Hand In Hand Farm, Inc. is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization that helps rebuild families, children, and individuals through agricultural and equine adventures, apprenticeship, life skills courses, tutoring, and caring mentorship with the goal of building stronger communities. We strive to help whomever needs us. This is sometimes youth that want to learn our discipline of horsemanship, develop their leadership potential, or hone soft and hard skills to prepare themselves for the workforce or ministry. Many times, a troubled family needs a little help getting back on track, especially those with children with challenging behaviors or disabilities such as autism and ADHD. We have found that horses are great teaching partners!
We welcome all and provide all services free of charge. We are in the Cascade foothills serving Linn and surrounding counties. Our volunteer-run organization is supported mainly by tax-deductible donations by individuals, churches, and business sponsors.
What is the 10 to 1 rule? For every one thing you want your kid to change, you have 10 to change in yourself.
To help rebuild individuals, children, and families using agricultural and equine adventures, education, and mentorship.
Respect for God, ourselves, and each other.
Respect for a work ethic,
our country's freedoms, and
the uniforms that guard it.
Know our past so we can plot our future.
Husband and wife founders Dave Berger and Athena Perry run the daily operations which include the farm, programs, bookkeeping, and curriculum development in their specialty areas. Mr. Dave is retired from Hewlett-Packard after a 33-year career as a Development, Quality, and Metrology Engineer. Being autistic has given him unique insights with animals and human learning behavior; he has developed many of the methods used at the farm. Miss Athena has an Associate of Science in Gerontology, a certificate in Advanced Behavior and Cognitive Care, a two-year certificate in Horticulture Therapy, and a State of Oregon Activities director certification.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
My child is basically a "good kid". Do you offer programs for normal or high-achieving youth or families?
All our programs are open to anyone that wants to learn and develop new skills, whether in life skills classes, school week (Inservice) sessions, Saturday sessions, or day camps. Part of the reason our programs succeed is because we blend troubled kids and families together with high-achieving youth and families so they can see what "good" looks like.
How long have you been in business?
There are a lot of answers to that question. Our methods and vision began their development with our founder and Executive Director, Dave Berger, over thirty years ago. He ran a program similar to our current model in Dallas at Desert Lily Arabians from 2001 to 2005. In 2006, after construction of our barn, we incorporated as an LLC and began running programs on a part-time basis. In April 2010, we incorporated as an Oregon nonprofit and started running programs on a full-time basis. We are a federally-recognized 501(c)3 tax-exempt corporation.
Do people stay overnight at your facility?
It is not our general practice to have people stay overnight at our facility. Our goal is to get the family working together and creating a positive home environment for their kids. To that end, we teach intensive life skills classes for individuals and families, have small group sessions with families, and visit our clients at home to assess the home environment.
Are you religious?
We are practicing non-denominational Christians and our program framework is structured upon Biblical principles that include love for one another in a nonjudgmental environment.
At the end of a camp or session, there is an optional devotional where we take a scripture, usually from Proverbs, that talks about principles of honesty, fairness, wisdom, diligence in work, etc., and ask the kids to share a time in their life when they did those things. We use this as a springboard for how parents can carve out a daily time to teach these principles, learn what their kids did that day as it relates to those principles, and reward them for such behaviors.That said, we partner with several churches in the surrounding areas (Catholic, Protestant, Seventh-Day Adventist), many of which sponsor our life skills workshops. Feel free to contact us with any further questions.
Do you work with government agencies?
Currently we work with the Oregon Department of Human Services, Vocational Rehabilitation. In addition, government agency employees have worked individually with their clients using our facility and activities.
How far do your services extend?
Our staff can attend meetings such as Individualized Education Program (IEP) school meetings with our participants. Within our program structure, we strive to help our participants meet the goals set by school staff, counselors, case workers, and parents, helping parents navigate the system in a way that honors the agencies providing assistance for the betterment of the family.
How do you get your clients?
Through self-referral via social media, Craigslist and other publicity efforts along with current or past participants, pastors, doctors, teachers, counselors, or other mental health providers. We like to say, getting more clients is never the problem but getting enough funding to serve everyone who wants to come is.