Live Like Ally and The Gentle Barn

The Gentle Barn is a national nonprofit organization, founded in 1999 by Ellie Laks as a sanctuary and place of recovery for severely abused animals and children. The Gentle Barn rescues and rehabilitates animals from severe abuse and neglect who are too old, sick, lame, or scared to be adopted. The Gentle Barn has given sanctuary to horses, donkeys, cows, pigs, sheep, goats, turkeys, chickens, llamas, peacocks, emus, cats and dogs. The Gentle Barn offers their unique philosophy of connecting the animals’ stories of survival and healing to the personal experiences of underserved and special needs children who have suffered physical, mental or emotional trauma. By interacting with The Gentle Barn’s approximately one hundred and ninety animals and taking a hands-on role in their welfare, those who participate in the programs at The Gentle Barn learn empathy, trust and forgiveness and about the environment around them.

Here’s what The Gentle Barn has to say about LLAF’s sponsorship of Ally’s Garden: “Ally’s Garden benefits The Gentle Barn in many ways. At The Gentle Barn we rescue animals that have nowhere else to go and it’s so important, that along with their grain and hay, they receive produce every day. The cost is very high in the market, so being able to grow fruits and vegetables ourselves reduces our expenses and offers our animals freshly picked vegetables every day.”

“In addition, at The Gentle Barn we host underserved children from the inner city, who don’t normally eat fresh fruits and vegetables. If it’s not served as a condiment at a fast food restaurant or in a syrup filled snack cup, they don’t know what it is or where it came from. Being able to garden with the kids who come to The Gentle Barn in our programs, helping them put their hands in the dirt and connect them to mother earth, and teaching them about real food, is priceless. Once the food is grown, we harvest it with the kids and then teach them how to prepare a healthy meal.”

“Watching a child’s face in one of the groups that has come out to work in Ally’s garden in our program, who has grown up in the inner city with concrete, violence and the struggle, pull a carrot out of the ground is one of the most magical things in the world.”

“During these uncertain times of Covid-19, we find that it is vital to stay connected to the children and people who need us most, so we are continuing our programs virtually. We are hosting an online course called My Gentle Classroom, where we are teaching children around the world about animals, nature and the world around us. In fact, it has further developed our reach. One of the classes is about planting in Ally’s garden and sharing her memory and mission with them all.”

“Your support is allowing us to continue to provide these essential programs and is helping The Gentle Barn stay available and here for future generations.”