A Herd of Sheep, a Lifetime of Hope

For her class community service project, adoptee Anna Hebert launches a fundraising campaign for impoverished families in Mongolia — and raises enough to provide a herd of sheep and goats for three families!

My name is Anna Hebert, and I am currently in 11th grade at a public charter school in Southern California. I was born in a small province in China called Hunan and adopted through Holt as a baby. I have always loved helping out those who are less fortunate than I am.

This whole project started because my school has a graduation requirement to do a community service project. After learning about this graduation requirement in seventh grade, I was really excited to tackle a project that would change the lives of others in a positive way.

A child in Mongolia holds a sheep she and her family received as a result of Anna's fundraising project!
A child in Mongolia holds a sheep she and her family received as a result of Anna’s fundraising project!

I would constantly ask my mom, “Mom, when can I start working on my project?” She would always tell me, “Wait until the summer before your junior year. You have a few years until then.”

One of the three families who received a herd of sheep and goats.
One of the three families who received a herd of sheep and goats.

When I was finally able to start working on my project, I did not know what exactly I wanted to do. I knew for sure that I wanted to partner with Holt International because of the connection it has to my past. My mom adopted both me and my older sister through Holt, and I have cousins and friends who are also Holt adoptees. With the help of Holt staff, I began to research the most imminent needs of various countries. I really wanted to make a real and lasting difference in someone’s life since it has always been a dream of mine.

While researching, I learned that many people in Mongolia live in poverty. I decided that raising money to purchase livestock would definitely make a lasting financial difference in the lives of families living in poverty in Mongolia. I began a letter-writing campaign asking family and friends to donate. I also collected recyclables and put the refunds toward my goal of buying livestock for families. By the end of my project, I was able to raise $3,455!

With the help of the Holt Mongolia team, three families were carefully chosen to receive the gift of an entire herd of sheep and goats. I was so excited because I knew this would provide these families with income, milk, cashmere wool, and fertilizer for crops. What I really love about this project is that it will help bring these three families and their children out of poverty — and possibly many more generations to come.

This lasting difference was what I was most excited about with this project. I know that this is just the beginning, and I hope that I can change the lives of many others in my future.

Anna Hebert | Holt Adoptee

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