Dozens of goats heading to Haiti

Published 6:20 pm Saturday, December 10, 2016

The song may go “I want a hippopotamus for Christmas,” but families outside the country will get a different animal this Christmas thanks to a local church.

The Mission Friends class of 4- and 5-year olds at First Baptist Church Vicksburg started gathering donations to buy goats for Haiti. The project is through But God Ministries in Thoman, Haiti, and was led locally by church member Jessica Green.

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“It was just the Mission Friends class at first at church. We were thinking maybe these kids will help us raise $50 for one goat, but we went ahead and extended it out to the church to see if they wanted to help out,” Green said.

The entire church got behind the project and raised enough money to supply 50 goats. At $50 a piece, the church raised $2,500 for the project.

With a little help from New Zion Baptist in Crystal Springs, Green’s hometown church, the total came to 60 goats that will be sent to Haiti.

“It really took off. We were really hoping for one or two goats just to help in a very practical way,” Green said.

She felt giving goats was a more substantial way to give back because she said money is gone after it is spent, but goats can continually help the families over time as they build up a herd. Green was told goats are easy to maintain, don’t really requiring fencing or barns and will eat grass.

“The pastor knows the families that are most in need, and he decided who gets the goats basically based on what they need,” Green said.

Because of Hurricane Matthew that hit the island just a couple month ago, families are in need of the goats now more than ever. Goats are needed in particular because they are very beneficial to the people of Haiti for multiple purposes.

“After the hurricane that came through a few months ago, a lot of their livestock was lost, and goats is something that they all use as livelihood like cheese and milk,” Green said. “That was one thing most of the families there depended on to live, and they didn’t have any more.”

Over the month is took for the church to raise the money, she said the children who started the project learned about the families in Haiti and were taught that not all moms and dads can go to the grocery store to buy food.

“Almost all of them love chocolate milk, and they know momma goes to the store to get it, but that’s not how everybody lives,” Green said, although a few of the students still think the goats are coming to Vicksburg.

Green said there are multiple ways to give through either from yourself or in honor of someone else.

“They have it set up to where you can buy a goat, buy a chicken and then also where you can sponsor a child if you want to,” she said.