How Will I Serve?

Bella Vista Farms 093This 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:

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

About @jamieweil

Parent, teacher, writer, filmmaker, youth mental health advocate. Passionate about having new conversations surrounding youth mental/brain illness and suicide awareness. Author of YA novel, First Break, released Wednesday, October 10, 2018, World Mental Health Day and Intuition released October 2019. Available on Amazon, Kindle, and available for request through your local bookstore. ( Concurrently producing the groundbreaking docuseries A Crazy Thought, a sharing of hope and help from the voice of a parent and teacher ( Working with award-winning female filmmakers to bring about a new conversation in youth mental health.
This entry was posted in animal rescue, conscious living, friends, Goals, Inspiration, pets, service and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to How Will I Serve?

  1. Annette Degner says:


    Wish I were there to help. Then, I’d also be closer to you! 🙂

    • jamieweilhealthcoach says:

      Let’s do it! I think it’s an awesome plan. Tell John to pack up the UHaul when he gets home. Missers you! xo

  2. Janet says:

    Love this story! I remember when you wrote the article about Bella Vista Farms. The past few months I have been watching the National Geographic channel and have learned so much about animals making what Chic does much more meaingful for me, so selfless, Btw I am not surprised the two of you have become friends.

    • jamieweilhealthcoach says:

      Thanks, JanYam! And then there’s you with your hand arts for Africa! I thought of that gift while I wrote this. You also have the gift of encouraging others, my joy from our very first meeting. Good day😄❤

  3. Professions for PEACE says:

    Another beautiful article Jamie! We can all be of service, in our way. And when good people are doing good things they can become a magnet for more good people to do more good things! Like throwing them a fundraiser, to help them keep on doing good things!! Yay for the ripple effect! Thank you for this wonderfully inspiring story. Love it. xo hugs, Gina

  4. jamieweilhealthcoach says:

    Yep. Yay for the ripple effect is right! (Get it. Cuz of the water thing:) Hugs! Jamie

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