As we look to this new year of 2009, we take another look at the vision of Spring Farm CARES.
(From our website, www.springfarmcares.org )
By Dawn Hayman
We welcome this new year and this new season of Hope for humanity! We are looking forward with eager anticipation to all the changes and opportunities that lay ahead, not just us at the farm, but for all of mankind. This is perhaps the grandest opportunity for greatness that man has ever faced. We have crossed the threshold into a vision of a new world. And we, all of us, are the keepers of that vision. We are the creators of that experience. We are the dreamers creating the dream and bringing it into reality as we awaken. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for to save us, and our earth, from destruction. That moment is now. The heroes are right within each one of us.
At Spring Farm CARES, we realized the importance of reaffirming our vision for the work we are carrying forward. A vision that began forming 18 years ago and has not dimmed but has grown brighter, stronger, and more resilient over the years. Someone once told us on our ten year anniversary that they remembered talking to us with a group of leaders of other non-profit groups and asking us what our goals were back in our first year of operation. She told us that when they walked away from the meeting they all felt sorry for us at how delusional we were. “A couple of dreamers,” they said, “wait until reality hits them. They won’t last more than a year.” Ten years later, that person said to us, “Ladies, not only are you still here but do you realize that you have accomplished every goal on your list at that time? We once felt sorry for you, now we are asking how you did it.”
This is a powerful reminder about the importance of believing, trusting, having faith, but most of all never giving up on the vision coming from our hearts. It is not just about the farm. Not just about the organization we founded. This is about all of humanity. From the beginning, our grandest vision was to help reconnect mankind with all of nature. It was to be a part of the Oneness of Life. Yes, certainly it is about helping animals. But it is also about helping people. Because the animals taught us very quickly that humans were the ones that most needed to shift and that is what they wanted to do and who they wanted to reach. We then wanted to give the animals a place to work their magic and then we wanted to reach more than just those of you who could come to the farm. Our vision is so much larger than any one of us. It is greater than the combined efforts of the humans and animals who call this farm home. It comes from our hearts, human and animal alike, and it comes from the sacred land of this farm. The greatest compliment given to us is that we are a group of dreamers. Because dreaming is the language of the heart and soul. It is the power behind every vision and the secret of every visionary. And if we do this right, the dream will forever be new and fresh and recreated in all that we do.
We are in hard times right now. But adversity is always dimmed by hope. In spite of the current economy, the decrease in our income, the increase in expenses, we chose to continue to hold on to the vision. We are looking at our budget and cutting back where we can. We see now even more than before the importance of our being as self-sufficient and as light on the Earth as we can be. We will continue to pursue that way of life.
We strive to continue the services and programs we have in place to help so many animals in need. We have helped pay for the spay/neuter of nearly 65,000 dogs and cats in our area and still we are experiencing the pain of animal overpopulation. Over 100 orphaned kittens came to us in 2008 alone. But we must keep the vision and the hope and faith that this will change.
We strive to continue to offer sanctuary to the 250 animals in our care. Animals who are reaching out to thousands of people every year with their hearts and wisdom. We will give them the best care we have to offer, as they give back so much to all of us.
We strive to continue the magnificent work of our Nature Sanctuary, a 200 acre microcosm of the Earth, and a working example of the healing that can be done if only we listen to nature around us.
We strive to continue to reach out through education to the children in our area to teach them about what the animals have to say. The children get this information readily. They have been reaching out to us in record numbers offering all kinds of help and assistance. It is one of the most heartwarming things we have experienced. The children get it. They are our future.
We strive to continue to network with other organizations who are also working on the issues we deal with. It is through networking that the web of life operates. People are starting to realize this more and more. We see the miracles and magic of many hearts linking up with a common goal here all the time. Whether it is to help just one animal in need or a whole community, the power of joining together cannot be under estimated.
And we strive to keep the communication lines open between animals, nature, and humanity. We hope to continue to be the source of inspiration that many of you have found. We want to keep the connection between spirit and heart alive and flowing. And we want to share all we can.
The reality is that it costs us about $2,800 per day to keep our operation going. The 250 animals in our care depend on us to be here. But more than that, are the many thousands more we help each year through our outreach programs. It is enormous the number of lives we touch each year. Our education program reached well over 5,000 children in 2008 and is growing each year. Our office fields endless calls each day with animals in need. Horrendous stories that rip our hearts out. We can’t always solve the problem but every one of those phone calls gets help from us in some way. Help has never been denied to anyone, even though we often can’t take another animal in. We are also the employer of 28 people who depend on us to be here for their livelihood.
We want to continue to be here and do all the things that help us toward our ever evolving vision. We understand that no dream is too great. No mountain is too high to climb. No matter what it may look like on the outside, the strength of our destiny is the vision we each hold within our hearts. We hold tight to that vision no matter what. And we also know that the strength we have, the secret weapon that makes the miracles become reality, and breathes life into the dreams – is all of you who believe with us and join us with your help. Each of your thoughts sent our way or hearing the messages that the animals are sending out, moves us one more step down that road. Your thoughts, prayers, volunteer hours, and donations sustain us through the toughest of times and remind us of the largest truth of all – that we are all One, and we are all in this together.
Blessings to everyone for the new year ahead of us. Keep your visions. Dream your dreams. And NEVER give up hope.