Heifer International Foundation
Perennials gladden the hearts of gardeners because they last indefinitely and increase in size and value. Likewise, "volunteer" plants spring up and add unexpected beauty to a garden. Heifer International Foundation takes delight in a bouquet of hardy perennials who are also valued volunteers.
Richard and Susan Eyre have a passion for seeing things grow year after year. They have applied this principle to their support of Heifer International Foundation and to Foxwillow Pines Nursery, which they began in 1988. Together, they have established one of the world's largest selections of rare trees, dwarf conifers, and unusual plants.
Blessed in their business, "hey are passing on the gift" by establishing a Bolivia Endowment through Heifer International Foundation. Rich gives credit to his mother, Margaret, for planting the seed that would one day establish their endowment. "Like many parents, she loaned me the money to give me my start in business," says Richard, "and when people started paying me for my trees and plants, I would just have them make the checks out to her. Instead of keeping the money, she suggested that we pass them on to Heifer Project."
Margaret also started a "Hostas for Heifer" project. Using the principle of "multiplication by division," each spring she sits beneath her willow tree and digs up and divides the hostas that have multiplied. She sells the new plants to support the ongoing work of Heifer Foundation.
In the 1960's, Richard was a Peace Corps volunteer in Bolivia. He discovered Heifer Project there during a joint agriculture program with the Peace Corps. Seeing firsthand the value of Heifer Project's work had a lasting impact. All the money contributed to the Eyres' Bolivia Endowment will go directly to existing and future HPI Bolivia programs. The amount will be added over and above what Heifer Foundation already designates annually to Heifer Project's ongoing international programs.
Last March, visitors to Richard and Susan's exhibit at the Chicago Flower and Garden Show got more than a display of nature's beauty - they also got a shower of Heifer Project literature and an opportunity to buy miniature trees and Margaret's hostas. Sales reached $10,200, more than enough to start the Bolivia Endowment. In July, the Eyres hosted a Bolivia Peace Corps alumni reunion at Foxwillow. Fiesta Bolivia raised an additional $7,000 for Heifer Project.
Like the perennials they grow, each year the Eyres' Endowment will blossom, returning more to the projects within the country and continuing to grow indefinitely in their name. Country Endowments are a great way to honor a loved one, or establish a long-lasting gift for a place or people that have a special meaning to you.
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