Thanksgiving has come to mean a lot of things to a lot of people. For me, it is a time of reflection and relaxation with loved ones. A brief pause of the high speed train that is building and running a non-profit animal rescue. A time to simply be in the moment and find peace in the wonderful life that I have and appreciate the unbelievable success of Austin Farm Sanctuary (AFS). In this stillness I choose to reflect on what I believe to be the “purpose” of Thanksgiving; being thankful and sharing gratitude.
The areas of life that I have to be grateful for knows no bounds. Thoughts of individual moments with my family, the support of my wife, connections with longtime friends, the opportunities my employer of 10 years has given me to allow for AFS to exist, etc. begin to flow in like a dam giving way to a body of water that has been held at bay for far too long.
My heart and my gratitude journal struggle to keep up. To keep some focus, and spare y’all the time of me writing my first novel, I shift my reflection to gratitude and thankfulness for those that have shaped Austin Farm Sanctuary.
Our Amazing Volunteers
In our short history AFS (founded in 2017) has gone from being a ½ acre backyard animal lovers’ dream, to a 5 acre safe haven for farmed animals and their human caregivers, and will soon be a bustling 40 acre ethical ranch that can provide a home to over 800 animals while being a retreat for those that support them and want to exist in their majesty.
This success has been made possible by our amazing volunteers. In 2019 we began training volunteers to join our team for the first time. Since then we have welcomed countless weekend volunteer groups from companies, recovery centers, and other volunteer organizations who have helped knock out big projects. Additionally, we have had many wonderful people join our Animal Care and Medical Team to support the residents on a daily/weekly basis. These volunteers who have chosen to consistently support our mission and serve the residents have changed everything. Our thriving volunteer team collaborates daily to not only ensure our residents are provided exceptional care, but to also make sure the other parts of a growing organization (fundraising, events/tours, marketing, finances, facilities maintenance, etc) are managed properly to allow for us to succeed.
The most remarkable thing for me is that not only does our volunteer team do all of this work out of the kindness of their hearts after/before work and in their precious free time, they have chosen farmed animals to serve with this time. There are a million causes that they could give their time to, and they chose to act in the service of farmed animals. This touches me deeply because more than 99% of all farmed animals that exist or have existed were brought into this world for a human purpose. They were destined to be productized and used solely to benefit humans, with their care considered only to the extent that it supported their “purpose”. I love our volunteers, and cherish them because they have chosen to give to those who are so rarely given to, and almost always taken from.
The beauty of Austin Farm Sanctuary is not the success that we have had, nor the great things we are destined to achieve together. What makes this place wonderful is the team of amazing people who have stepped up to dedicate themselves to our cause and their beloved animal resident family. I am forever grateful for y’all’s dedication, trust, and love. You built Austin Farm Sanctuary and are responsible for paving the beautiful path of life and love that has been laid for our residents and organization.
With love and gratitude,
Interested in becoming a Volunteer?
Taking care of the 100+ residents here at Austin Farm Sanctuary requires a team effort! We'd love to have your help in keeping them happy and healthy at their forever home. In addition to individual volunteer opportunities, we are always open to corporate and group volunteer events, partnerships and shared skills in the areas of construction work, fundraising, marketing initiatives and more! Reach out to us today and find out how you can join the family!