Any parent knows that the saying, “it takes a village” to raise a child is all too true. Moms and dads can rarely do it on their own, which is why grandparents, friends and neighbors are all welcome allies in parenting. But the staff and volunteers at Windwood Farm look at that phrase a little differently. The 27 boys that live on the 110-acre farm live and breathe thanks to the help of their “village,” which is made up of staff and volunteers, community members, Good Samaritans and generous donors.
When they come to Windwood, the boys have experienced some form of abuse, neglect or trauma, but what makes the farm stand out above many other homes serving a similar set of children is that Windwood treats theirs minds, bodies and souls. “Our boys live on our campus, they go to school there, and receive all of their therapy and treatment there as well,” says Callie Vanderbilt, Windwood Farm’s director of communications. And it’s clear that everyone who is connected to the group home is very dedicated to the cause.For every dollar donated, 93 percent goes to helping the children rather than paying massive salaries.
Recently, Windwood Farm decided to bring in seven more boys to their home. With that bigger commitment to the community comes an increased need for donations. Vanderbilt says, “A donation can mean the world to our kids.” She continues, “Many times our children come to us with their worldly possessions in a trash bag. They literally own nothing else and we provide them with not only their basic necessities but experiences and adventures that help reshape their childhoods and lead them to becoming productive, happy, healthy adults.” A few dollars help build the children up, give them hope and let them actually be kids.
“Donations allow us to provide all of our kids with intensive one-on-one as well as group therapy,” Vanderbilt says. “They also let us take them on outings to sporting events, local theater productions, fairs and field trips, as well as help us cover the everyday costs of clothing, food and hygiene.”
While giving any amount feels good, knowing exactly where your money is going can be especially rewarding. Here are a few specific ways your donation dollars will be used to help the kids at Windwood Farm:
• $1,000 provides new furniture for one boy (twin bed, wardrobe, nightstand and desk)
• $750 covers the cost of one month of therapy sessions for a boy
• $500 covers meals for the group home for an entire week
• $250 will help make Christmas unforgettable for the boys, providing new toys, clothes and shoes
• $100 covers the cost of a new outfit, school uniform and shoes when the home welcomes a new boy
• $50 pays for one of the boys to go on a fun field trip