Have you ever wanted to hug a cow, groom a horse, or rub a pig’s belly? If the answer is yes, then the Gentle Barn may be the place for you. Since it’s founding in 1999, the Gentle Barn has adopted abandoned and abused cows, horses, pigs, and peacocks.
The dedicated volunteers at the Gentle Barn work with children from inner-city foster homes and schools—allowing them to interact with the animals and enjoy a fun day at the barn. Ellie Laks and Jay Weiner—Co-Founders of the organization—both believe that in times of violence and danger in our world today, it is important to educate children to be kind and compassionate to all living beings. They hope to teach them to be accepting, which will help ensure a more peaceful future for the children and the world at large.
A visit to the Gentle Barn consists of caring for all the animals – an experience that heightens the sense of compassion and empathy.
Some animals are as big as 500 pounds— each and every one as sweet and gentle as anyone could imagine. One can feed the horses carrots, or brush the cows to help out on the farm. After one is done helping out with the animals, he/she can head over to grab a delicious treat from the 100% vegan snack stand.
The Gentle Barn also gives every visitor a chance to sponsor an animal by making a donation each month. The donation that one make goes towards the care of the animals. Many of them have been severely abused before arriving at the gentle barn and require lots of love.
This is an amazing community service opportunity because not only is it extremely beneficial to the animals, but also something that everyone can enjoy.
Featured Image: One of the animals at the Gentle Barn. Photographer: Helena Heslov ’16