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World of Gifts not kidding around

Parishioners from Heart’s Content in NL gather for their Walk for Goats.

March 13, 2018

By Janice Biehn

Thanks to generous individuals and group donors, 8,473 items were purchased from PWRDF’s 2017 World of Gifts guide, raising $403,000 for PWRDF projects around the world. That is a marked increase from last year’s total of $210,000. Gifts were purchased by 2,312 individuals (753 for the first time) and 164 churches (16 for the first time).

Goats again captivated people’s imaginations coming in as our top seller for the second year in a row. This year 2,640 billies and nannies were purchased in support of our All Mothers and Children Count program (an increase of about 287% from last year’s 681 goats). These gifts of livestock have the power to improve a family’s health by providing nutrition and a source of income. And when a goat produces its first offspring, the kids (goats often breed twins) are donated to another family, so the program is sustainable and life-changing.

Youth Group members from Holy Trinity Church in Cochrane, Ont., sell their monster cookies.
Youth Group members from Holy Trinity Church in Cochrane, Ont., sell monster cookies to buy goats.

More than 160 churches across Canada raised money as a group, and several rallied around purchasing goats:

  • At Holy Trinity Church in Cochrane, Ont., the youth group baked enough mini pies and monster cookies to buy four goats, and then the Men’s Group pitched in another $300 to the effort to buy 10 more.
  • In Nova Scotia, the PWRDF parish rep for St. John the Evangelist in Middle Sackville, part of a three-point charge, started a “Great Goat Challenge” between all three congregations. In two weeks they had enough money for 17 goats.
  • In the rural Parish of Salisbury & Havelock near Moncton, N.B., the congregations kept a weekly “Goat Watch” in the bulletin and by the end of Christmas, they had raised enough funds for 38 goats.
  • In Newfoundland, the Anglican Parish of Heart’s Content organized a “Walk for Goats” and raised $3,965 (that’s 132 goats).

Other animals in our livestock program — ducklings and chicks (pullets) — were also second and third most popular. Eggs and meat from poultry provide two easy sources of protein, as well as income.

Rounding out the top five sellers were food supplements for malnourished children in Burundi at 513 gifts (which translates to 51,300 children), and 633 purchases of seeds to help farmers. That’s 12,660 kg of seed that will enable farmers in Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda and Mozambique to diversify their crops and provide better nutrition to their families.

Bishop of Quebec Bruce Myers chose that item in the World of Gifts to highlight in the World of Gifts video “Plant the Seeds of Change” which was viewed almost 10,000 times on PWRDF’s Facebook page and website.

“The Seeds of Change gift is the one that strikes the strongest chord with me,” he wrote. “In part because I grew up on a farm and seed planting is a lovely biblical and theological image.” In the video, Bishop Myers notes much of the Diocese of Quebec that he serves is agricultural, so it even resonates with his parishioners.

PWRDF issued a challenge to donors to work together to raise funds to support the construction of a bore well in Tanzania. Described in our guide as a “big ticket item” the bore wells appealed to a lot of donors. As a result,  more women and girls will not have to spend hours each day fetching water and girls can attend school instead.

World of Gifts also featured gift items to support refugees around the world: $6,450 for food packages for families at Refuge Egypt; $8,450 to empower women in Guatemala who were formerly in exile and $11,416 to support women making and selling peanut butter in the Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya.

When disaster strikes, Anglican across Canada are ready to give. World of Gifts includes two opportunities to support PWRDF’s emergency response with the Canadian Foograins Bank and ACT Alliance: food relief and seeds for replanting crops lost to natural disaster. These raised almost $20,000 for PWRDF’s equity in the Foodgrains Bank.

An additional $33,000 was donated to the Anglican Church of Canada’s Indigenous Ministries to help prevent youth suicide, and almost $9,500 was raised for two Global Relations projects in the Solomon Islands and Jerusalem.

You can purchase items from World of Gifts year-round by visiting our secure online site or by calling 1-866-308-7973.

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For media requests please contact Communications Coordinator Janice Biehn at (416) 924-9199;366.

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