July 19, 2023 at 7:50 a.m.

Words, Music & Inspiration: Blue Tassel Farm Fundraiser Returns to WILLow LeaVes of Hope Saturday

By JENN WILLHITE | Comments: 0 | Leave a comment

Individuals looking for an inspiring evening of words and music are invited out for the return of the Blue Tassel Farm Fundraiser from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday at WILLow LeaVes of Hope, located on the Square at 326 Jackson Street downtown.  

“This year we are raising money for projects that need to be built on the farm,” says Tim McNamee, founder of Blue Tassel Farm. “And those are a prayer chapel and covered bridge.”

Walking tacos will be served as part of a relaxed atmosphere Saturday evening as McNamee speaks about the ministry and programming at the farm; there will also be live music and a mini auction of around 10 to 15 items, he adds.

“We will ask people afterwards to make a donation after they’ve had a chance to hear more about the ministry,” McNamee says. “Our goal is to raise about $10,000 to $12,000 this year.”

Last year’s fundraiser raised more than $20,000 after the farm found itself in a tight spot with a long list of repairs and things needing attention, McNamee says.

Among the ongoing programming at the farm are frequent Angel Tree camps for children whose parent or both parents are incarcerated, McNamee says, and those camps exemplify the impact and importance of the McNamee ministry at Blue Tassel Farm.

“Those kids are living in circumstances that, unless you have a parent who is incarcerated, you can’t understand what that means or the teasing you might get at school or from friends if people find out,” McNamee says. “When we build stuff, I don’t want people to think, ‘Oh, we helped them build a bridge or a cabin.’ I need them to feel the impact that bridge or cabin makes on a kid’s life.”

The fundraiser not only builds awareness in the community about BTF, but it also helps to create an atmosphere on the farm that the kids never forget, McNamee adds. He credits that welcoming environment as being the reason the farm has so many returning retreats and kids.

It is essential visiting kids have an opportunity to know God in a way they never have before in an atmosphere they love, McNamee adds.  

“We want what we build to be unique and something they can’t wait to visit.”

For seven years, McNamee and the ministry of Blue Tassel Farm has helped change the lives of hundreds of inner-city youth and adults in active addiction recovery.

The farm, which is located just shy of 40 miles outside of Hope, was launched by McNamee and his wife, Kathy, with a foundational vision of offering a ministry to help inner-city youth learn about the love of God through creature and creation – things they’ve never seen before or had any experience with in a relatable, mundane way.

Reaching just one child and making a difference in that child’s life is a blessing, McNamee says.

With an annual operating budget of $140,000, the funding allows for McNamee to serve as a full-time missionary, one full-time farm hand and one part-time office staff.

When asked, McNamee readily admits what he and his staff do on a daily basis is not easy work. Like anyone else, there are days where continuing to move forward can be difficult, but when he is reminded of the impact that is made in the lives of those who visit he says it is all worth it.

“When a kid gives his life to Jesus or when you see the pure joy and excitement and then the kids who call and email me all the time wanting to know when the next camp is – that is where it is,” McNamee says. “I have to keep my staff inspired and it is hard work. We deal with everything others deal with, but when you get the reward part that we get a lot of people don’t. A lot of people work their tail off their whole lives and never get to see the reward right in front of them. That is where we know we are blessed, because we get to see it.”