BUCHANAN, Va. (WFXR) — New Freedom Farm is now seeing veterans once again. The non-profit provides horse therapy and other services to formerly active military members suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other disorders.
New Freedom Farm was closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but just before it was set to reopen, it suffered heavy damage from flooding in mid-June. However, thanks to a huge turnout from the community, the staff was able to get the farm cleaned up so it is set to start hosting events again.
“It was all hands on deck as the Navy would say,” said Andrew Kintgen with New Freedom Farm.
Kintgen says they wouldn’t have been able to open on time if it wasn’t for the volunteers who showed up to help.
“Being here the day of the flood, being up to my stomach trudging water getting horses out the pasture, to seeing the fences and the destruction down here to having it all completed in three days,” Kintgen said. “That was a relief.”
Gavin Price and his brother Kegan have been to the farm every day to help since the flooding happened.
“It was really bad when the flood happened, but after we tidied up a little bit, it was pretty nice,” said Gavin.
His brother Kegan agreed.
“It felt good to come and help clean up this place so we could get it back to be able to help other people,” said Kegan.
Their mother Cindy says she wanted them to give back to the farm and community.
“We love coming out here cause we love the mission of the farm and what they stand for, and everything she does for the community. And we think it’s important to bring the kids and have them help and be a contributing part of the community,” said Cindy.
When workers at New Freedom Farm put out a call for help, the community responded. Many, like Darrell Hix and his volunteer group, Botetourt Citizen’s Defense, say it was because of what the farm stands for.
“Being a part of that and supporting that mission and helping them get their operation underway it was a huge rewarding experience for us,” said Hix.
All the work being done on the farm — including repairing fences — was to meant to help keep the horses safe inside so the farm could reopen its doors.
“Now, in person they can have their hands on the horses and get the therapy that we offer.”
The farm will also start hosting events again, including one for the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association next weekend.
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