By Virginia Sagal, Communication & Outreach Coordinator, The Children’s Advocacy Center of Jackson County
The kids were waiting, very excited for the bus to arrive and take them to the Sanctuary One at Double Oak Farm!
There they would get a tour of the farm. The tour would include visiting with all the Sanctuary One animals. These animals come from abused and neglected situations and now are in a safe and secure environment.
When we arrived one hour later, we were met with the staff who would guide us through our tour. The kids were greeted first by the cats and dogs, which were in a separate area on the farm from the rest of the animals. They were allowed to pet them after being told that they are all a bit timid and need special care.
It was wonderful to see how gently cats were picked up and how carefully they treated the one dog that came up to them.
Then we were off to the pasture to be greeted by two very friendly little pigs that ran to them to say welcome. The kids were so happy and excited and bonded instantly. In the pasture they had the opportunity to pet all the other pigs, horses, and goats.
It was so special to see children who are going through therapy being social and nurturing to their fellow farm friends.
This is what our Building Bridges workshops are about. These activities help socialize the kids in nurturing environments — teaching care, love, and respect for others and animals. Children healing from abuse can have better outcomes in therapy, stronger relationships with family members and peers, and greater levels of participation in the community.