Posted on Sep 04, 2015
By Ellie Laks, Founder of The Gentle Barn
Many people think of us as an organization that helps animals, and that’s true, but did you know that we also help people? From September through June, we offer what we like to call A Peace Enhancement Program, which hosts at risk, inner-city, and, special needs kids who need a little unconditional love, hope, and inspiration.
We invite people from the inner-city, special needs classes, drug and alcohol rehab centers, domestic violence centers, war veterans, senior centers, foster homes, probation camps, and child and family centers to come out and cultivate self- awareness, hope for the future, and find themselves in the barnyard. Many of the kids we work with have had to grow up fast and take care of others. The experience at The Gentle Barn allows these children to escape their struggled lives, their violent pasts, their losses, and just have fun, become kids again, and know hope and inspiration from animals that have gone through the same stories of abuse and neglect. The animals serve as role models for the kids - modeling trust, forgiveness, and, second chances. The Gentle Barn is a circle of healing: we heal the animals, the animals heal the kids, and the kids grow up to be kinder to animals.
The agencies we work with cannot afford to pay for the program. So, we go into the community ourselves to get the groups sponsored. If you would like to make a lifelong difference to a child in need, as well as the animals at The Gentle Barn, please consider sponsoring a group of kids to come heal among the animals. It could be a school group, a special needs class, a children’s hospital, or anyone who needs some love and some hope.
Written by Ellie Laks
Founder, The Gentle Barn