Giving Small

       Don't Have a Cow!¬†¬†Give a Cow to Someone Who Needs It

Weekly update newsletter is being moved. Stay tuned.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

* The Cow Verdict: Try for All the Livelihood Gifts

Cow Family- Photo by Drumaboy



I received lots of emails and comments about what to do in December for the holiday season. Right now, only few people wanted to do something local so was thinking we could maybe help out on the FullCirclesSaskatoon Christmas secret Santa project there. Let me know if you want your bottles directed to the local project when you drop off.

Most people wanted to work our way down the livelihood list - chickens, goats, pigs, cows. All of the livelihood gifts cost $1650. It would truly be a miracle if we did them all but even doing some of them could create small miracles for the recipients.

So how low can we go? It's up to all of us how far we want to go.

Here's a few ways to raise a bit more money in December:

  1. Add this to your Christmas wishlist and ask someone to buy one of these items as a gift for you or contribute towards one of the bigger ones. Let me know and I'll cross it off our list as "Done". You will also receive a special cow gift.

  2. Or consider buying one of these items as Christmas gift for someone (and to support the cow project). Again, let me know and we can cross it off the list.

  3. Be a secret Santa for someone around the world or give your Hannakuh gelt to the cow project.

  4. Is the item you'd like to gift too big to handle by yourself - no worries, you can pledge to donate just $10 or $20 towards one of the items below along with others

  5. Just for December, save all your extra change in one of those bottles and donate your penny jar. It adds up quickly if you put a few silver and gold coins in there. Think of it as recycling money.

  6. Best of all tell two friends and see if they'll save bottles and cans for the cow - even just for this month. A little bit can do a lot and if we had double the folks saving bottles for a month it could go a long way.

  7. Keeping collecting the bottles and cans and gifting things that can be sold on Kijiji.

  8. YOUR IDEAS HERE ??? - what are your suggestions or ideas? Please email me or leave a comment or speak to me.


Working together, we can find a way to fund these livelihood gifts:
  • Beekeeping in Egypt = A stable source of income and a new skill to share
    $25.00
  • Pigs in Mozambique = An excellent source of fertilizer and protein
    $25.00
  • Farming Tools and Seeds in Sudan = A way to make a living off the land
    $40.00
  • Goats in Bangladesh = A stable supply of nourishment and income
    $40.00
  • Weaving in Peru = Economic independence and a revitalized tradition
    $40.00
  • Three Hens and a Rooster in Mozambique = A source of independence and nourishment
    $55.00
  • Small Business Support in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Honduras and Pakistan
    $100.00
  • Skills Training for Youth in Haiti = Improved opportunity and a chance to contribute
    $250.00
  • Cows in Bangladesh = A lasting supply of milk to drink and sell
    $300.00
  • Dairy Co-operative in Bangladesh = A fair wage and the tools to become self-sufficient
    $1,000.00


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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

* World Food Program - 25 cents fills a cup



Drew Barrymore is one of the Ambassador's for the World Food Program and she writes about here experience with the WFP and how the change in your pocket can make a difference.

Drew in Kenya


One person's quarter can fill a child's cup with food.

Everyone can be a part of saving another person's life. The numbers continue to astonish me in their ability to bring nourishment and education to those children -- 25 cents a day, $5 a month, $50 a year can feed a child and offer them the opportunity for an education, which is a fundamental right.

Drew keeps a WFP red cup on her desk and writes that the cup "carries in it stories of children and families struggling, that carries in it the message that just the smallest amount of money will fill that cup and will feed a child and will educate that child and give her the chance to continue through this world and make a difference of her own."

Canadians can receive a tax receipt using their online donation form.

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Sunday, November 23, 2008

* Foosball Tables, Drawers and Skate Board Ramps Help out the Cow

Soccer Cow - Photo by Shedboy



Wow - the stuff is starting to trickle in for the cow and it's often big stuff. I like little things too. We're at the time of the year when people want to empty their garages and help someone out so I'm really grateful for items big and small. Earl, my usually supportive husband, really likes little things (LOL).

A few weeks ago, I swung by Norma's to pick up a whole bunch of goodies - drawers that fit under the bed, VCRs, DVD players, a skateboard ramp and more. Plus wine bottles. Yes!!! The drawers that go under the bed were snapped up within minutes of posting. Thanks Norma for helping the cow ... so moooch is possible when friends lend a hand.

Mary, a friend and colleague, asked is I wanted a fooz ball table. Yes I said and her husband and son dropped off this wonder f00z ball, solid and heavy (of course). Thanks Mary, you're moo-valous and those fooz balls remind me of cows!

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Saturday, November 22, 2008

* Mooo-re Unexpected Online Donations Help Push Elsie Over the Edge

Photo of Toy Cow wearing Hat and All Glammed Up called Old MacDonald Had a Farm- Photo by andrewodom

Thomas Hawk via Flickr

Elise the cow - in a class of her own. She wears a hat and is all glammed up and ready to go to the races.


This week I was surprised, delighted and overwhelmed by the kindness of others. Jeanette, my aunt from Victoria BC, gave $100 out of the blue using the online donation form. Jeanette -- you're so moo-valous - I know that you support many charities already but it's a huge boost when someone that is a friend and a relative helps out.

Then I had another online donation from Alison Lohans, who I think is from Regina.

I "knew" the name instantly but from where? I have never met Alison face to face so how did I know her. LOL - took me a minute to recall she's the author of Germy Johnson's Secret Plan and I had helped Beth Matheson, the illusrator and publisher of the second printing create the web site. Thanks Alison for helping out with the cow - you're moo-rific.

I'm also doing a "happy dance" because I encouraged Beth to create this site and a domain that matches the book title and they now rank #1 in Google for "Germy Johnson" and given that it just went live, that's great news.

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* We Have Elsie in the Barn (#11) and Here Comes Bubbles (#12)

Bubbles - cow #12


We just finished raising enough dollars for Elsie, cow #11. Elsie seemed to have good karma so I used that name first.

Elsie was suggested by three people -- Mona in honor of her daughter, Frank for a famous historical cow, and from Beth, the skinny niece, of Hugh MacIvain.

Bubbles suggested by Laurel from Vancouver is up next. Those brown spots around the cow are bubbles from a "milk" chocolate Aero bar.

Cow Names Continue to Pour In

Greg from Estevan
- Helga is a great name for a cow. Means Holy. And in some parts of the world that is exactly true. Besides, I have great memories of a certain young Helga who was a riot to milk

Sabrina from Washington, DC
- chocolate milk, cowcow (my friend the dairy farmer uses this one all purpose name), coco or koko

Susan from Saskatoon
- Bessie, in honor of my step-grandmother

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

* From Scarcity to Plenty as Cow Names Pour In

Emma the Prize Winning Cow
Captions added by Beth. Click photo to view larger version.

I received two wonderful photographs from Beth and some names for cows. The photos are from her family photo album. Beth found a the photo of Emma, a prize winning cow named Emma owned by her great, great grandfather, Hugh, who named his cows after his daughters. The photo above has words added by Beth.

Lucretia MacIvain, daughter of Hugh, is Beth's great grandmother (well was). Below is a picture of three of the sisters taken at the same time as Emma the winning cow.
The Centennial Sisters
The namesakes of three of the cows. Captions added by Beth.

Thank you all for the suggestions of cow names. Please keep them rolling in. In no particular order here are the names so far:

Beth from Saskatoon
Sally, Hannah, Mazie, Anna Mary, Pattie, Emma, Nellie Lullie, Mattie, Elsie

From the Dysarts in Toronto
Shirley, Molly, Becky, Birdie, Coco, Sam/Samantha, Maggie, Hailey, Lily, Flicka, Babe
The Dysarts briefly held the record for suggesting the MOST names). Given that Jane lassoed her husband and put him to work, I expected to see a few sports related names ;-)

From Sabrina in Washington, DC
chocolatemilk, cowcow (my friend the dairy farmer uses this one all purpose name), coco or koko

Marilyn from Regina, SK
How about Galileo? 2009 is the International Year of Astronomy," marks
the 400th anniversary of the telescope, an instrument that
revolutionized -- and continues to revolutionize -- our view of the
world and the universe. Or Barak. Marie as in Marie Antoinette with Let them eat cake with cream on it.

Celeste from Saskatoon, SK
Coco (as in Coco Chanel!) Or in honour of Christmas, J.C

Mona, Old Style Leather Stitcher, Saskatoon, SK
Elsie comes to mind....That's my daughters name.

Marilyn from Regina, SK (again)
How about Heidi or Frieda or Geraldine. Geraldine was the name of the
cow in the story book we had in grade 2 and I've harboured fond memories
of her. Of course, Gerry in our class didn't like it.
LOL Marilyn .. I bet Gerry didn't appreciate it. The things we remember from when we were kids.

Paul from Saskatoon SK via Australia
Our cows were named Daisy & Penny. You should call the cow Penny as you're getting these cows pennies at time.
Great idea Paul. I had a horse named Penny. She was very speedy and we won a lot of ribbons at gymkhana.

Jeanette from Victoria, BC
Minnie, moxie, Maggie, Annabelle, Belle, Jersey, Jessie

Laurel from Vancouver, BC
"Bubbles" as in her spots, and at the top of poured milk, or whipped cream, or in a milk chocolate Aero? bar. I believe "Nellie" is another traditional cow name.
Hmmm Bubbles - good one.

Gord from Saskatoon, SK
Amity, Quaff, Amistad, Dagmar, Sidse, Inger, Juness, Gabrielle, Cadence, Calliope, Argos, Belaphron, Sigil, Isadore, Lucille, Ruby, Isabelle, Shobi, Dobias, Rosalie
He definitely wins the "most" names and I'm getting the scoop on where these come from. I'm afeard they are from the Holtslander family tree.

Gwen and Peter left this comment
I think that our next cow should be named Darlene. ... and . For other names, I suggest consulting a wonderful little essay I discovered on the Internet this morning
LOL - Super research skills pay off Gwen - good one!

Earl from the Fichter Fogel Homestead
cowabunga, cowlick, mos-cow (Moscow), wil-cow (wilco), triple sal cow (salchow)

Suzanne from Rochester, NY
I'm wondering about things that sound like Latin for "milk" - e.g., "Lactacia" or "Lacta"... or what are the words for "cow" in other languages? Vacta? that's not right - Vacha? (no, my French is long gone, obviously!)
Very close - vache is cow in French

Frank from Chicago
How about "Elsie"? She was very famous here in the '60's as the cow with the best milk. I forget the dairy but that name, at least to me, is synonymous with cow.


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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

* Script Writer Wannabe and Her Crew Help Out the Cow

Beyaz as a puppy
Beyaz (means white in Turkish) and his owners donate their bottles for the cow.


On the bottle collecting front, we have new contributors. Erica and Recep and Beyaz are new bottle contributors. I met Erica and Rejcep and Beyaz at the park. Beyaz, (see photo above) a Turkish herding dog instantly hit it off with Maggie, my border collie/blue heeler. They love to chase each other.

Maggie, ready to play
Maggie, ready to play.


Erica is an aspiring screenwriter and recently went to a pitchfest in Los Angeles and found a producer. Moo hoo! Talk about spunk and hard work - trying to pitch your first script. Read about Erica's adventures on her blog, acriptwriterwannabe.

Also three big moos for Erica who also checked out whether her workplace might contribute bottles. Turns out they already donate them a good cause -Saskatoon Food Bank. Moo-valous.

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* Eat, Drink and Be Merry and Remember to Save the Bottles for the Cow

Christmas Cow - Photo by andrewodom


Think of all the Christmas and holiday parties around the corner. Be the one to offer to help clean up, stock up on good karma by paying it forward, and, of course, collect the bottles after the party to help buy more cows for double the karma.

Thanks to Bottle Collectors Old and New


To the mystery donor dropped off some this past weekend - mooo-chas gracias!

Anwer and her family, who just moved to Saskatoon and I met via Kijiji, are collecting their bottles for the cow. Moo hoo! Thanks Anwer.

Special thanks to Iffat Ahmad who has placed a box in the staff room at the Library and sent an email around to all staff about my project.

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* Email Thank You From Station 20 West Donation

Station 20 Donation Thank You Card

Electronic acknowledgment card sent to "The Cow Team"
re: the donation to Station 20 West.


CanadaHelps.org is national charitable foundation that lists Canada's 80,000 registered charities and provides a secure encrypted way to give a donation and get an electronic tax receipt. The CanadaHelps site was simple to use for donating online (has a well designed and visually clean form design). The site offered the choice of three photos for the acknowledgment card. I picked the cute b&w dog, sorry no cute cow pics available.

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Sunday, November 9, 2008

* The Daily Moo - Illustrator & Publisher Helps Out Cow Project

Flying Cow Fridge Magnet

Flying Cow Fridge Magnet from Beth Matheson via Flickr


Beth Matheson, proprietor of aemWORKS publishing is the illustrator of the recently reprinted popular children's book, Germy Johnson's Secret Plan by Alison Lohan, has been super at helping out the cow project. (Full disclosure - I volunteered to help Beth create a book website, so I am a fan of the book.)

Beth, who also works at the Natural Sciences Library, bumped into me one day and handed me some money for the cow explaining she didn't drink anything out of refundable bottles so couldn't contribute to the collection in the library. I was bemused, touched, and grateful and pointed out there was no need to do anything.

This fall I showed up a meeting and Beth presented me with a very cute flying cow (see photo above) and a $20 for Station 20 West. Thanks Beth for being so generous and an "repeat" cow offender, ummm, donor. :-) You're definitely a big mooo!

Germy Johnson's Secret Plan Book Website


J.J's (Jeremy Johnson's) Aunt Pru Moves into his Bedroom ... and how will he get her to leave? This great book would make a wonderful Christmas gift for old fans and new readers. You can read the first chapter, find out where to buy the book, book a reading or sign up to be notified when the J.J.'s new adventures against his next foe - The Piano is published.

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Saturday, November 8, 2008

* Help Solve the Cow Crisis: Cow "Feedback" Needed

Old & New F-P Cows - Photo by teresia



The good news is this crisis is one you CAN solve. :-)

Cow #11 Needs a Name


Yes, we're fresh out of names.

Here's the names so far:

Note: We didn't officially name the first 3 cows, so I have named the first two in honor of the cows I milked when I was growing up on a farm in southern Saskatchewan.


  1. Cow #1 - Dolly, after the Holstein milk cow on Darlene's farm
  2. Cow #2 - Blacky, after the Black Angus milk cow on Darlene's farm
  3. Cow #3 - Daisy, just a name I picked out of the air
  4. Cow #4 - Clarabelle
  5. Cow #5 - Adia
  6. Cow #6 - Oreo
  7. Cow #7 - Buttercup
  8. Cow #8 - Crocus
  9. Cow #9 - Spot
  10. Cow #10 - Luna


Calling All Members of the Cow "Herd" to Suggest Names


Suggest names for the next 10 cows? Leave a comment, email me or phone. I need at least 10 names ... 20 would be safer. This is your chance to name a cow.

Do we stick to cows or spice things up for the holiday season?


What would motivate you and make you think - wow - we did that?

We can do lots of things. Perhaps we could buy a pig, goat, 3 chickens & rooster, a beehive, and other livelihood gifts?.

If we did all the gifts on this page it would be $1875 ... if we did all but the last one it's $875.

Or do we want to branch out and do Education, Health, or Habitat gifts. It would be hard to do all of the projects on some of these pages as some are $40,000 in the next 6 weeks till Christmas.

Or do something Local again? Other ideas? Please comment, email, phone me? Looking for great ideas and then all of you will have a chance to react.

First things first





If you said "Yes" do something special or if you are following the herd



Please answer this poll too.



Thank you for your feedback.

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* Ann's Young Children Decide to Give a Beehive

Beekeeping in Egypt - A stable source of income and a new skill to share from Plan Canada site
$25.00 for Beekeeping in Egypt =
A stable source of income and a new skill to share


I have corresponded with Ann from FullCirclesSaskatoon a few times and her family has contributed bottles to the project.

Recently Ann shared a story about a project that her children have this fall. They've decided to collecting bottles to buy someone a beehive. She says when they're out walking that her children are excited every time they spot a bottle to add to their cache. Wow! This is wonderful to see young children inspired to help another family and feeling like they can do it.

Thanks for sharing the "sweet" story Ann.

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* How Now Black and White Cow: Spot, Heads to Bangladesh

Bangladesh - wikipedia map


You're All Too Moo-valous for Words


Thanks to everyone who helped out from Vicki, Paul, Zac, Colleen and Colleen's mom, tons of folks at the library, Kris - a huge contributor of stuff to sell on Kijiji, Jill with the "cow" cat and many more. Again there are so many folks on Kijiji who just give a little extra: Kyle, Deb, Julia, and more folks who happily purchased so many items to help fund the dairy cow.

I'd also like to thank Linda Policella from Edmonton. Linda hunting for Great Western beer glasses and found my ad. She was intrigued about the cow, read the blog and called me. Not only did Linda buy some things, she wanted to also donated $21 for the cow.

Linda you are moo-valous - thank you for trusting me from 600 kilometres away to send you the things.

I'd also like to thank my wonderful friend Rebecca in Richmond Hill, Ontario. On Thursday morning, out of the blue, a $50 donation appeared in my mailbox. Good thing I put that link so prominently on the side menu so anyone can find it. I'm happy to say that the form works very well indeed. Rebecca really helped Spot cross the finish line with her generous donation. Moo hoo - Rebecca, you're moo-rific!!!

I couldn't even begin to do any of this project without everyone working together. Thanks so much for joining in.

Spot and Luna in One Week



We have just raised enough money for Spot, cow #9, and with Marie Green's purchase of Luna, cow #10, we are now working on cow #11.

Enough with the Thanks, Why Bangladesh You Wonder?


Plan Canada has changed from sending cows to Africa to a project in Bangladesh.

5 Facts About Bangladesh
You may know that Bangladesh was part of India until 1947 when it became the eastern wing of Pakistan, separated by 1000 miles. In 1971, this unworkable situation due to location and other factors led to Bangladesh becoming its own country.

  • Geographically the country straddles the fertile Ganges-Brahmaputra Delta and is subject to annual monsoon floods and cyclones. (Wikipedia)
  • Population is about 142 to 159 million, making it the 7th most populous nation in the world. It's land area is small in comparison, making for high population density.
  • World Bank report has indicated improvements in literacy, gender equity for education and reduction of population growth
  • It is a democracy but due to violence, elections were deferred in 2007 to late 2008
  • Most people make a living from subsistance agriculture but a middle class is slowly developing - 49.8% of the population live below the national poverty line


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Wednesday, November 5, 2008

* Got Cows? We Sure Do! Marie Green Gives Big

Cow Jumping over the moon- Photo by dacotahsgirl



Marie Green is my friend, my neighbor and my colleague at the University. She's pretty moo-valous. And now, she's done something that I didn't think anyone would do by gifting the funds for a whole cow all by herself. She's named the cow Luna after the moon. Luna is going to a family in in Bangladesh.

Luna is cow #10 and we're just about ready to buy Spot Cow #9. Together in our small (and big ways) we're making a difference, saving families from hardship one at a time around the world, one cow at time.


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* Totaling It All Up: Station 20 West and Eight Cows

Diagram of Station 20 West


We definitely have bought a few bricks and few cows.

In seven months of since I had the idea and asked lots of people to help and for ideas from everyone that I meet how to make it work, we collectively have purchased:
  • 8 cows plus
  • and raised $452.97 for Station 20 West


The Station 20 West had the possibility of doubling your contribution - one match up to $300 from Lorraine and Tim and the $452.97 match from an anonymous donor, for a total of $1205.94.

The grand total raised (including matches) is $3605.94.

These totals built by our "small" efforts together boggle my mind. For the folks who receive the cow, this is no small thing. It is trans formative. For Station 20 West, tthis will definitely be a help in their campaign to raise funds for the project.

Thanks everyone making this happen.

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