People ask me why I smell like animal poo so often. Because I volunteer two days a week at The Gentle Barn. I have fallen in love with their mission and the work they do with at-risk children and formerly abused / neglected animals. ~Angela Nissel, Author of The Broke Diaries & Mixed, writer and co-producer for Scrubs (also a bad ass chick!)
A couple of months ago, I noticed Angela started posting photos of barn animals. Lots of barn animals. I thought to myself, “Wow, she must really like the smell of poop and animals, because she’s always at that barn”. Soon after I took notice of the photos, I learned what she was actually doing at the Gentle Barn. Angela was doing what a lot of other people don’t do, which is volunteering. Gentle Barn, which is a 501(C) (3) organization, was started in 1999 by Ellie R. Laks and isn’t just some run of the mill barn, it’s a place where rescued animals can find a loving home and can be nurtured. It’s also a place where children from the inner city, group homes, mental health care facilities, foster homes, and schools can come to take part in therapeutic programs with the animals at the barn.
Our at-risk program works by bringing inner city kids and at-risk youth to our facility to build self-esteem, learn positive values, heal their pasts, discover their inner selves, and reach out for bright futures. We do this by uniting the children with our 100 rescued animals. Since children naturally identify with animals, and because animals are living beings like us, we can use our interactions with them to teach children how to behave towards other people. ~ Gentle Barn
As with most states, dealing with financial crisis, many state programs are being cut, and California’s Department of Children and Family Service’s therapy budget is one of those programs. With the budget cuts coming, it means that foster children will not have access to the barn
In an effort to help the Gentle Barn, Angela Nissel has started an online fundraising effort via First Giving. By December 5th (her birthday), she’s hoping to raise $4000, the amount needed to allow the children to visit in 2011. Please help me, help my beautiful, talented, the awesomely funny Angela Nissel, help Gentle Barn! Give what you can, because it will definitely be appreciated!
To donate visit: http://www.firstgiving.com/angelanissel
To learn more about Gentle Barn visit: http://www.gentlebarn.org