The goats that solved two problems at one time

Kim McKinney
Photo by Christian Englmeier on Unsplash

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world: indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” — Margaret Mead

I’m on the Missions Board of a quite unique church. It’s not a large church, and you wouldn’t call it very traditional either. Most would agree we’re – different.

Twenty percent of our church’s budget goes to missions. We favor local missions, and those missions in other countries we support are typically those that serve the physical needs of people.

We don’t just send out money. We try to meet true needs in many different ways. Most of our people are active in our community politically, socially, and economically.

We live in a farming community. A church member of one of our farming families had a conversation with her neighbor.

That neighbor typically sells her goat meat at local farmer markets and due to COVID-19 had been unable to attend this year. She needed to show a profit of at least $1,000 to qualify her farm for farm use tax (a tax that is considerably less than other property tax and important for farmers, especially in these times.)

The sale of four goats at a discount would put her over that magic number. She got the idea if four churches could each buy a goat, the meat from those goats could go to local food banks.

Our member came to the head of our mission board and asked if we would consider helping.

“Help a local farmer, help feed the hungry,” she said.

I may have eaten goat meat on some of my travels, but didn’t remember for sure and wasn’t sure how much appeal it would have at the food bank. We checked with a local food bank we support and they said they had plenty of people who would welcome the idea of goat meat.

I Googled and learned a lot about its nutritional benefits. I was impressed.

We took a vote and there was no dissension. The ayes had it.

Our small church bought all four goats.

They were butchered and the meat sent to the food bank. All of it was accepted by local families in need.

Our farmer has met the basic requirement to allow her to continue the business she loves in better times or through a different distribution method.

As we like to say, “the church has left the building.” I think God is pleased. This is true religion. Looking after people with needs.

There are so many needs in the world right now. Pay attention when you hear needs. What extra resources do you have to give and how can you stretch them to help as many people as possible? Regardless of your income level, you can be a philanthropist. Remember it’s not all about money. Be creative. Be on the lookout for ways you can match up needs and double your giving.

"You can give without loving, but you can never love without giving." - Robert Louis Stevenson

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I love stories of people and places and enjoy telling these stories. I live in my hometown of Statesville, NC, in the Charlotte area, and love to show how lovely life is here. More is going on than may meet the eye. I also enjoy expanding throughout North Carolina to show the places and activities and people that make me believe life is fascinating and travel as much as I can, so write about that, too. I also have a passion for justice and a special interest in accessible healthcare, including treatment for drug and alcohol dependency. I am a woman of faith, joy, laughter, adventure, and live life to the full. Follow me on Twitter at or my blog or

Statesville, NC

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