The Farm homeless youth group looking to rebuild
SNOHOMISH - The passion at The Farm Youth Outreach is still strong while its owners seek a new spot for its auxiliary thrift store.
This Easter weekend, The Farm is hosting Some Bunny Loves You, an Easter brunch for homeless youth on April 19 from 1 to 4 p.m. – complete with a carnival and three acres of land for the kids to run free.
The Farm expects approximately 300 homeless youth to come, The Farm’s Vicki Stevens-Karr said.
The festivities will include hot dogs and other carnival food, a bouncy house, games, an egg hunt and, of course, and appearance from the Easter Bunny.
“If you walk around The Farm, you’ll get an idea and see that the kids can be turned loose … You can’t even go to a city park and turn your kid loose,” Stevens-Karr said. “You see, these kids are in shelters, in these rooms … where there are several in each room and they don’t have a place to play.”
That’s where Some Bunny Loves You and The Farm come in.
The Farm’s volunteer base has declined sharply in recent years, and with the closing of their pay-what-you-can-afford thrift store on Avenue D and 10th, they need all the help they can get, Stevens-Karr said.
The Farm is always looking for volunteers, Stevens-Karr said. This year, students from Snohomish High School’s Honor Society are anticipated to volunteer to meet their community service requirements.
The Farm provides Christmas dinner and Easter brunch to around 700 homeless youth each year. They have even set up putt-putt golf and brought in mini horses for the kids.
The Farm itself is a maze where nearly a hundred animals roam freely among several buildings, including a brightly colored cafeteria and a room with a wall of volunteer signatures.
Stevens-Karr and her team have their work cut out for them before the event. They’re going to “use every minute” to get The Farm prepared.
The Farm has enough money from the thrift store to operate for four or so more months. After Some Bunny Loves You, they are looking to find another building to inhabit. Stevens-Karr, who had a career in real estate prior to taking over The Farm, has her eye on the old Dollar Plus storefront on Avenue D, not even a block from their old location.
She took over The Farm full time after her husband Bruce Karr died from cancer. She doesn’t want to go back to real estate.
The thrift store was “the greatest gift we could give this community” Stevens-Karr said. “They would buy couches for $10 … these were things they would have never had otherwise.” In fact, Stevens-Karr believes the good done by the thrift store almost outshined the good done by The Farm, she said. All proceeds from the thrift store went back into The Farm.
This uncertainty and hardship, however, is nothing new to Stevens-Karr.
“It’s been a difficult road” she said. “I feed a lot of homeless youth … They come my way and I know I’m to feed them, so I do.” But when kids come and knock on her door, they have to work to earn their food doing chores around The Farm. Stevens-Karr estimates that around 200 kids in Snohomish School District are homeless and many of them live under the bridge at Pilchuck Park.
All of The Farm’s animals are rescue animals and some, like the playful bulldog Roxy, are available for adoption. Roxy remains by Stevens-Karr’s side nearly all the time.
People who want to volunteer in the days running up to Some Bunny Loves You can call Vicki Stevens-Karr at 425-238-0200.
How to donate
The Farm accepts donations via check or money order to
Farm Youth Outreach
11212 92nd St. SE
Snohomish, WA 98290
The Farm also accepts donations by PayPal and credit card at its website www.thefarmyouthoutreach.org
The Farm is a registered nonprofit.
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