York College Students Volunteer at Glenn Hope Care Farms, which Provides a Sanctuary for Veterans
Written By: Khamelia Henderson '23
Aimee Morris’s grandfather, Glenn F. Cunningham Sr., was a World War II veteran and a farmer who raised his family on the land that Glenn Hope Care Farms sits on in Felton, Pa. She began fulfilling her grandfather’s legacy in 2015 after an honorable discharge from the Marine Corps in 2000 and nine years in the healthcare field.
Care Farms originated in the Netherlands in 1949 and spread throughout western Europe. Morris says the organization encourages healing through farm activities and is most successful at helping people with depression, drug and alcohol addiction, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
“Glenn Hope was created to be a place where veterans can come to reconnect to the earth, animals, nature, and themselves,” Morris says.
Spartans Get their Hands Dirty
Morris believes York College students who volunteer at Glenn Hope benefit from their interactions with veterans, hearing their stories, and learning about how combat affects our veterans.
“They learn the true cost of freedom,” she explains.
Sophia DeBolt `25 is a Sophomore Nursing major who volunteered at Glenn Hope during the Fall 2021 Semester. Sophia chose to volunteer at the farm because she knew the organization helped veterans and its mission resonated with her because of her own family’s military history.
At the farm, Sophia helped children decorate pumpkins, spoke with attending families, and served 300 people drinks and ice cream donated by Turkey Hill.
“I learned that compassion and help for a veteran’s family are just as important as compassion and help for the veteran,” Sophia says.
Morgan Sauers `25 is also a sophomore Nursing student who volunteered twice at Glenn Hope during the Fall 2022 Semester. Morgan enjoyed the welcoming atmosphere and appreciated that volunteers were encouraged to give ideas about how to set up for the farm’s Fall Fest.
“The event attracted many locals and offered good food, music, and activities for the kids,” Morgan adds.
Kyle helped set up a successful Fall Fest. “Volunteering at Glen Hope gave me an eye-opening experience about different organizations that are out there whose mission is to help out veterans,” Kyle remarks.
The Glenn Hope Story
At Glenn Hope, veterans connect with nature through animal husbandry and horticultural therapy. Veterans can take part in canning, raising poultry, and butchering all while reconnecting and building camaraderie with other veterans. All the food raised and harvested on the farm is produced by veterans, and while a small portion is sold to sustain the farm’s mission, most of the food is donated to veterans and organizations that support veterans. Morris prioritizes mental health awareness by creating music, wood tinkering, painting programs, sound and vibration therapy, and demolition therapy.
Sergeant Alex Kelly, who graduated from York College with a Nursing degree in 1998, is an Army Combat veteran and an active participant at Glenn Hope. She joined the farm because of its dedication to the veteran community.
She cites the benefits she’s received from Glenn Hope. “Camaraderie, being with like-minded individuals, peace, supporting and promoting the veteran community, supporting and promoting the farm, which provides a sanctuary for veterans.”
Morris understands the value of community when it comes to volunteers and partnerships with institutions such as York College. Student volunteers get to experience the day-to-day inner workings of a small, nonprofit farm.
“Glenn Hope is grateful for all of the community support that we’ve gotten over the years. Our mission would not be fulfilled if not for the people of York County and our partnership with York College,” Morris says.
York College works with the Honors Community from day one to help them form their dreams into a personal mission, which is supported with financial and other assistance. They leave York College with a record of achievement that will gain the attention of employers, graduate schools, or others who provide entry into the next step in the extraordinary lives they imagine for themselves.