CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) – Today is International Women’s Day and 10 On Your Side is celebrating Remarkable Women all month long.
Back in the fall, we asked for nominations from you to honor and recognize the Remarkable Women in your lives. Our panel of judges selected four finalists. One winner will go on to our national Remarkable Women celebration, hosted by our parent company, Nexstar Media.
Our first Remarkable Woman has taken her love of animals and created a special place to help others.
When you enter the Northwest Pines Farm Animal Sanctuary, you’re immediately greeted by a sense of peace. It’s a serene setting that is undeniably welcoming.
“Oh we’ve been doing it for so many years, it’s just a love for animals and rescues,” said Kimberly Goodwin, one of our Remarkable Women finalists.
Kimberly and her husband Leigh run the farm, taking in unwanted farm animals, showing them unconditional love and giving them somewhere to live out their days.
“When I look at some of them that have, all they’ve known is beating, being beat, not being fed, not being cared for not being loved,” Goodwin said. “There are a lot of humans out there the same way that are being hurt that are not being loved, that are not being cared for.”
That’s why the farm has become a safe place for both animals and humans.
“So the kids get loved by the animals and the people get loved by the animals and the people love the animals and the animals understand that there’s love,” Goodwin said. “It’s a full circle here, it’s full circle.”
Goodwin regularly opens up the farm to families who have children with special needs, letting them relax in a safe space.
“Our prayer is when you step on this property, you feel you’re wanted and you’re accepted and you’re loved and you’re cared for,” she said.
Those feelings are why Brittany Horner nominated Goodwin to be one of our Remarkable Women finalists.
“Every time I talk to her, I learn about something new that she does for this community,” Horner said.
She has two little boys and one has autism.
“A lot of our disabled kids, they don’t look disabled,” Horner said. “So in public, if you take them to see Santa or you go to the mall or Walmart, they don’t look like they have a problem so when they do have an outburst or they have that sensory overload, you get those looks.”
But on the farm, it’s different.
Horner said, “Out here, it’s safe. You don’t have to worry about any of that.”
Goodwin said she was stunned by the nomination.
“It made me cry because it was a young lady’s life who had special needs child and a difference was made in her life,” Goodwin said. “She had a safe place to land.”
Everything at the farm is free to children and their families and Goodwin said every moment is worth it.
When you see the laughter and the smiles, money can’t buy that,” Goodwin said. “Money cannot buy that. I’m just doing what I love, it’s that simple.”
And that love is changing lives.
Northwest Pines Farm Animal Sanctuary holds various events throughout the year like a day with Santa, the Easter Bunny, a certain days for children with special needs. To learn more about how you can visit the farm, and how you can help, visit their website by clicking here.