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Animal sale teaches spirit of Christmas

Jamie Hallman

— As one of United Methodist Youth Group’s efforts to fulfill their Compassion and Action motto for the year, youth group members are selling animals or shares of the animals to be given to impoverished families around the world, providing them with a source of income or self-sufficiency.

“The project gives kids the true meaning of Christmas,” said Melody Mistr, youth group leader.

The animals range from chickens, cows, water buffalo, rabbits, sheep and goats.

After money has been collected, animals will be purchased and delivered to needy families.

Mistr said that the members’ efforts help them see the larger importance of giving to those in need without focusing on what they as individuals want for Christmas.

“It’s a fantastic idea for youth groups,” she said.

Mistr said the teens were excited to help and were trying their best to make the event successful.

“Some kids are getting dressed up in costumes to endorse the animal they are selling,” she said.

The primary way that youth group members plan to sell their animals is at a “market” from

11 a.m. to noon Sunday at the United Methodist Church.

Youth group members will have tables where people can sign up to buy a specific animal or give money for a share of the animal.

To embrace the idea of giving during the holiday season, people can buy an animal in honor of someone else.

Kitty Ellison, United Methodist Church spokeswoman, said that she was going to buy a share of an animal in honor of her mother.

She said her mother already had everything that she needed, and that this would be a great gift to give her for the holiday season.

The wide range in animals represents the different geographical based-needs for people throughout the world. According to Mistr, water buffalo, one of the animals they plan to sell, are useful and profitable for people in Asia. Asian farmers use water buffalo to help in the rice patties.

The animals given to families provide them with a new income or form of subsistence. Goats are popular animals because they can provide a family with milk that can be made into cheese and butter. The many animals that will be distributed to families allow them a means of making a living on their own.

This gift of giving does not end with the youth group’s effort to help families in need.

The families that receive the animals from the youth group will share the assistance they receive by giving other members of their community any offspring that their animals have.


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