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CHICKENS FOR A CAUSE Tali Kalmans, an eighth grader at The Kinkaid School, sells her backyard chickens’ eggs to raise money for a Tanzanian child’s education.
In anticipation of my two older sisters leaving for college, I started to get worried. We are all really close, they were leaving me home alone with my parents, and I was not excited about all the attention. So, after first asking to attend boarding school (an emphatic no) or getting a dog (another no), I finally asked for chickens. Amazingly, my parents said yes!
For my big Chanukah gift, we had a chicken coop built – thanks to Chicken Mike (Michael Graham, The Garden Hen). Then on Black Friday, we brought home our 3-month-old chickens. For the record, Bellaire allows hens but not roosters (too noisy). We found out the hard way that sometimes it is hard to identify their gender properly – sorry, Omelette!
I had researched egg colors and had chosen different breeds based on egg color. And, of course, I named all the chickens. About a month ago, Cloudy, Oreo, RBG, Dixie and Little Red began laying eggs! They each lay approximately between five and six eggs a week. It is so fun to open up the back of the coop and see what gifts are there for me in their nesting boxes.
Recently, I attended J-Serve, a day of service organized at the Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center. Our speaker was former Bellaire resident Mandy Stein, who founded Neema International (neemainternational.org) when she graduated from The University of Texas. Neema runs an orphanage and school in Tanzania to provide safety, care and a quality education for impoverished children. Her message to the hundreds of teens in attendance was that one person can make a difference and that we should each find a way to impact our world positively.
I was so inspired by Mandy, and knew how I could help. I set up Eggs for Education on Instagram (eggsforeducation) and began selling my chickens’ eggs to sponsor a Tanzanian child’s education. I’ve made a commitment of $100 per month, and the community’s response has been great! I look forward to establishing a long-term relationship with the students of Neema and watching them grow and learn. And I’m also enjoying my chickens – they’re not the same as older sisters, but they are still pretty fun.
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