A Hendersonville High School graduate and veteran of the U.S. Air Force, John founded the Veterans Healing Farm in 2013 because he recognized the struggles veterans sometimes have when they transition from military life back into the civilian sector.
With lack of a strong support network, sense of duty and resources, the tragic results are sometimes depression, substance abuse, divorce, homelessness, and suicide.
To cultivate emotional, physical and spiritual health, the Veterans Healing Farm was created so veterans and their families could join together to learn to work the earth, enjoy the healthy bounty of their efforts and form bonding, supportive relationships.
"The primary purpose of the Veterans Healing Farm is to build community. It's less about providing veterans and their families with affordable, nutrient-rich food and more about building a safe place to be transparent and authentic."
- John Mashie
Many donors have a passion and a deep heartfelt interest in helping those challenged by community life especially after the service they gave to our country.
During the 2016-2017 fiscal year, the Community Foundation granted $25,000 to help complete the Veterans Healing Farm's Community Center. The center hosts training seminars to educate veterans with cutting-edge skills and resources for implementing organic gardening, holistic health, homesteading and sustainability, and more.
Members of the Veterans Healing Farm can grow food for their own families, but much of the harvest produced at the farm is donated to veterans in need through the local VA and area food banks.
"In addition to encouraging healthy habits like eating well, interpersonal relationships, and physical activity, we help cultivate a sense of self-empowerment and self-worth. The Veterans Healing Farm was born out of a deep desire to create a place where veterans can plug into a new community and discover a new 'mission' outside of the military."
- John Mashie