To say that this year was anything but amazing wouldn’t even do it justice. To start any new idea, it is both scary and exciting. Invigorating and terrifying. Fulfilling and exhausting. Worth every moment to fight for and create — with all of the ups and downs in between.
“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3
When we sat down to create Hickory Hill Farm, it wasn’t a difficult task. We knew exactly what we wanted to do, and we knew that we wanted to become involved in our community. The ideas flooded in and — at that moment, we knew that God was leading us in a direction where we were needed. Animals needed us. Children needed us. Grown-ups needed us. WE needed them. We all needed a place where we could escape. For animals, it would be a place away from neglect and abuse … a place of recovery and peace … a place with a purpose. For people, it would be an environment that would serve as a retreat … away from stress, work, technology overload, and fear.
Amazingly, although we don’t even have a main farm, we have still been able to offer this “retreat” through our foster farms. We rehabilitate and retrain animals, read to them, and invite the community to meet and learn from them. We enjoy yoga, paint, listen to live music, facilitate educational field trips, and offer fun and memorable activities for children on the farm like our day camp program and “Reading with Rescues” program. We have even taken our “Traveling Farm” on the road to visit children, meet with families at local expos, and participate in events like a local parade. We have introduced ourselves to the community with a trail ride in the spring — which will now be an annual event! We continue to present and reach out to local organizations, took part in a radio interview, and were featured in a local television news segment. We continue to spread the word about a special place that offers peace, happiness, and healing …to both animals and people. Every visit and activity is focused on one goal … to make our vision for Hickory Hill Farm become a reality.
All of this would not have been possible without YOU. Our committed volunteers, camp families, and supporters — not only in Tennessee but around the country — have continued to help our little idea become something great. Thank you to those who have supported us by donating items, volunteering both time and energy for various activities, providing financial assistance for our various fundraising efforts throughout the year — including our Giving Tuesday campaign, and for sharing information about Hickory Hill Farm on social media and by word of mouth.
With your support, we have:
- rescued 15 horses (9 of which have been adopted), 1 mule, and 2 goats and helped them to find peace and healing
- provided various programs for children including our day camp programs
- facilitated educational field trips
- initiated our Reading with Rescues program and Traveling Farm outreach program
YOU are the reason Hickory Hill Farm has been successful in this critical first year of operation, and we will continue to offer these programs for years to come!
One event that we MUST acknowledge — that truly blew us away — was our Giving Tuesday “Food for All” campaign on November 29, 2016. It was our first time participating in this event, and we didn’t know what to expect. Our campaign encouraged the community to support us by donating online. We offered incentives for certain donation amounts. In addition, our board members wanted to reaffirm Hickory Hill Farm’s commitment to serving both animals and people in the community by donating a nonperishable item for every donation received to the Mount Juliet Help Center. Our goal for the campaign was $1,000; however, we actually raised a total of $2,143 from donations made by generous donors around the country – as well as some matching donations from the Gates Foundation and the Good World App. This fundraising effort exceeded our expectations by leaps and bounds! We are truly blessed to have your support, and our team was — and still is — truly humbled by such generosity!
As 2016 comes to a close, there are only a few more days remaining for anyone who might be interested in making an additional tax-deductible contribution to Hickory Hill Farm. Here is a list of essential items that we need to care for our animals throughout the year:
- $20 buys one bag of grain
- $35 buys one hoof trim per horse (every 5-6 weeks)
- $50 buys one large bale of hay
- $100 for one dental float for one horse
- $200 covers an intake exam by one of our vets
- $150 will allow someone to sponsor a horse for a month
- $25 will allow someone to sponsor a goat for a month
Please keep in mind that regular monthly donations can help us create an ongoing budget for the year! If you are interested in donating to Hickory Hill Farm, please click HERE.
We were blessed to have had such an amazing year which allowed us to fulfill our mission – which is to offer a place of refuge for both animals and people.
“He shall cover you with His feathers and under His wings you shall take refuge. His truth shall be your shield.” Psalm 91:4
Once again, thank you for your support in 2016. We look forward to what the future holds for our little farm. One of our main goals for 2017 is to find a farm to call home in Wilson County. We know it’s possible! We also know that many more great things are still to come!
The Hickory Hill Farm Board