Top five ways the gift of an animal can help change lives

The World Vision Gift Catalog offers a variety of animals that can be donated to honor a loved one and empower a family in need. Here are the top five reasons why animals make great, sustainable gifts.

Published December 21, 2012 at 12:00am PST

The World Vision Gift Catalog offers a large collection of practical animals that can be donated to children and families in need. Honor a loved one, help fight poverty in the process, and give a gift that’s just plain fun.

Why do animals make such a good gift? Here are the top five ways by which they can bring positive, sustainable change to families and entire communities.

1. Animals provide a steady source of nutrition.

The gift of an animal helps provide a long-term solution to food shortages, hunger, and malnutrition.

A healthy dairy goat, for example, can produce up to 16 cups of milk a day. Goat milk is easy to digest and is an excellent source of calcium, protein, and other essential nutrients that growing children need.

Ducks or chickens, meanwhile, can produce hundreds of protein-rich eggs to nourish hungry children throughout the year, helping them to stay in school and remain healthy.

Unlike traditional food aid — which is often used in cases of emergency — animals supply a source of nutrition that lasts and multiplies, so families can care for themselves and feed their children over the long term.

2. Animals provide fertilizer.

Ezekiel and Baraka in Tanzania play with the baby goat they received through World Vision. (Photo: Adda Amos Ngoya/World Vision)For families that depend on agriculture for their survival, the resource of manure from animals like dairy cows is essential for producing a healthy crop yield.

So in addition to dairy products, animals like goats and cows provide a critical asset in the production of fresh fruits and vegetables that families can grow on their own instead of having to purchase them at the market.

The result? Better nutrition, and more money for parents to care for their children.

3. Animals multiply.

The offspring born from animals like rabbits can be sold at the market for extra income — fetching money for a family to cover its basic needs, like medical care and education for children.

And, of course, when an animal’s offspring is sold, other families will have the opportunity to experience the nutritional and economic benefits of raising animals of their own.

4. Animals provide a source of income.

It’s not just offspring that make animals a stable source of income for a family. For example, sheep are valuable not just for their dairy products, but also for their wool, which can be used to knit warm sweaters and blankets for sale at the market.

Margaret Joseph and one of her sons feed the cow they received through World Vision in Malawi. (Photo: Limbani Davis Nsapato/World Vision)Also, when an animal produces a surplus of milk or eggs — beyond what the family needs for its own nutrition — the extra goods can be sold, and the money can be applied to other areas of need.

5. Animals foster independence.

Animals are gifts whose benefits carry no expiration tag. They bring nutrition and income to a family, enabling parents to keep their children fed, healthy, and in school. And because animals multiply in number and in the resources they offer, they can help lift an unlimited number of families out of poverty — over an indefinite period of time.

Finally, animals can be a valuable learning experience for children. As they help their families raise and care for the animals, they learn a sense of responsibility and good stewardship of the resources they’ve been given. It’s a win-win situation!

Give the sustainable, life-changing gift of an animal!

Give a goat and two chickens — the most popular item in the World Vision Gift Catalog. Your gift will provide a family with a practical way to lift themselves out of poverty through a valuable source of nutrition and income.

Or, browse the selection of animals available through the Gift Catalog — and give a meaningful gift to honor a loved one while bringing help and hope to a family in need!