I received a bizarre, recycled gift for Mother’s Day—a cowhide rug. Now, mind you, I already have one and love it. You can sweep it off or wash it down with a hose. And, as a born and bred Texan, why would I not have one?
This particular hide, however, is spooky because I have a picture of the bovine who donated the clothes off his back to make my office pure Texana and raise money for scholarships.
BACKSTORY OF THE BIZARRE RECYCLED GIFT
My oldest daughter attended a crawfish boil earlier in the year put on by LIPS (Ladies into Purchasing Stock) in Houston. This group is dedicated to raising money to support Texas youth in educational, agricultural, and artistic endeavors. They do this by purchasing stock in the junior market auctions—lamb and goat, steer, poultry, swine, and art—at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.
The hide was up for auction, so she bought it. Only later, after collecting her prize, bundled in a classy canvas tote, did she discover the sordid truth.
LIPS bought Lot 177 at the 2021 Steer Auction. Part of the benefit of being a donor is receiving the actual skin from the steer you bought! A picture of the young woman who raised the steer and her supporters was included on the thank you note. The hide even has a tag on it with the lot number clearly visible.
LIPS recycled the gift!
HISTORY OF THE BIZARRE RECYCLED GIFT GIVERS
The Rodeo started in 1932 and is big business in Houston. Scholarships are the goal:
“Each year, more than 800 scholarships are awarded to Texas students by the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo™. As one of the largest scholarship providers in the U.S., the Rodeo has presented more than 20,000 scholarships valued at $275 million since 1957.”
The teens who participate in the junior market are guaranteed a minimum amount of money from the auction. Monies collected over that amount are put into the educational fund. The young person can then use the money as they so choose.
Professionals love joining rodeo volunteer committees because they are a fabulous venue for networking. What could be more win-win than increasing your own business opportunities and helping raise money for scholarships?
You can check out some other interesting facts about the rodeo here.
WHERE’S THE BEEF OF THE BIZARRE RECYCLED GIFT?
Tracking down the beef isn’t easy, according to Emma Balter of the Houston Chronicle. Just because you buy the steer doesn’t mean you get the meat. You are offered a premium meat package and the animals are entered into the food chain.
Just think! You may have eaten Lot 177 for dinner!
FINAL THOUGHTS ON THE BIZARRE RECYCLED GIFT
My daughter thought the whole thing was eerie, too. She confessed that she would not have purchased the skin had she realized it included a picture of the animal.
It’s been in my office for a while, and I’m getting used to it. I’m so glad that I do not know what the young woman named her steer. Thankfully LOT 177 is cold and unpersonal, which suits me just fine.
What recycled gifts have you received?