Erik and Carla Schneider’s deep commitment to ending hunger and poverty has led them to auction off the symbol of their love, Carla’s diamond studded wedding ring, in hopes that others would be inspired as well.
The proceeds from the online Ebay auction will be used to continue Heifer International’s mission of ending hunger and poverty around the globe. Carla reached this decision late one night when she could not sleep because one thought kept repeating in her head: One child dies every five seconds due to hunger. Tears welled up in Carla’s eyes as she realized what she wanted to do to continue her family’s commitment to ending hunger.
“As soon as it came to me, I started crying because it felt so right,” Carla said.
The Schneiders are donors to Hope Equity, which is the new sustainable giving initiative established by Heifer Foundation, the charitable giving organization that supports the work of Heifer International. Through Hope Equity’s online social networking community, like-minded individuals, organizations and businesses can come together to “invest” in specific countries and causes to create their own “Portfolio of Change.”
Greg Spradlin, director of Hope Equity, said the Schneiders are a prime example of how people are now actively seeking out new and sustainable ways of making a difference in the world.
The winning bidder for the wedding ring will be personally involved with the proceeds of the auction, choosing exactly where the money goes through Hope Equity. The wedding ring will be auctioned off on Ebay through its non-profit fundraising arm, MissionFish, with the auction beginning November 1, and ending on the Schneider’s sixth anniversary, November 10.
Erik said they were drawn to Hope Equity because it was a more permanent way to support the work of Heifer International.
“With Hope Equity you can track the money you gave,” he said. “We really like that idea.”
Erik hopes their story can in some way serve as inspiration to others who have a passion for ending hunger and poverty.
“Years down the road somebody might come across something of value to them and think of what they could do with it (to help end hunger),” he said.
Ultimately, Carla sees the auctioning of her wedding ring as a parallel to Heifer’s mission of “passing on the gift.”
“Erik passed on the ring to me and now we are passing it on as a family to somebody else,” she said. “They will then pass it on to someone they love and the money spent on the ring will be passed on to others and then passed on to others.”
Heifer International, headquartered in Little Rock, Arkansas, was founded 60 years ago on a simple belief: ending hunger begins with giving people the means to feed themselves. Since 1944, Heifer has helped 7 million families — 38 million women, men, girls and boys — move toward greater self-reliance. Heifer Foundation was established in 1990 for the purpose of educating people about planned charitable giving and developing and managing an endowment to support the work of Heifer International.
The Foundation’s new initiative, Hope Equity, is a fresh approach to philanthropy that utilizes an online social networking community to create long-term, sustainable giving to end hunger and poverty while caring for the Earth.