Week of October 8, 2008

Eliana Hudson, Brith Sholom Kneseth Israel

Eliana and her friends, Emma Rehfeld and Nina Lang, wanted to do something together to help people.

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“Emma told us about Heifer International when we were in 5th grade. Her cousin donated money to this non-profit organization for her bat mitzvah project. She also brought a catalogue for Heifer International and we all looked through it. On the last page was ‘The Ark,'” Eliana said.

And that is how Eliana’s mitzvah project began.

The Heifer Gift Ark offers hope worldwide to families who are poor and hungry. Families will start on a journey to fulfill a seemingly impossible dream — to secure food and a source of dependable income.

Each family who receives livestock will pass on one or more of the animal’s offspring to other families who are in need in their community. Every gift will multiply for years to come.

Two cows bring milk and income to a Russian village. Two sheep help families in Arizona produce wool.

Two camels help families in Tanzania earn income by transporting agricultural and industrial materials. Two oxen pull plows and carts in Uganda. Two water buffalo help Cambodian families increase rice production through animal draft power.

The Ark provides 15 pairs of animal to change lives.

Daughter of Stacey and Repps Hudson, Eliana and her friends chose “The Ark” because they knew they could help more than just one person in need.

“It was kind of hard at first doing this because I gave up most of my allowance every week to help our fund. But it got easier later,” said Eliana. Even though it is a lot of money, the girls are working towards their goal of $5,000.

“It will help a lot of people and it will make them happier,” she said.

One of the things Eliana, Emma, and Nina did to fundraise was to set up a booth at their elementary school’s Passport Night.

They sold 50-cent raffle tickets to the kids at the school for a chance to win a prize. The prizes were the activities planned by the teachers who had agreed beforehand to participate.

For example, one teacher would take five kids to Cold Stone Creamery or another teacher would take several kids bowling.

The girls have done this for two years now and have raised about $100 each year.

They plan on continuing with this project every year. Emma and Nina also contribute to their Heifer savings account whenever they can.

Future activities include a car wash in Forest Park and donating baby sitting money earned.

So far, Eliana, a student at Brittany Woods Middle School, and friends have raised $2,000.

They will not stop until the total $5,000 is raised, which they hope will be reached by the end of high school.

If they raise more than their goal, they will plant trees with the additional funds.

Heifer International’s mission is to end hunger and care for the earth.

By people sharing their animals’ offspring with others, along with their knowledge, resources, and skills, an expanding network of hope, dignity, and self-reliance is created that reaches around the globe. For more information on Heifer, please visit their Web site at: www.heifer.org.

To make a donation in Eliana’s honor and help her reach her goal sooner, please send a check to: Eliana Hudson, 6353 Washington Ave., University City, MO 63130.