Posted on Aug 05, 2016
By Ellie Laks, Founder of The Gentle Barn
Volunteering at the Gentle Barn started off as a way for me to complete some of my service hours for school and look good on college applications, but it has transformed into something much more. As I volunteered here, I met many amazing people and learned so many new things about myself and how some of my actions affected animals. Before I volunteered here, I never really cared or thought about how my choices affected another being’s life but after spending some time around the many animals and learning their stories, I have come to see that by what I choose to eat affects other animals like them. I would say my time volunteering here has led me to become a more empathetic person and realize how much I care for animals.
After I my finished my service hours, I started to volunteer because I enjoyed helping and caring for the various animals and meeting new people who had the same love of animals like I do. Whenever I am assigned to an animal, I enjoy telling that animal’s story and I feel as if I am that animal’s voice in the world. It also really makes me happy to meet people who volunteer their time and money for causes such as protecting the environment or helping a threatened species, this is probably my favorite reason for volunteering since I consider myself a staunch environmentalist and it’s nice to meet similar like-minded people.
To me, the Gentle Barn is a place where I can help animals that had a tougher life than I ever will and who were never really cared for until now. It is a place where people learn to respect animals and learn that they are not so different after all. It is a place where I can meet many peoples of various backgrounds who are all joined together by their love of the Earth’s creatures. All of these reasons are why I continue and will continue to donate my time at the Gentle Barn."