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The "Gift of an Ark" was the Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling Chapel Protestant Lenten Commitment Challenge for 2012.

This was a five-week program that called attention to Heifer International, an organization whose mission is to work with communities to end hunger and poverty, and care for the Earth. They do this by giving families livestock, a source of food and income, and then ensuring that these families pass on the gift by sharing their animals' offspring, along with knowledge and skills to care for the animals.

Sheep, for example, provide families with high-quality wool to weave into clothes or sell for income, and their milk is rich and nutritious.

The JBAB Chapel Protestant Community Challenge kicked off Feb. 26 with a goal of collecting $5,000 for one Gift Ark. "Ark Banks" were distributed along with calendars that offered daily activities for adding to the bank. Each week, a different animal was featured, along with an explanation about how the animal could help a family become self-sufficient.

The challenge concluded April 1, Palm Sunday, with the collection of donations totaling $7,779--enough to fill not only one Gift Ark, but half of a second ark for the world's poor and hungry. Much appreciation is given to all who helped make our challenge a reality.