One Year, One Woman … A Mission to Tell the World About Heifer International

One billion people are affected by hunger but behind the staggering number are the families who, if given the opportunity and resources, can change their lives to one of sustainability and self-reliance. Betty Londergan takes us on a global journey to meet and empathize with Heifer project families

At the age of 58, when most women’s dream of travel involves hot rock massages and an infinity pool, Betty Londergan is spending 80 hours a week in some of the poorest, most remote places on earth.

For 12 months of 2012, Betty is volunteering as the Global Blogging Ambassador for Heifer International and visiting 12 countries on 4 continents to write about hunger, poverty and Heifer’s mission to heal the earth. She’s crammed into more economy airline seats than she cares to remember, taught herself more photography tricks and software programs than she thought her brain could absorb, spent countless hours in front of her computer writing up stories of heartbreaking need and unbelievable courage, and is on a one-woman campaign to make her blog a blazing klieg light on the work of Heifer International.

She does have a history of making waves in the blogosphere. In her What Gives 365 daily blog in 2010, Betty gave away $100 a day to people, causes or organizations that she believed were making the world a better place. The blog was featured in Whole Living magazine, on Martha Stewart’s TV show, CNN, and was viewed over 300,000 times. As a Creative Director in advertising for 25 years, Betty knew the value of those eyeballs.

In August, 2011 she made a proposition to Pierre Ferrari, new CEO of Heifer International: she would volunteer a year of her time, writing and photography visiting Heifer projects around the world and share the experience with her blogging audience: mostly women of Boomer age who are Heifer’s largest target market. Ferrari loved the idea and before you could say, “Heifer 12 x 12,” Betty had structured a blog concept (12 countries in 12 months in 2012), developed a logo, got pricked with every foreign and tropical vaccine, migrated her readers over to the new blog, and was off and running.

As of June 1, Betty has visited Heifer projects in Guatemala, Haiti, Peru, China, Nepal and Cameroon. Her site has been viewed over 43,000 times by some 1,052 subscribers, 434 folks on twitter, and 454 on facebook. She has developed a Heifer 12 x12 facebook affinity page that was viewed 5,240 times in the last week alone, and her posts are now also featured on the Huffington Post and Vibrant Nation. She also posts new photos on facebook every day through her “Oh Snap!” feature.

Betty generously donates her time, talents and energy to this adventure all in an effort to ultimately benefit Heifer International project participants otherwise a trip of this scale and magnitude couldn’t be accomplished. Betty’s stories and photos are not simple or superficial, but deeply entrenched in exploring and explaining the roots and complexities of poverty, and what Heifer projects do to create sustainable, transformative change. They make readers understand Heifer’s work on a much deeper level. They make readers care. And that, as they say in advertising, is priceless.

More About This Charity




Volunteer of the Year


Betty Londergan for Heifer International


Heifer International’s mission is to end hunger and poverty and care for the Earth. With gifts of livestock and training Heifer International’s model of sustainable development demonstrates the power and potential of the smallholder farmer – the majority of them women


  • This Volunteer raised $1,535 through this Achievement
  • This Volunteer saw 43,000 visits to her blog; she gives copies of photos to families, often the only photos they have of themselves

Works In

Guatemala, Haiti, Peru, Nepal, China, Cameroon, Romania, Appalachia, Rwanda, Armenia, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malawi, Ecuador

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