By Heifer

Reviewed for Fifth Grade, 2007

If you're looking for a dynamic and educational alternative to buying more stuff this holiday season, you may want to consider donating an animal in your child's name through this organization. Heifer International provides 27 different types of livestock to impoverished families in 48 countries, including the United States. Each gift has a domino effect on a community, because the first recipient of an animal from Heifer agrees to give one of the animal's offspring to a neighbor, and train that neighbor in how to take care of it. So, put one of Heifer's gift catalogs under the tree this year and ask your child to pick out which animal they'd like to send. Tell them they won't just be donating to charity, they'll be helping people learn to produce their own food and become self-sufficient. That's a lesson in social studies, global consciousness and ethics your child won't soon forget. The catalog can be ordered at, or by calling 1-800-696-1918. (Prices range from $500 for a heifer, to $20 for a gaggle of geese. And shares of animals can be purchased at $10 a pop.)