Brethren shun pride, but the work of Heifer International has always warmed our hearts. This is just one of many places where our small denomination has had an impact far beyond our size.
Back in the late 1930’s, Brethren Indiana farmer Dan West was serving as a Church of the Brethren relief worker in Spain during the Spanish Civil War when he became frustrated at being forced to decide how to allocate a very limited amount of food aid. Upon his return to the United States, he founded Heifers for Relief, an organization dedicated to providing permanent freedom from hunger by giving families livestock and training so that they “could be spared the indignity of depending on others to feed their children.” His idea caught on; before long, other Brethren farmers were donating heifers for hunger relief.
Once a favorite fund-raising project for Church of the Brethren Sunday School classes, Vacation Bible Schools and Quilt Auctions–today, Heifer International today garners support from organizations and individuals around our nation and globe and remains an inspired model for sustainable agriculture and community development.