Posted on Nov 06, 2015
I’ve been an animal lover and advocate for as long as I can remember and, luckily, discovered The Gentle Barn Los Angeles several years ago. A series of challenging situations brought my partner, Jody, and I to Tennessee 14 months ago. I was in a bad car accident and continue to suffer from a TBI which causes constant double/rotating vision and vertigo, while Jody is recovering from Stage 3 breast cancer. We moved to Knoxville to be closer to her family and to continue to heal. I was so excited and frankly, blown away, when I found out The Gentle Barn was opening here. Volunteering at the Barn has been life-changing. Although I've been a vegetarian since childhood, I was finally able to make the leap to 100% vegan!! I have also found a beautiful family of like-minded people here who are dedicated to helping animals and supportive of my new vegan lifestyle. It is so refreshing to be with people who live their values. The most fullfilling and rewarding part of volunteering has been getting to know the rescued animals on a personal level. Each are such unique individuals. Many are disabled but they aren't defined by their disabilities. They live in the present and have learned to trust again. Witnessing their trust and feeling the reciprocal love has been healing for me. Volunteering has seriously been a "dream come true".