HUFFINGTON POST

Giving Back: How You And The HuffPost World Community Can Help Struggling Families

Today, as HuffPost and AOL unite to launch the Huffington Post Media Group, we're celebrating by making a statement about the importance of giving back and helping others.

Led by HuffPost Impact -- The Huffington Post's section devoted to service, causes, and volunteering -- every HuffPost section is featuring a group or individual who is taking action and inspiring others during these challenging times. Like the rest of the world, our hearts and minds are also focused on Japan, and we've created a resource page for everyone wishing to support the emergency relief efforts.

And we're thrilled to announce that Biz Stone, co-founder of Twitter, is joining the Huffington Post Media Group as Strategic Adviser For Social Impact. Stone will help the company to create innovative social impact and cause-based initiatives.

AOL/Huffington Post Media Group has also issued a 30-day Service Challenge to every one of its employees worldwide, encouraging them to give their time to non-profits in their local communities and organizing volunteer events in 16 cities.

We hope you'll join us in utilizing the power of online journalism to help people get involved, work together, and bring about real change.

Heifer International

Heifer International was founded after Dan West, a relief worker in 1939 during the Spanish Civil War, realized that simply providing emergency aid would never be enough to end world hunger. The group began sending dairy cattle to Puerto Rico in 1944, and has since expanded around the globe, operating in more than 50 countries.

The idea behind the organization is that by providing livestock to families in need -- be they water buffalo, cows, chickens, goats, or whatever is needed by the local community -- a family can provide food for themselves and eventually use excess milk, eggs, labor, and other benefits provided by the animal to increase their income and build a better life. Heifer not only provides livestock, but also the training and resources needed to effectively and sustainably manage the donated animals.

Why give to Heifer International? From the beginning, the group has focused on long-term solutions, sustainable development, and increasing empowerment through a "sharing the gift" approach. Each family that receives livestock pledges to give at least one of the animal's offspring to another local family in need, thereby creating a web of empowerment throughout the community. The gift of one goat or a flock of chickens increases exponentially as the animals reproduce and are shared.

Named one of the top ten trusted non-profits in America, the group has also been praised by New York Times columnist Nick Kristof and was awarded three stars by Charity Navigator.

Click here to support one of Heifer International's many programs, including building sustainable food systems in Honduras, supporting an orphanage in Latvia, and empowering women in India through community action. Whatever cause you choose, you'll be providing a lifeline of hope to a family in need, and beginning a process of empowerment that can touch dozens of lives.

Before you start, here's a video explaining Heifer International's goals and methods: