Gifts Of Hope Heifer International Living Gift Market

By Amanda Boston

On Wednesday, November 16, First Presbyterian Church of Brandon will transform its fellowship hall into the Heifer Living Gift Market presenting an alternative to the re-gifted stale fruitcake. This unconventional market offers patrons the opportunity to purchase livestock like heifers, chickens, goats, fish, and pigs as well as clean water and tree seedlings for hungry families around the world. There is no livestock on the grounds to purchase; however, honor cards will be available to designate a Heifer animal in a loved one’s name.

Every other year, First Presbyterian pairs up with Heifer International to support its mission to help end hunger and poverty through livestock, education, and training. The Heifer Living Gift Market is a free event open to the public from 6-8 p.m. welcoming visitors of all ages. Upon arrival, you can expect family-oriented entertainment while experiencing thought provoking educational animal exhibits. The market is an intergenerational event as the entire church unites to create a carnival-like atmosphere filled with food, fun, and games. Refreshments will be available for a small donation with compliments of Chick-fil-A of Lake Brandon Village.

Heifer International provides impoverished communities with a means to improve its local food sources by ultimately becoming a self-sustaining community.

Dawn Trattner, a First Presbyterian Church member and key organizer of the event, traveled to Honduras with Heifer International where she witnessed firsthand the global impact of the program through its ceremony Passing on the Gift. At the ceremony, the original recipient of a Heifer animal is required to share the animal’s offspring, knowledge, and other resources to a neighbor. Trattner said, “The difference with Heifer International is the training and education the local farmers receive.” Trattner continued to clarify with the following baking analogy, “Ingredients like flour and eggs are essential, but without the recipe, you can’t bake the bread.”

First Presbyterian Church is located at 121 Carver Ave., Brandon. For more information on the Heifer Living Gift Market, you may contact the church office at 689-4597 or www.fpcbrandon.org. If you would like to learn more about Heifer International, please refer to its Website www.heifer.org.