Today I was backstage at The Bonnie Hunt Show with Mary-Louise Parker sharing peanut brittle baked by her lovely sister Sage, a traditional family treat they call “Christmas Crack” for its addictive qualities. Mary-Louise’s family also shares another holiday tradition: they love to exchange alternative gifts from Heifer International.
I had worked with the excellent production team at the Bonnie Hunt Show on a past Heifer promotion with Jane Kaczmarek, so when I called this year to see if they would be interested in telling the story of Heifer’s unique holiday gifts, the answer was “definitely.” When I called Mary-Louise to see if she would be the messenger she got on a plane, and here we are.
And did I mention the alpaca sharing the green room with us? Heifer provides farm animals and training in sustainable agriculture to hungry families, so they have food and a source of income. Every family agrees to pass on the gift, so when their animal gives birth they give that baby animal and the training to another needy family. They have helped over 60 million people on the path to self reliance, no wonder Mary-Louise and so many others have made Heifer part of their family’s holiday tradition.