RED Hearts: Heifer International

RED Hearts are guests posts on I Heart Daily from the authors of RED: Teenage girls in America write on what fires up their lives today. RED Hearts will be posting every Thursday, Saturday and Sunday through February. Today's RED Hearts post is from Jocelyn Pearce, 17, of Asheville, NC, who writes about gifts that can create change:

Happy Valentine’s Day! Some of us are still agonizing about what to get our significant others, and we all want to find cute gifts for our friends. We're also passionate about changing the world. But what, you ask, does that have to do with this upcoming holiday? Not much, unless you're shopping at Heifer International!

You can get a much more meaningful gift than a scarf or something here--and it's especially appropriate if your friend/boyfriend/girlfriend is the anti-consumerist, anti-Hallmark holiday type but you still want to celebrate. Or if you both just want to change the world.

Instead of a romantic dinner that lasts one night, you can choose from a range of livestock that keeps on giving to people in need all over the world. For $20, as much as it'd cost you to go to the movies (complete with popcorn and a Coke), you can provide a family, from Cameroon to the Caribbean, with a flock of geese or chickens or ducks--the awkward birds--from your lovably geeky boyfriend. A good hen can lay up to 200 eggs a year, plenty for a hungry family to eat, share, or sell.

If you've got a little more cash to spare, say, $60, you get a trio of rabbits. You know how quickly those multiply, and they also happen to be a great gift to give in honor of your best friend if she's a little down about not having a guy on Valentine's Day. Really, who isn't cheered up by rabbits? Or for just $10, you can purchase a share of a larger animal, like a llama or a goat.

You also get a cool card (or e-card if you prefer--save the trees, too!) and those long-lasting warm fuzzy feelings that come with doing something good for the world, rather the short sensation of being uncomfortably full from your fancy meal.

RED Hearts guest poster Jocelyn Pearce is an author of RED: Teenage girls in America write on what fires up their lives today, which was recently published in paperback.