Project aims to raise funds to give families livestock

For the Rev. Angela Kaufman, minister to TCU, a hive of bees was one of the best wedding gifts she said she received. Nine months ago at Kaufman’s wedding, social work professor Tracy Dietz donated a hive of honey bees in Kaufman’s name to Heifer International, a non-profit organization.

Kaufman said Heifer International appealed to her because it is not just about providing temporary relief to people in need, but it is also about creating sustainable development.

Kaufman said when student activist Kelly Rand, a social work and religion major, approached her about creating a fundraising project for Heifer International in October, she fully supported the project.

The result is the TCU Ark Project, an effort by students and faculty to raise $5,000 in October for Heifer International.

The money from the fundraiser will go toward purchasing what the organization refers to as an “ark,” a select combination of 15 types of animals, according to

Part of Heifer International’s strategy is to provide families in developing communities with livestock and training on how to use livestock to become economically self-sufficient, according to the Web site.

“It’s an organization that has been in existence for more than six decades, working around the world to end hunger and poverty and care for the earth,” said Maria Franco Tapia, Heifer International’s Central Regional community relations coordinator for Colorado, New Mexico and Texas.

Foster Hall resident assistant Ryan Motter said his wing will be raising $300 to purchase two llamas for the ark, which he said should happen by Oct. 31.

Motter said he, with the help of the other 34 residents in his wing, has already decided to name the llamas Phil and Lois.

“Each resident would have to contribute $8.50 for us to buy Phil and Lois,” Motter said. “That’s roughly the price of a burrito at Chipotle, so there’s no reason we shouldn’t be able to raise the money.”

Fundraising plans also include a benefit concert featuring local bands Vagabond King, Red Tape and Get Well at 10 p.m. Thursday at the Black Dog Tavern.

TCU anthropology major Adam Gamwell, the lead singer and keyboard player for Vagabond King, said he estimates the concert could raise around $2,000 based on results of past benefit concerts his band has been involved in.

“I’d love to raise $2,000,” Gamwell said. “There are probably 300 people who know about the concert right now, so it’s definitely possible.”

Kaufman said St. Michael’s Lutheran Church has contributed $500 to the Ark Project, which will go toward purchasing one of two heifers.

Tapia said the $5,000 will go toward buying an ark of animals, which Hiefer International will give to a family they think needs it most.

The Ark Project is part of the Heal Hunger Campaign, a year-long effort by the University Ministries to organize at least one event or project every month.The Ark Project is the undertaking for October, but reaching the goal of $5,000 could last into mid-November, Kaufman said.