Shear JoyEntire communities depend on wool and meat from sheep. Struggling families use sheep's wool to make clothes, or sell it for extra income. Sheep often give birth to twins or triplets and can graze even the hilliest, rockiest pastures unsuitable for other livestock.
Some Heifer families use managed grazing techniques or zero-grazing pens to protect the environment and collect manure for fertilizer, which improves soil and pasture land.
Warm in winter, cool in summer, waterproof and durable - wool is a valuable product that struggling families can use for clothing or sell for extra income.
All over the world, Heifer partners are raising sheep to advance the cause against hunger and poverty. And, through the act of Pass on the Gift, they are also sharing training and animals with other families in need.
(copied and pasted from their website)
These communities aren't just handed a sheep, but they are trained for at least 6 months in advance how to use these sheep in the most advantageous, sustainable, holistic way possible.
To me this is showing the love of God to people. God's love doesn't stop with my donations.. If you think about it... one sheep could potentially give birth to two or three ewes.
So lets do some math....(with the best possible outcome in mind ....sort of unrealistic that every ewe would be a girl and give birth to 3 ewes..but hey this is my math problem..)
With sheep living from 10-12 years and their productive lifetime best between the ages of 3 to 6 years of age....
In 2012 a donated sheep (sheep #1) at 3 years old gives birth to 3 ewes (sheep #2,3,4)
In 2013 sheep #1 at 4 years old gives birth to 3 more ewes (sheep #5,6,7)
In 2014 sheep #1 at 5 years old gives birth to 3 more ewes (sheep #8,9,10)
In 2015 sheep #1 at 6 years old gives birth to 3 more ewes (sheep #11,12,13)
In 2015 sheep #2,3,4 at 3 years old give birth to a total of 4 more ewes (sheep #14,15,16,17)
In 2016 sheep #2,3,4,5,6,7 at 3&4 years old give birth to 17 more ewes (sheep # 18-34)
In 2017 sheep #2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 at 3&4&5 years old give birth to 26 more ewes (sheep #35-60)
In 2018 sheep #2-13 at 3&4&5&6 years old give birth to 39 more ewes (sheep #61-99)
In 2019 sheep #5-34 at 3&4&5&6 years old give birth to 87 more ewes (sheep #100-186)
In 2020 sheep #8-60 at 3&4&5&6 years old give birth to 156 more ewes (sheep #187-342)
In 2021 sheep #11-99 at 3&4&5&6 years old give birth to 264 more ewes (sheep # 342-606)
In 2022 sheep #14-186 at 3&4&5&6 years old give birth to 516 more ewes (sheep #607-1,122)
So I know this is sort of unrealistic...but potentially ..it is possible by donating one single sheep to a community in an impoverished country, in ten years this community could have 1,122 sheep. I mean even if 1/4 of this amount actually was produced, that would still be about 280 sheep. What if just an eighth of this happened? That's still 140 sheep out of one person deciding to donate one sheep within a ten year period. And what if, worst case scenario, no sheep were produced? That sheep would continually be giving to it's new community until the end of it's years. Worst case scenario.
A sheep is sheered once a year and generally can produce approximately 1000yrds-1500yrds of yarn from this annual shearing. To give you some perspective, that is about 840 slouchy beanies or 420 long scarves or 140 blankets that could be produced, just from that one sheep within ten years continually producing (like they were trained to do by Heifer International). Not only is there the fiber that can be harvested from these sheep, but also there is the whole meat option as well.
And who's to say that we can't donate more than one sheep to get things started off a little more quickly?
That's what I call a happy tithe.