We are making many friends and 'regular' customers at the Pendleton Arts Center veggie stand where several Safe Haven participants spend their Tuesday afternoons greeting customers and working on projects in the studio. The farmers have been welcomed there, and some warm relationships have developed.
Case in point: Enclosed with a recent donation from Pendleton artist Amy Baird, she wrote the following: "Our father has been changed and there is no doubt that he is a better person because of his relationship with [Safe Haven's] Pete Collins. I have a studio in the Pendleton Art Center in Middletown and have been privileged to spend time with both the residents and the staff. I have watched my father squirm as he has grown to know and love Pete and as he has learned more and more about autism.
"Thank you for not only what you do for the residents and participants at "The Farm" but for how one crusty old man at a time, you are changing the community for the better. Peace to you!"
Recently Amy and her father, David Dohn, surprised farmer Pete by attending his birthday party at the farm.
The weekly "feed run" is another example of an expanding community relationship. Day Hab participants gather supply needs from all of the programs and go to Diver's Garden & Pet Supplies to fill the week's orders. On a recent trip, one of Diver's employees commented that those Monday shopping trips "made his week" as he looked forward to his interactions with the farmers and getting to know many of them personally.