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heifer international invites you to #joinhertribe

Heifer International

Most people know Heifer International for their animal gifting program — in fact, you may remember that I “bought” a goat from them for the holidays — but they also do critical, impactful work to support and empower women, as you can see from their philosophy, above.

They, like I, believe that women have limitless potential, but limited opportunity so they equip and empower marginalized women with resources and training as a means to sustainable livelihoods and community leadership positions.

Take a look at these astonishing facts:

. If women had the same access to resources as men, they could reduce the number of hungry people in the world by up to 17%. WHAT?!

. An increase of $10 to a woman’s income has the same improvement in children’s nutrition and health as an increase to a man’s income of $110. WHAT?!

. On average, women and girls spend 4 hours a day retrieving water. Many girls cannot go to school because of this. WHAT?!

Heifer International

This spring, Heifer wants to ignite a global community of women, because they believe that behind every great woman is another one. And that when women come together and support one another, we all rise.

They’ve even created a great microsite where you can take a quiz to identify your tribe personality — are you an Ally, Den Mother, Entrepreneur or Artist? My result was Ally! — share stories about women who have empowered you, and make a donation to support women’s empowerment.

I love this so much. There are so many women who have stood beside and behind me to help me get to where I am but today I want to take a moment and dedicate a post to two amazing women who have impacted my life in profound but very different ways. I’m going to make a donation to honor both of them.

First is Oprah. Yes, Oprah.

Lois and Oprah

She’s been a role model for so many, and when she chose me as one of 150 people out of something like 80,000 applicants to accompany her to Australia as an Ultimate Viewer in 2010, it was life-changing. Because of her, I had the confidence to start Midlife at the Oasis by myself, Michael and I went to the amazing Londolozi in South Africa with Martha Beck, I read so many eye-opening books I would never have known about and I nurtured my spiritual side through the gurus like Elizabeth Gilbert and Brene Brown to whom she introduced us all.

In honor of Oprah’s commitment to educating girls, I am making a donation to Heifer International to Send a Girl to School. In these crazy times in which we live, I can’t imagine anything more important than education. And, as we’ve learned, when girls are educated, the world becomes a better place.

Second, but really, in so many ways, first, is my mom, Edith.

Mom and Lois

She is my biggest cheerleader and the woman who taught me about giving. One of the ways she does that is by knitting. In fact, I wrote a piece about this for Purple Clover. She is always ready to knit for babies, animals, cancer patients and, of course, she knit me a pink pussy hat. She is all about female empowerment, starting with her own two daughters.

In honor of my mom, I am making a donation to Heifer International to the Knitter’s Basket, which keeps families warm with wool that can be made into sweaters and sources, provides a source of income from the sale of clothing and blankets made from that wool, and nourishes families with milk from the llama and sheep. This seems fitting with the many ways my mom has always nourished me.

To learn more about Heifer’s women’s empowerment efforts, please check out heifer.org/joinhertribe. I hope you’ll #joinhertribe by sharing your own stories of an important woman in your lives and by making a donation in her honor. 


  1. Thank you for this honor, Lois. This is one of my favorite charities. xxxxxx

  2. Sounds like a wonderful charity that has made great strides where it is needed. Maybe they can help change the future.

  3. I love this. I love this. I love this. I love this. I love this. I love this. I love this. I love this.

    Okay, now that that’s out of the way I love your passion, your full heart and your love of these women. I especially love that you chose your mom. Without her I wouldn’t have a Lolo in my life!

    Love you. And I also love what Heifer is doing for women’s empowerment. They are ah-may-zing.xo

  4. I had no idea they did so much work for women. I love the idea of making a donation in the name of a woman who has inspired you. Maybe that will be a gift I give a friend this year whom inspires me

  5. It’s awesome that you’re supporting this cause. Your mother sounds like an incredible person! This is a great way to honor her!

  6. Kristin says:

    What a great organization! Love the mission of behind every great woman is another one. So inspiring!

  7. Rebecca Bryant says:

    What a great charity. I am with Ashley this would make a great gift for a woman who has inspired me.

  8. This is so enlighting! What an amazing charity. Thanks so much for bringing this to the forefront. They sound like they do incredible work.

  9. I always give Heifer holiday gifts and encourage my family to do the same. Their giving catalogue gets me every year! So many wonderful things can be possible when people come together and help! Thanks for reminding me to remember the importance of this commitment outside of the holiday season. Revisiting it again now.

  10. WOW that you were one of the women that Oprah selected. I clearly remember when that happened. I have given Heifer gifts before. What a great cause

  11. Stephanie Jeannot says:

    What an amazing cause. Water is so important to every person. I agree about the statistics given based on women. So proud of you. How awesome!

  12. This is an amazing charity.I vividly remember the first time I saw its brochure.

  13. What a wonderful charity! I’ve seen their catalogs around the holidays, and we’ve “gifted” through them before. I love that they are making an effort to empower women.

  14. I thought about the importance of water a few years back when a few days after the earthquake in Haiti that someone burried under the rubble of the supermarket was able to survive only by drinking water. Makes you really consider that as important as water is, good, clean drinking water is like a luxury for some. Sad reality.

  15. Oh wow, it’s fantastic that you’re supporting this great cause. And how awesome that you were one of the women Oprah selected. She’s a legend 😀

  16. I love that this charity empowers women to help and do good. Women can do anything. I love the positive message too.

  17. Such a beautiful cause! I love empowering women. They are so resourceful and resilient!

  18. LOVE empowering women! How cool the Oprah picked you to go on that trip with her and because of it, you were able to do SO much more. Inspiring all around!

  19. Ok, first, I just have to say, I’m kind of flabbergasted you know Oprah. That’s so cool! I’m also really interested in learning more about Heifer International’s efforts to empower women. I remember learning about them when I was a small child and we bought some cows in our Sunday School class, but that’s roughly the extent of my exposure to the organization. Thank you for sparking my curiosity!

  20. What an incredible program! It’s up to us women to support every woman…all over the world! Empowerment is the key to change!

  21. I love this! Yes, I had only heard about their animal gifting program. I’ll have to viist the site and get more information. I want to help empower women!

  22. Helene Cohen Bludman says:

    I am so glad you have shared this organization with your readers. Happy to support the wonderful work it is doing to empower women. Especially now, we need advocates like Heifer.

  23. This is great, Lois. The facts about the inequities women face are staggering. Love how we can make a difference through Heifer (along with the choices we make every day).

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