Posted on Jun 22, 2015
By Ellie Laks, Founder of The Gentle Barn
When I visited the Gentle Barn for the first time, I knew almost immediately that I wanted to volunteer. I filled out my volunteer application on the spot. Everyone that worked there was very friendly and welcoming. I loved that they rescued animals, and that as a volunteer I would be able to work directly with these animals.
What I didn't realize was that the Gentle Barn does so much more than just rescue animals. They help heal the animals' mind, body and spirit. Then those animals help other animals and people heal. What happens here is magical.
Volunteering at The Gentle Barn has given me the opportunity to help both animals and people. I love being around the animals and working with them. I have seen angry and scared animals learn to trust and accept love. Most animals are rescued from severe neglect or abuse. I have seen abuse survivors relate to some of the animal's stories, and realize that the past does not define who you are. This is a place that is safe for everyone, people and animals.
I have helped care for sick animals, and some of them have recovered and some of them passed away. But they got to live surrounded by love and they got to truly experience love and freedom at The Gentle Barn.
I have also started volunteering on Thanksgiving, for the all vegan dinner/ fundraiser. I get to meet other vegans and have a cruelty free Thanksgiving! We even feed the rescued turkeys pie!
The staff and volunteers have become like family to me. The Gentle Barn truly is the happiest place on earth, and I am so grateful that I get to be a part of the healing that happens here.