As the sun shines at The Maui Farm, a mom named Heidi and her two young daughters are chasing butterflies with a net. To look at this family today, you would never imagine that just a few years ago, Heidi struggled with issues of domestic violence, addiction, a child with developmental delays, and other challenges. “After giving birth to my younger daughter, both my girls were removed from my custody, my life was just crazy. I went to Malama Family Recovery, the only rehab you can stay and have your children, too and then got connected with Family Court Drug Court. Then I just worked hard to get sobriety, to get my girls back and I stayed over a year with Malama.” As she completed their program and was looking for housing, Heidi found The Maui Farm.
“Transitional housing at The Maui Farm was just what I needed; a stable, affordable home to heal and grow while I put all the pieces together. I’ve been here almost a year and I can’t believe all the things I’m doing with my life.”
“The Maui Farm offers ways for us moms to come together for support and create friendships. The Maui Guidance Center came to the Farm for intensive home therapy to teach me skills and tools for my older daughter’s challenges. The Maui Farm has a job training program where we get paid a stipend that helps us qualify for MEO’s Farm Worker’s Program and now MEO is helping me go to college so I can get a degree in human services. I’ve worked with all these agencies who have helped me and my children and the workers inspired me to want to be a helper, too.” This is what The Maui Farm is all about; creating that safe community for women and their children in transition to succeed in their lives.
A sign in the garden says, “Love Grows Here.” Heidi says, “What I appreciate the most about our time here at The Maui Farm is how the animals taught my older daughter so much, like how to be gentle and take care of them. It’s therapeutic for her, but she doesn’t know that. She just knows she loves them.”
The Maui Farm invites the community to help plant the seeds of love at their beautiful Maunaolu Campus on the last Saturday of each month. Meet the animals, work the `aina, and volunteer a few hours; a little help makes a huge difference. Please be part of the transformations that happen at The Maui Farm, with the land, with the people and with the community.
The Maui Farm, Inc. is a community-based nonprofit organization providing farm-based, family-centered programs that teach essential life skills for self-sufficient living. To learn more go to www.themauifarm.org
Image Credit: Nick Posante