"No one has ever become poor from giving..."
It may not always be possible, but giving back is a big goal for us. Whether it's a donation of time or money - every little bit helps. We mainly choose small local charities close to where we live, and if a situation arises we like to help a community member in need.
Ways we are giving back to the community.We've been able to give back through some donations to local animal shelters and donating time to a local nursing homes but some situations are more memorable than others.
Wild Fires Across Texas
2022 has been a tough year for Texas. With high winds and drought conditions, wildfires plagued much of our area of Texas. The fires were so bad that Governor Abbott declared it a state of disaster (Texas Wildfire Disaster 2022). In only the first half of 2022 there were over 370 individual fires and over 210 thousand acres burned.
One of those fires hit very close to home. Bart and I were working on the farm close to our home when we both noticed smoke in the distance. The Eastland Complex fire had just happened and we were immediately concerned. We couldn't remember the last time it had rained and that day we were experiencing 20mph winds.
I offered to drive by and see if they needed help on my way to pick kids of from school. As I drove closer I was shocked to see how close it actually was to us, It had just started and no one was around yet. I called the fire department, and texted Bart and update at the same time. He immediately started driving one of our loaders to the scene and I drove to the dairy farm to get more help. We've experienced a fire in our area before and we know it takes the fire department at least 20 minutes to arrive.
Two of our farm hands made it to the scene quickly with a second loader and a tractor with a tank to spray the area. The fire had started on the side of the road and was burning the field of Rough Creek Lodge, a local resort and game ranch. It was also moving toward a neighbor's home. Thinking fast, Bart cut the fence and started moving brush to keep the fire from spreading. I monitored the road to make sure the fire didn't jump the road onto the neighbor's property, and kept Bart updated. By the time the fire department was on scene the fire was 90% contained. The fire fighters put out the remainder of the fire and wet everything to keep it from starting again. The ranch manager of Rough Creek came onto the scene soon after the fire was under control and later awarded Bart with a gift to say thank you. The local fire department also recognized Bart on their social media.
Local Family Looses Home To Fire
After a dryer malfunction a local family lost everything in a house fire. They were able to quickly get their pets out of the home before it completely went up in flames. Luckily no one was injured. Three local fire departments came to the scene and put out the fire. The fire absolutely devastated the home, fire fighters were able to save photos and jewelry from the flames, but not much else. Along with fire fighters and another local family we spent hours separating and drying the photographs in order to salvage what was left.
We provided them hotel rooms and some cash for essentials to help them through the night. That evening and the following day the entire Lingleville and Chalk Mountain/Three Way community came together for them. Facebook pages were made and donations started pouring in. Along with a few Lingleville, Texas families we donated everything we could manage and asked businesses to donate the rest. We provided some of our farm trailers and employees to help this family move into their new home. Within days they had everything they needed to fill their home, and more. We understand that these things don't replace the home and memories they lost... but at least it's a start. This is a wonderful hardworking family who is well loved by everyone, the type of people who would do the same for us.
Dairy Tour 360
Although we have been donating to Dairy Max for years, we recently got the opportunity to be a part of the New online dairy tour. We, along with several other Texas farms allowed dairy max to film the farm and make it into a virtual reality tour.
This is a great opportunity to teach the community about what we do as dairy farmers.
4th Of July Parade
Each year we enjoy participating in the local 4th of July Parade. We've done this for nearly 8 years so far. Along with a group of other local farmers we hand out frozen yogurt to the people watching the parade.
Teaming up with Nestle Toll House Cafe
In Honor of National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day on Wednesday May 15. Nestle Toll House Cafe teamed up with the Dallas Cowboys to break the Guinness World Record for the longest line of cookies. Dairy Max asked us to hand out milk and speak at the event on behalf of the Texas farmers who made the dairy products for this event. Of course, we were honored! We took two of our kids along and they got the opportunity to meet the Cowboys and cheerleaders.
"It takes a village"My advice is to keep an eye out in your local community for a family in need or a situation where you can help.
"It takes a village" - this is something that our friends in Chalk Mountain consistently say, and we strive every day to be more like them. The friends in our community really are the best. When we were sick with covid and unable to work on the farm our friends stepped up and helped without being asked. When our son was hospitalized earlier this year they stopped by and dropped off meals or supplies. There was no "let me know if I can help" questions - just action. That is something I would like to do more often.
Send a meal to a friend in need, send a starbucks gift card to someone who is struggling, or stop by and lend a listening ear.
We have also contacted our local school in the past and asked if we could provide school supplies to children in need, there are many creative ways to help out.
Our favorite places to donate:We like to keep it local:
Erath County Humane Society - You can make monetary donations or donate your time.
Your Local 4H Club - There are many ways to give back to the local 4H club, our favorite is donating to the local youth stock show.
Backpack Buddies - This non-profit provides healthy weekend meals to children during the school year.
Our favorite non-local ways to give back:
Dairy Max - A portion of the proceeds of our farm each month goes to Dairy Max to help fund food programs across the USA and teach the community about farming and dairy products.
Fuel up to play 60 - We, along with many other dairy farms across the country continually help fund this program. They donate equipment to schools across the country to make it possible for them to provide nutritious lunches to students. They also educate staff and students about eating healthy and exercising.