Everyone knows about the donkey and the sheep and the oxen in the manger. But goats and chickens in a church? A Lake Forest church?
On Nov. 16, Church of the Holy Spirit is hosting a Heifer International Living Gift Market. To inspire shoppers from all faiths and backgrounds to attend the event and open their wallets, the church is opening its parish hall to sheep, pigs, goats, chickens and rabbits.
"One goat can provide a family with a gallon of milk every day," said Ellen Humphrey, head of the Mission & Outreach group at CHS. That's her flirting with a llama in the photo, which was taken by parishioner Fred Chase in September at Historic Wagner Farm in Glenview.
Heifer International seeks to end hunger and poverty by providing food- and income-producing animals to millions of resource-poor families in 125 countries. At the CHS Living Gift Market, shoppers will be able to "buy" various animals, including bees, birds and tree seedlings, or they can make a general donation to the "bah
humbug" fund. "A Living Gift Market offers an alternative to the increasingly commercial nature of the holidays while giving us a chance to help those less fortunate," said Ms. Humphrey. The idea is to encourage people to use Heifer donations as a gift to friends or loved ones in lieu of (or in addition to) a holiday present.
"Each Market gives over and over again," according to materials published by Heifer International. "You honor a friend or loved one with an attractive card describing the gift you have bought in their honor. You empower an impoverished family with an animal and training in its care. The family shares its knowledge and the animal's first offspring with another family. And that family shares. And the next. We call it 'passing on the gift.' "
Ms. Humphrey said the CHS Living Gift Market is open to any and all interested shoppers. The goal is to raise $10,000. The event is free, handicapped-accessible and offers ample parking. Games for children, light luncheon and live music will be available.
Want to learn more about Heifer? Click over to ABCnews.com to watch actress Diane Lane chat about her experience helping Heifer International in Rwanda (fast forward through the stuff about her latest flick with Richard Gere). Or click over to Heifer's website for even more information. Or call Ms. Humphrey at 847-482-0435. Or even better, stop by the Living Gift Market: 10 a.m. Nov. 16 at Church of the Holy Spirit, 400 E. Westminster Road, Lake Forest.