Tomorrow is October 1, the start of my most favorite month. It's my birthday month, and I celebrate all month long. With my birthday in sight, I've got presents on my mind. But as I reflect on what gifts I'd like this year, I realize I really don't need anything. Instead, I'm hoping friends and family who want to give me something actually give something to someone else.

It's not very often that a gift you give or get does some good for someone you don't even know. But that might very well be the best gift to give. Heifer International helps families across the world find greater nutrition, better food, a more economically-secure future, and access to medicine and school. However, it's more than a handout. Heifer gives families a helping hand.

My favorite Heifer International gift is the gift of a goat. For $120, you can provide a family with a goat. The goat provides the family with milk, cheese, butter, yogurt, and yes, fertilizer. Goats can also provide the family with other goats--one nanny (a female goat) can have as many as two or three kids (baby goats) in a year. The family can "Pass on the Gift" of a goat to a family just as the gift was passed to them. For $20, you can buy a flock of chicks that will soon give the family eggs, fertilizer, and more chicks they can share. Beekeeping is a trendy hobby in the United States, and the gift of honeybees can help sustain a family somewhere else in the world.

Animals are just the beginning. They're what Heifer International is known for, but that's not all that the organization does. You can also donate to and support women around the world as they try to provide food, shelter, education, and medical care for their families. For $50, you can help a family buy necessities for their home, such as bricks, roofing material, piping, and more.

As the holidays draw near, we hope you'll keep in mind the important work Heifer International is doing all across the globe. It's a charity worth every dollar.