1,430 miles and a lotta livestock — from a retirement community to a community across the globe

The tenants of Landsmeer Ridge Retirement Community in Orange City recently completed a 2-pronged project. One prong was for themselves – challenging themselves to do regular walking to stay active this winter. The other prong was to financially support a worthy project.
Because Orange City is located in an agricultural area, the project chosen was Heifer International. Headquartered in Little Rock, AR, the mission of Heifer Project International is that of working to eradicate poverty and hunger by training people in sustainable farming, helping farmers gain access to markets and by empowering women. It distributes animals, and does values-based and agricultural training, around the world.
From January 11 – March 11, 2019, Landsmeer Ridge tenants used pedometers to keep track of their steps. They walked a total of 1,430 miles. Orange City Area Health Foundation had committed to a per-mile donation. This, along with several cash donations, raised $1,230.29 for Heifer Project. These funds make it possible to purchase a heifer, llama, alpaca, pig, sheep, rabbits, honeybees, two flocks of chickens, two flocks of ducks, and a flock of geese.
Six tenants walked over 50 miles each over the two month period; four walked over 100 miles each, and one tenant walked over 200 miles!
Residents summed up their thoughts about the project this way:
“It was fun! It gave us a good reason to get out and walk besides just for our own health.” – Gladys Greving
“It was motivating – knowing it was going to a good cause.” – Phyllis Vander Werff
“This project exceeded all expectations,” reported Nichelle De Jager, Activity Coordinator at Landsmeer Ridge. “The first goal was to encourage tenants to walk. The second was to be able to purchase a heifer — and we definitely succeeded at that. The fact that we raised enough to purchase such a wide variety of animals was simply inspiring. Sometimes the public thinks older folks no longer care to involve themselves in the world. This is thrilling proof of the contrary!”