Teaching People Kindness and Compassion to Animals, Each Other and our Planet.
Teaching People Kindness and Compassion to Animals, Each Other and our Planet.

The Inside Scoop: Erika in Tennessee

Like most of us here at the Gentle Barn, I discovered this amazing organization on Facebook. I would sit on my couch, tears streaming down my face, as I’d read about the heartbreaking and inspiring stories of animal rescue and rehabilitation. I shared these stories with anyone who would listen, including my husband, Jimmy. A fellow animal lover, Jimmy, shared my excitement about the Gentle Barn and we decided that taking a trip out to California was another item on our ‘bucket list’. When it was announced that the Gentle Barn was opening its second location in Knoxville, TN, I was shocked. I couldn’t believe that the nonprofit organization that touched my heart so deeply was going to be 10 minutes from my house. Jimmy and I bought our tickets and visited the new Gentle Barn Tennessee in June 2015. It was such a wonderful feeling meeting the animals that I’d read about on Facebook. And then I met Ellie. I was star struck! The woman that I’d admired from a distance was now autographing her book for me and having her picture taken on my cell phone! I knew immediately that I needed to be a part of this worthwhile cause.

So 8 months later, I’m not only part of an incredible organization but a member of a family who shares an unending passion for animals. The joy I feel when I’m at the barn is unlike anything I’ve ever felt. The volunteers are the most positive, compassionate, giving people I’ve ever met. And the animals fill my soul with their resilience, forgiveness, and love. Whether I’m working a midweek barn shift, tending to the piggies on a Saturday, or attending an advisory board meeting, I feel so grateful for the Gentle Barn.


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Spotlight Sponsor of the Month

At Tomato Joe’s, we’ve had the privilege of seeing the bounty of Ellie and Jay’s important work blossom over the
years and we’re as excited as ever to watch their heart-warming story continue. We discovered The Gentle Barn
years ago when local food developer Angel McNall was working with our newly opened pizza shop developing her
amazing Vegan cheese that would ultimately become known to all as Follow Your Heart Mozzarella. After we
introduced the first Vegan pizza in SCV, we really had to fight hard to keep that dream going. It was the Gentle
Barn’s support and partnership that gave us the impetus to keep the dream alive in those challenging early days.
Ellie and Jay are such passionate and committed souls, and their mission is unequivocally improving our World,
one beautiful creature at a time! We are most proud sponsors and friends of The Gentle Barn.
“Tomato Joe” Brown,
Long Time SCV Peep & Founder
Tomato Joe’s Pizza & Taps Restaurant, Canyon Country

Tomato Joe’s offers a variety of delicious vegan options for pizza, pasta, salads, sandwiches, and appetizers.