Friday, December 2, 2011

A Remedy for the Christmas Blues

Heifer International
While we're on the subject of charitable giving, let me mention one of my favorites -- Heifer International. 

I've been donating to Heifer for several years now.  At first it was because I really liked the idea of providing families with a sustainable source of protein.  And it seems like now that I'm involved, a lot of celebs are jumping on the Heifer bandwagon.  But I digress ...

It was also fun to learn about the animals in the program and why they are so important.  I'm telling you, this is one of those charities that are a great teaching tool for your kids.  Instead of just watching you write a check, they can get on line and see other families and THEIR children working with the animals and how it helps them. 

As I've grown wiser and more picky about where I send my charitable dollars, Heifer has managed to sustain the test of time.  Recently I learned that the CEO of Heifer makes a salary of a little over $200,000 a year plus expenses.  WHAT?  I thought my dollars went to help people, not pay some CEO.  But in the grand scheme of things -- he/she needs to make a living too, and compared with some of the other CEOs out there or actors or professional sports people, $200,000 is a drop in the bucket:
    • The CEO of GM made $1.7 million plus $5.3 mill in stock over 3 years plus $2 mill under a long term incentive program.
    • In 2009, Ford's Alan Mulally earned $17.9 million in cash and bonuses.
    • Also in 2009, Jamie Dimon of JP Morgan pulled down a cool mill.  Oh.  And $17 million in stocks and options.
    • I found a reference from 2001 that stated patent attorney Gerald Hosie made $40 million.
    • The head of Johns Hopkin makes over $1.5 million a year.
    • Congressmen and women make $174,000 annually.  Talk about throwing good money after bad ...
    • Leonardo DiCaprio made $77 million on his last two movies.
    • It is estimated that Bruce Springsteen makes around $53 million a year.
    • And Aaron Rogers could pocket $24.5 million if all incentives and escalators are met.
So what is this Heifer all about you might ask?  Here's a little something from the website :
"To End Hunger & Poverty
Heifer's mission is to work with communities to end hunger and poverty and care for the earth.
By giving families a hand-up, not just a hand-out, we empower them to turn lives of hunger and poverty into self-reliance and hope.
With gifts of livestock and training, we help families improve their nutrition and generate income in sustainable ways. We refer to the animals as "living loans" because in exchange for their livestock and training, families agree to give one of its animal's offspring to another family in need. It's called Passing on the Gift – a cornerstone of our mission that creates an ever-expanding network of hope and peace.

I can't imagine a more wonderful idea. 

And a side benefit of your charitable donation is a little magazine that comes to the mailbox periodically entitled World Ark.  It is a great educational tool. It's colorful, easy to read and I bet this would be extremely valuable for ideas for science projects or those who home school. 


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