The Gift That Lives On

By now those chocolates and fragrant candles your neighbors offered you for the holidays have been consumed and the scarf and gloves your mother sent you are stored away in your closet for some future cold spell. Do you ever wish for the perfect gift that stays alive and keeps on giving? Heifer International might be your answer.

Heifer is a non-profit organization that provides gifts of animals and training in sustainable farming techniques to countries and communities in need. Their catalog includes heifers, goats, donkeys, sheep, rabbits, chicks, honeybees, llamas and water buffalo. When you make your donation, your gift is distributed to a family in need, and a card goes out to tell your recipient about the gift you just made in his or her name.

Heifer calls its catalog “the most important gift catalog in the world.” It’s a bold statement, but listen to their pledge: “Since 1944, Heifer has helped 8.5 million women, men, boys and girls in more than 125 countries move toward greater self-reliance through the gift of livestock and education in environmentally sound agriculture. The impact of the initial gifts is multiplied as recipients agree to pass on the gift by giving one or more of their animals’ offspring or the equivalent to another in need.”

A nice side benefit: since you are helping to provide solutions to hunger and poverty, your gift is tax deductible.

No Time to Read?

Audio Tech Business Books Summaries may be what you have been looking for ever since you discovered CliffsNotes® in high school. Subtitled “Timely Wisdom in a Time-Saving Format,” this online resource offers summaries of business books you wish you had the time to read.

The folks at select and read 1,000 business books a year so that you can get the key concepts in just forty-five minutes without reading any. Here is how it works: when you subscribe, you receive twenty-four summaries every month, in the form of forty-five-minute CDs and MP3s, as well as PDFs. In addition, you can browse the library and purchase from a rich collection of audios or transcripts. Topics include Economics and Finance, Entrepreneurial Skills, Human Dimension, Innovation and Creativity, Leadership, Personal Effectiveness, Sales and Marketing, Smarter Investing and Visions of the Future.

Users comment that the summaries also help them decide whether to read the book itself, and if they have already read a book, the summary provides an excellent overview and refresher. Authors point out that the summaries of their books are excellent at capturing the essence of their teachings.

“A valuable tool,” says Fast Company. “Top Choice in Business Books Summaries!” says The Wall Street Journal. “You’ll love it!” says Fortune.

“Check it out!” says Networking Times.