There were many new changes I was going to include in the post for the farm this month, but I decided instead to post this amazing story written by the mother of a true gift of a child. This story really needs no intro other than to say that all the participants are neighbors to the farm and have supported us from the beginning. This act by this beautiful ten-year old, and the reactions it generated from the adults around her is amazing and truly heart warming. Maddie has touched our hearts and has inspired us to never give up on our mission. THANK YOU MADISON. Till next month, enjoy….
Our daughter, Madison, turned 10 on January 22.
Madison came to us and said that several of her friends were asking her what she wanted for her birthday. She said that she really did not need or want anything because she received everything she wanted for Christmas. We asked her what she had in mind. She said she would ask her friends to donate the money they would have spent on her birthday gift to the Freedom Farm for Veterans. She knew that the animals would benefit.
So Maddie had her birthday party and raised $250.00 from the generosity of her wonderful friends from Kenosha Montessori School and Scamps Gymnastics. Last Saturday Maddie was so very excited to deliver that check to John at the farm.
Later that Saturday evening, we received a call from a lady named Cassandra. She explained she had heard of Maddie’s donation earlier that day and wanted to reward Madison with a check for $250 for her to spend on herself. We explained that was very generous however that we could not accept such a lofty gift. So Cassandra gave her the option to keep some, or donate some to the farm. Maddie, without hesitation, immediately chose to donate the money to the farm. On Sunday we met Cassandra in person and she came to the farm with us to present John with the generous donation.
Since that day the blessings continue to multiply. On Sunday afternoon we went to complete our taxes and Cathy Martin of Martin Tax Service in Kenosha generously told us to have Madison donate what she would have charged us to complete our taxes to the farm. Then that same day while my husband was at work, Captain Maccari of the Kenosha Police Department generously donated money to the farm and a beautiful challenge coin for Madison. Yesterday Madison’s Godmother also made a donation.
It is truly amazing how one random act of generosity from a ten-year old child has grown into almost $700 in contributions for the Freedom Farm. Madison loves her trips to the farm and we can only hope that her act of kindness continues to inspire others to help support the farm.
ZB News 3-19-15 page A8
We mentioned in our Thanksgiving message that we’re trying to help rehab a home for two brothers who are disabled as a result of their service. The Zion Benton News featured a story on this project in their Christmas edition. We’ve received permission to post this article, below.
Season’s Greetings from the Freedom Farm
This marks the end of another growing season on the farm, and a mighty productive one at that. With the help of our many volunteers and the kids from Kids Rank, we donated some 1500 lbs of produce to local food pantries, and almost as much was taken home by our veteran and military families. The pumpkins were also taken home by our guests in time for Halloween, and we’re still eating the squash.
We saw many new faces on the farm this year. Many of our guests suffer from PTSD, and found the farm a friendly place to visit. Some of our guests really became attached to our horses, and we recruited a senior from Kids Rank to help with the exercise riding of ‘lil Girl and Beau. Sara has been doing a wonderful job with them, and they look forward to her weekly visits.
We’ve been awarded a grant from the Home Depot Foundation in the amount of $23,200. This grant will be used to repair a family dwelling for two of our heroes. These brothers joined to protect and serve, and both ended up disabled due to their time in service. With the help of The Home Depot Foundation they will have the bathrooms refurbished and the kitchen replaced in their town home, which they share with their mother, sister and younger brother. We will keep you updated as the project gets under way. Hopefully, completion will be before Christmas.
The coffee pot is always on, so if you’re in the area stop by for a cup!
We at the Freedom Farm would like to offer our thanks to all our veterans and their families for their service and sacrifice on this Veterans Day. We try to do our best to make every day Veterans Day, but on this occasion that’s set aside for the entire nation to stop and remember, we add our own appreciation to that of all American citizens.
We hope all vets and their families know how much we all value their efforts, on behalf of a grateful county.
The partnership between the Freedom Farm and Kids Rank was featured recently by NBC 5 Chicago. Individually, our organizations provide service to our communities in many ways, but together we’re able to offer services we can’t achieve alone. Thanks to all our volunteers! Good job!
These last couple of months have been busy, busy, busy. Kids rank stepped up with a large group to help us get the gardens in and now they are producing like mad. Great job!
We haven’t had the produce to deliver to our local food pantries, as we have in past seasons, due to the demand from our veterans and their families that are in need. We wish we had enough for everyone, but as long as it doesn’t go to waste, we’re glad that someone is benefitting.
‘Lil Girl and Beau have had many visitors throughout the summer; they’ve helped some of our PTSD veterans start the healing process. Horses have a special way of connecting with those who need a friend. As one veteran puts it, they “make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.” I’ve never had it described that way before, but that’s exactly the kind of reaction we’re looking for. It’s a good start for those who feel alone and in need of a friend.
August plans to be just another busy month, with NBC coming out next week to film a special “Kids Rank Down on The farm”. This should be exciting for the kids and their families. Then the Vista Seniors will be having a picnic at the farm on the 23rd. They expect their turnout at around 100, and we’re hoping for good weather for them.
Home Depot will be donating four new picnic tables, a permanent structure for veterans supplies, and will be bringing out the new Kids Rank Clubhouse. Thanks to Mitch Moore and all the Home Depot staff for helping build the farm.
A special thanks goes out to First Bank of Highland Park for featuring us on the Ruth Fell Wander Community Art Wall. Marty Cornett, Don Guzan, and the staff from the bank did a super job!
Have a safe August, and stop by the farm for a cup of coffee. The gate is always open!