Five Animals That Bring Joy to Families in Need

December 15, 2015 • Worldwide

The gift of one goat or chicken helps break the cycle of poverty

Tom's cow named Joy from our Western Uganda Livestock Program

Tom’s cow named Joy from our Uganda Livestock Program

Cows in Uganda are typically named for their color. But when Tom received a cow from Samaritan’s Purse, he named her for what she brought to his family—Joy.

“I picked that name because I enjoy its milk, and I wanted it to be different from other common names,” he explained.

Tom’s family now has access to fresh milk and extra income from breeding their cow and selling the offspring—two basic benefits that can make a big difference for a struggling family.

You can give joy to a family across the world this Christmas in the form of a cow, sheep, chicken, or other animal.

View all of our Animals & Agriculture giving opportunities.

Learn more about the kinds of animals you can choose from:

Dairy Animals

A dairy goat or cow can be a blessing for a family suffering from malnutrition and poverty. These hardy creatures will eat just about anything and can supply a gallon of fresh milk a day. That’s plenty to drink with some left over to make cheese, yogurt, or butter. Surplus dairy products can be sold at market. For a family in Kenya, a goat means nutritious milk for the children and a source of income to pay for essentials like medicine and schooling.

Kenya, Kwale Livestock & ministry

Oxen and Draft Animals

Farmers in developing countries often lack mechanized equipment to plant and harvest their crops, so they rely on draft animals like oxen and donkeys. Such sturdy animals can also pull carts, transporting farm products to market in areas where paved roads are virtually non-existent. We have provided oxen in Vietnam, donkeys in Kenya, and other working animals to help ease the burden for struggling families.

1418VN Vietnam Projects

Chickens and Poultry

Chickens are truly a gift that keeps on giving. A small flock can produce hundreds of eggs each year—supplying a poor family with an ongoing source of nutrition, plus eggs left over to sell. Samaritan’s Purse works with local village leaders and churches worldwide to furnish chickens or ducks and help families learn how to raise them properly. In Cambodian villages near the border with Thailand, giving families a profitable livelihood like chicken raising can make them less susceptible to human trafficking.



Millions of villagers around the world still rely on sheep for highly nutritious milk, warm wool, and lambs to sell. From Latin America to Africa to Asia, Samaritan’s Purse has provided thousands of sheep to families in need. We also help teach them how to vaccinate, feed, and care for their flock.

1455HN Honduras Projects


A fish pond can make the difference between poverty and prosperity for a village. Fresh fish supply much-needed protein for malnourished families, and any extra can be sold to pay for education or healthcare. Samaritan’s Purse has established fishing projects in rural communities in Niger and other places around the globe. We have also helped thousands of fishermen provide for their families by supplying them with boats, nets, and business training.


Creating a Cycle of Generosity

One last bit of good news: your gift of one animal doesn’t end there. Most of our farm projects have a “pay-it-forward” component where families give one of their animal’s first offspring to another needy family in their community. Thus, a cycle of generosity is created. The blessing of one goat or sheep multiplies and entire villages can be transformed.

View all of our Animals & Agriculture giving opportunities.