JANUARY 8, 2020
We toured the property, hung out with some of the horses, and mostly just sat while Elizabeth and the volunteers told stories. Elizabeth described L.E.A.R.N as “the island of misfit toys” and one of the volunteers called it a “people rescue.” People of all different backgrounds come to volunteer with the organization, and a lot of them seem to need it more than they might realize at the outset. The female volunteer went on to tell me about a deeply personal tragedy that resulted in the loss of her faith. Through her time with L.E.A.R.N, she’s found that connection with religion again, and healed in other ways as well. As for the two young men from the naval program, Elizabeth told me about the stress that’s involved in such a rigorous undertaking, and how having a sanctuary of sorts not only keeps them out of trouble, but heals them in ways they never knew they needed. Some volunteers camp out on the property, go kayaking on the pond, and sometimes stay for a whole weekend. They even hold a New Year’s Eve bonfire.
Overall, I felt the greatest sense of community and family that I’d ever felt from a group of volunteers. Elizabeth helps to feed them, connects with them on a personal level, and has so very clearly had an impact on these peoples’ lives. Engaging Events is so blessed to have the resources to contribute to an organization like L.E.A.R.N, and to support the work that they’re doing. There are so many ways to help: monetary donations through PayPal, donating a small portion of any Amazon purchase through AmazonSmile, donations of supplies from their Amazon wishlist, you can foster, sponsor, or adopt a horse, and of course donate your time by volunteering.