Couple’s Wedding Registry Makes Worldwide Difference

<b>Couple’s Wedding Registry Makes Worldwide Difference</b>“></td>
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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – For Erin Wilhelm-Hilkey, a film production manager, and Eli Tate, a C-130 pilot in the Air Force, their upcoming marriage was a chance to help others begin their lives anew as they began their own.

When the excess of a wedding and the planning it entails became overwhelming, the couple from Chapel Hill, N.C., decided to register at Heifer International to help them keep perspective. The 63-year-old organization provides livestock and agricultural training to families in communities struggling with hunger and poverty.

“Our wedding celebration was the perfect time to contribute to Heifer and to spread their message of hope,” said Wilhelm-Hilkey. “It is so rewarding to be able to help others begin a new life for themselves as we are embarking on ours.”

Through Heifer’s gift registry, a couple can create a home page displaying their photo and a statement about why they support Heifer. Gifts on the registry may include chickens, sheep, dairy cows, honeybees and other food- and income-producing animals.

“We chose Heifer because we truly believe that they are building communities that will stabilize developing regions and will change the world,” said Wilhelm-Hilkey. “My grandparents were involved in Heifer at its inception over 60 years ago, and we are proud to continue that legacy by volunteering and making contributions.”

Friends and family of the couple can read about exactly what their gift will provide. Through the registry, couples are able to see who has contributed, allowing them to easily keep track of gifts and thank people accordingly.

And although they won’t have wedding china to pass on to their grandchildren, Wilhelm-Hilkey and Tate say their hope is that, through small actions like this one, they will be able to pass on a better world to future generations.

“Instead of [us] receiving plates and stemware, there will be communities that will develop pride, education, hope, self-reliance and a strong sense of their own accomplishments,” said the bride.

For more information, visit www.heifer.org or call 800-696-1918.

Couples Can Offer Hope Through Charity’s Gift Registry

<b>Couples Can Offer Hope Through Charity’s Gift Registry</b>“></td>
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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – When Helen and Ron Russell’s daughter Tara was born, they were filled with the hope that she would one day make a difference in the world.

When the Russells’ daughter announced her engagement to Dale Ethridge, the young couple was living and teaching in China; the Russells were retired in the Southwest; and the wedding was to be near Seattle. The task of planning for their only daughter’s wedding suddenly seemed like a hike up Mount Everest.

How would months of planning, showers and registering for fine china ever happen?

But the young couple had made a fast and clear decision: This wedding was not going to be a day for collecting “stuff.” It was to be a day of celebrating their love for one another with family and close friends.

They decided that gifts in honor of their special day would instead be donations to Heifer International, a nonprofit organization that gives farm animals to struggling families, who in turn pass on the gift of the animals’ offspring to other families.

Suddenly, planning for the wedding from distant corners of the Earth became very simple. Along with their wedding invitation, they included their wishes regarding gifts and gave out Heifer’s “Passing on the Gift” DVD to guests at the reception. Guests were able to make donations of cows, goats, chicks, sheep and llamas on Heifer International’s online giving registry.

People can set up a registry through Heifer International’s Web site for milestones such as weddings and anniversaries, and for just about any reason that they would like to ask someone to join them in supporting the organization’s work.

Heifer’s registry functions like popular retail gift registries, but instead of china and kitchen appliances, the selections include chickens, cows water buffaloes and other farm animals.

The symbolic gifts, while honoring registrants, go to support Heifer’s efforts in the U.S. and around the world to help struggling families become self-reliant.

The Heifer Giving Registry lets you customize your own gift page, select honor cards and track donations. Visit www.heifer.org to learn more.

Unique Gift Registry Helps Impoverished Families

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – When they got married in 2002, Elizabeth Spees and Michael Robinson chose something different to put on their wedding gift wish list: farm animals.

The couple asked their guests to contribute to an “ark” through Heifer International, a nonprofit organization that provides livestock and agricultural training to impoverished families all over the world. Creating an ark means collecting $5,000, which goes toward education and sustainable development of Heifer projects in any one of 50 countries, including the U.S.

Their guests met that goal and more, which the Robinsons said was a joy because they wanted to help others rather than collect more stuff they did not need.

Heifer International’s new online “Giving Registry” at www.heifer.org allows people to set up wish lists for milestones such as weddings, anniversaries, Bar Mitzvahs and birthdays; school and church fundraisers; or memorials for loved ones.

The Giving Registry is part of Heifer International’s popular online gift catalog. Registrants select gifts they would like to receive, just as they would through a department-store gift registry. But instead of toaster ovens and china, Heifer’s registry selections include everything from chickens to cows to water buffaloes. The livestock enables families to obtain milk, eggs, wool and other income-producing benefits to feed, clothe and educate their children.

Registrants can customize their own gift page, select honor cards and track donations.

For more information, visit www.heifer.org.