted by TedW at 11:32 AM on July 5, 2006

You're probably thinking of heifer.org.
posted by SteveInMaine at 11:32 AM on July 5, 2006

posted by SteveInMaine at 11:33 AM on July 5, 2006

My friends have donated money to Heifer and feel that it's a reputable charity for this sort of work.
posted by mikeh at 11:33 AM on July 5, 2006

As an aside, we donated to heifer.org last christmas in lieu of "stuff" for our friends and family, and it was a big hit.
posted by SteveInMaine at 11:34 AM on July 5, 2006

Apparently everyone has, it seems. Beaten by fast MeFites!
posted by mikeh at 11:35 AM on July 5, 2006

World Vision has a similar programme to Heifer as well.
posted by googlebombed at 11:52 AM on July 5, 2006

Alternatively, there's Foster Parents Plan, which has a catalogue called Gifts of Hope, with options like mosquito nets sufficient for a family to prevent malaria to solar panels to light up a classroom and World Vision, which has a similar gift catalog.
posted by phoenixc at 11:55 AM on July 5, 2006

I meant to include as this as well: http://www2.worldvision.ca/gifts/app?service=external/Home
posted by googlebombed at 11:55 AM on July 5, 2006

It's probably worth mentioning that World Vision, for all the good they do, is still a missionary organization who believe that bringing Christ to the areas of the world they work in is a fundamental part of their mission. If that's not your bag, then a secular organization might be a better bet.
posted by mendel at 12:24 PM on July 5, 2006

"Me too" on Heifer International.

Slight nationalist derail / rephrase: Is there a secular charity in Canada that does this? I've given through Heifer before, but would prefer to give through a Canadian organization.
posted by lowlife at 1:06 PM on July 5, 2006

lowlife: According to Foster Parents Plan's website: "Plan is non-religious, non-political and has no government affiliations."
posted by phoenixc at 1:08 PM on July 5, 2006

never mind, it appears that the Foster Parent's Plan charity is secular. On preview, beaten to my own realization!
posted by lowlife at 1:11 PM on July 5, 2006

There is also Oxfam Unwrapped. They have some pretty clever gifts available.
posted by sindark at 2:08 PM on July 5, 2006

Last year at work I gave a pair of goats through Mercy Corps. (I tacked up a photo of 'our' goats, and let all my coworkers choose their body part.) Whichever organization you choose, you can check the percentage of funds that goes to overhead/administration, through a site such as Charity Navigator.
posted by bchaplin at 2:43 PM on July 5, 2006

Seconding Oxfam Unwrapped. They have an excellent system where the first baby cow/goat/chicken of each pair has to be given to someone else in the village, so your gift 'giving' goes on for ever.
posted by blag at 3:41 PM on July 5, 2006

Thanks so much everyone! Now we have lots of places to choose from. (If I were a really mean mother, I'd make all 3 of my adult children pick a different one that they would donate to themselves instead of one we donate to as a family).
posted by hollygoheavy at 7:36 PM on July 5, 2006

Heifer is one.

If you really want to make a visible impact, though, try the Haiti Education Foundation. The people who started it come to our church once in a while to report; they are a new startup and all the money goes right to the individual villages and people around the school.

Our church has already bought several dozen goats.
posted by Doohickie at 7:50 PM on July 5, 2006

I'd recommend World Vision highly. They have the highest Project/Administrative donation usage ration (something like 82%) of Christian charities. I've got two sponorships with them (a boy in Honduras and a whole family in Romania). They got many options as far as buying animals -- you can give oxen, a small set of farm animals, a few goats, or a whole slough of chickens if you want. Lots of good options. Well documented, tax deductible, sends you a confirmation for everything, checked and re-checked by a dozen unrelated financial orgs on top of that.
posted by vanoakenfold at 9:32 PM on July 5, 2006

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