When you first arrive at Heifer International in Little Rock, it looks like just another big corporation of some kind – a multi-story office building filled with workers scurrying here and there with important tasks of the day.
The first hint that this is not your basic 9-5 work space is this sculpture near the entrance of the business complex.
Heifer International is a place where farm animals like sheep and goats and cows are celebrated on a daily basis for the good health and nutrition they bring to the world.
What is Heifer International?
Getting down to the nitty-gritty, Heifer International is a non-profit organization with a goal to eliminate hunger and poverty by providing the most basic resources to those in need. Instead of giving food, they give a cow or a goat that not only provides food for the family, but also a source of income.
So that’s what’s happening in the big, generic gray office building – all of the paper work and logistics – but what’s fun for the traveler visiting Little Rock is the village behind the office building. That’s where the baby goats are, along with cows and chickens and a bunch of sweet barn cats.
I sat my purse down so I could scratch this guy’s nose and one of those cats crawled in my purse. Of course, I couldn’t get a picture, because my phone was inside my purse. I took it as a sign that I should take that fur baby home with me.
There’s also a flourishing vegetable garden on the grounds that provides fresh produce to local food banks and raises funds for Heifer through the sale of produce to area residents.
Indoors, a lovely cafe serves lunch based on the production of the livestock and the garden.
There’s a fabulous gift shop, or marketplace as they call it. This is basically a Fair Trade shop where you can buy coffee, chocolate, jewelry and some clothing that directly supports the people in Third World countries who produce such items. I bought some chocolate – you know, to help others. Even if you don’t visit Little Rock, you can shop for similar goodies online.
The grounds of Heifer International are just a lovely place to walk and relax and enjoy the day, and to appreciate the gifts that we have been given while contemplating a gift to those less fortunate.