Members of Lehighton Brownie Troop 3682 realize just how important they are to people who are hungry.

The girls filled cartons with coins for Heifer International, a project which provides gifts of livestock and agricultural training to millions of families who struggle daily for reliable sources of food and income. Each girl collected donations from family members to raise funds for the cause.

The project began in 1944 and has helped 12 million families through the training in livestock development and livestock gifts that multiply.

"I'm not sure if we're buying a few chickens or what we have funds for, but the goal is that they help pass it on," said Barbara Ahner, troop leader.

Every gift of an animal provides direct benefits such as milk, eggs, wool, fertilizer, as well as indirect benefits that increase family incomes for better housing, nutrition, health care and school fees for children, especially girls.

When recipients pass on the gift of their offspring to others, it helps them in an ever-widening circle of help and hope. Through the program, Heifer provides 28 types of animals to families in need in more than 50 countries, including the United States.

Each girl collected donations from family members to help raise funds for the cause.