The EOM honored in February 2013 chose to give their donation to The Gentle Barn, an organization which has a two-fold purpose: 1) to rescue, rehabilitate and give sanctuary to abused animals, and 2) to work with children from inner-city, group homes, mental health care facilities, foster homes and schools to help them gain inner peace from working with these animals. It was founded in 1999 by Ellie Laks who had spent her childhood turning to animals for comfort and healing. In 2002, one volunteer, Jay Weiner, fell in love with the place so much that he joined forced with Ellie to expand The Gentle Barn.
At first, The Gentle Barn was on a half-acre in the San Fernando Valley; in 2003, it moved to a six-acre property in Santa Clarita, CA. This includes pastures, barnyards, garden, and shade trees, and is now home to more than 160 animals—all of which have been rescued from severe abuse. Through their work, The Gentle Barn hopes to give children across the state the chance to come into the country and find healing power through interaction with the animals. If you are interested in supporting their cause, do not hesitate to visit them online at www.gentlebarn.org. There you can learn more about volunteer opportunities, or learn how you can sponsor an animal, sponsor a group of kids, or just make a flat donation.