By Sam Hofer
In 1999, a new kind of farm was created: A farm for good: A farm for change. A farm that would not only save the lives of abused four-legged creatures but also teach young two-legged creatures to be more kind to one another despite the differences on the outside. For Ellie Laks, the mission was simple; create a safe space for animals to live and play and to simultaneously create a destination for kids to learn about respecting each other.
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The first Gentle Barn was raised in 1999 by Ellie Laks in Tarzana, CA. As the small farm grew, his need for staff also grew. In 2002, Jay Weiner joined the Gentle Barn team and soon Laks and Weiner entered into an unbreakable bond of friendship that was fueled by similar upbringings and ideologies. The two soon moved out to a small one acre farm in the San Fernando Valley, CA. The following year the two moved the Gentle Barn to a huge six acre lot in Santa Clarita, CA, where they are currently located.
The Gentle Barn just celebrated it’s 15 years in 2014 and have been doing amazing things in the early months of 2015. Throughout the entire exsistence, the Gentle Barn has been a safe haven for over 170 abused and neglected animals and they have offered these creatures a safe place to live, play, eat and sleep. They have also provided them with medical care when needed.
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Not only is the Gentle Barn a place for animals, it’s also a place for children to learn more about living in harmony with one another through the healing power of animals. Laks has brought groups out from schools in the inner-city, group homes, mental care facilities and foster homes and have taken them to the Farm where they too are offered safe haven from the stresses of their normal lives., even if it’s just for a day. There they learn about how differences should be celebrated and not condemned.
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The growing success of the Gentle Barn over the years has brought on the support of Ellen DeGeneres to aid for funding. You can visit their website here and sponsor a future group of children or an animal that currently lives there. We all just want to be happy and safe and with a few dollars, you can ensure that for children and animals alike.
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“I believe in the GOOD things coming, coming, coming.” Nahko & Medicine for the People