This weekend, my husband and I attended a fundraiser for a place called Bella Vista Farms. Chic Miller, kissing one of her 640 animals there to the left, runs this sanctuary with her husband, Bob. Every second, every penny, every ounce of energy goes to abandoned and abused animals that wouldn’t have a home otherwise. Chic calls this a sanctuary because animals come here to live out their lives.
Can you imagine how much it costs to take care of that many animals? And she has everything from turkeys to horses to pot bellied pigs. When I call her on the phone and ask, “Whatcha doing?” her answer is “Shoveling up poop. Wanna come?” Then, I think, How much poop exactly are we talking about? I’m thinking A LOT.
I’ve been a long admirer of her light and the labor of love that her and her husband have chosen. I became aware when I wrote an article on her for the local paper. She then asked for me by request, which was an honor. We became friends. My family visits her gate and drops off huge bags of carrots for the animals at Christmas.
Imagine how much these guys eat. 640 animals! Take hay alone. It’s doubled in price. It’s running at $20 a bale according to Chic.
A neighbor kept telling her to have a fundraiser. I could see her mind spinning, “Yeah, when? Between animal feedings?” It’s literally a non-stop operation out there. One day, he finally talked her into it.
At this fundraiser, I was deeply touched by how others served her. Everybody played a part. People threw together a committee and got the thing up and running in no time flat. Local people made food for 300, decorated tables, donated auction items, and came together on the fly in a sold out mission to support the animals.
Here’s their FB page if you want to see more: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bella-Vista-Farms-Animal-Sanctuary/107126469338044
There are so many ways to serve in our communities. Opportunities come up at every street corner. Each person has a unique way they serve best. Perhaps it’s by making food. Perhaps it’s by gathering people together for a specific cause. Perhaps it’s by helping a child navigate the world. What is your unique gift and how will you share it with the world?
It is one of the beautiful compensations of this life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.
Ralph Waldo Emerson