One North Carolina business in the Got to Be N.C. tent at the N.C. State Fair is helping make lives better for kids in Bolivia. Proceeds from the sale of their pecans, peanuts and snack mixes support their efforts at the KW Methodist Children’s Home in La Paz, Bolivia.
Thirteen thousand feet up in the Andes Mountains, kids in Bolivia suffer from homelessness, cold and hunger. “Most kids live in situations where they have been abused and abandoned,” says Frank Farrell, “and come from homes where drug and alcohol abuse are prevalent.” According to Farrell, these children get up early in the morning to start working minimalist jobs, such as shoe shining, simply to feed themselves. “Many also struggle with health problems, such as intestinal damage due to contaminated drinking water and psychological issues from a troubled home life,” he said.
When the local foundation closed, leaving the children of Bolivia even shorter on funds and support, Frank knew he had to act. “The week after my trip to Bolivia, I turned my retirement in at work,” Farrell said, “I just knew there was something missing.” Thus Farrell Farm and the KW Methodist Children’s Home was born.
One hundred percent of the profits generated from Farrell Farms supports the KW Methodist Children’s Home.
At the foundation, kids are legally assigned through social services to be housed and cared for until they reach the age of 18. Fully staffed with teachers, psychiatrists and more, the foundation helps kids get the health care they need as well as graduate high school. They currently house 20 kids as well as support five graduates. “Once a kid reaches the age of 18, they no longer receive support from the state,” Farrell said, “our foundation helps them get an apartment and find a job.”
Based in Goldsboro, the packing facility was established out of an old cotton gin. All candied nuts and snack mixes are made in small batches by hand and require a lot of labor. Farrell Farms is unique in the fact that they are fully staffed by volunteers. “We have a full range of volunteer staff in our facility and they are all incredibly passionate about what they do,” he said.
Looking toward the future, Farrell Farms is in the process of starting a subsidized adoption program. “Kids develop better in loving homes with other children,” Frank said, “this program would allow, for example, a grandmother to adopt her two grandchildren and care for them using funds provided by the foundation.” In other words, it would serve to keep families together that, otherwise, couldn’t afford to do so.
Farrell Farms embodies the true purpose of farming and providing for the community; people coming together to help those who are less fortunate. Every weekend, the staff attend a fair to spread the word and raise funds. They will be at the N.C. State Fair until closing day, Sunday, Oct. 27, and the North Carolina Whirligig Festival in Wilson, the following weekend. When you support Farrell Farms, you not only help the farmer, but you impact the lives of future generations.