The Farm a loving place for homeless

SNOHOMISH — There are days when it looks like little happens at The Farm Ministries.

The beds are all neatly made in several colorfully painted small cabins. No one is singing or performing on the outdoor stage, playing miniature golf, spiking a volleyball on a sandy court or taking a spin on the merry-go-round. A large white tent in the center of the property is empty. Only a few peacocks, goats and bunnies roam across the 4 acres.

“It looks like nothing happens here, but it does,” director Bruce Karr said.

The Farm on 92nd Street is often the site of events for local ministries and schools, a home base for missionary training, a provider of programs, toy and clothing drives for low-income children and their families, and a place where everyone is welcome, Karr said.

“We don’t look down on anybody,” he said. “The biggest gift we can give to others is to make them feel like they are wanted or loved.”

Karr, 60, started The Farm 14 years ago with a vision of making it a youth outreach center. He was waiting for a heart transplant and he said doctors didn’t expect him to live. Karr survived without the transplant, and the popularity of The Farm grew. Then, over a year ago, he was diagnosed with liver cancer. The Farm, he said, gives him something to focus on besides his disease.

“There are times I think, ‘Why am I still doing this?’” he said. “I have issues myself but by doing this I can think about others instead of just myself. I’m proud of what we do here.”

One of the most anticipated events of the year, he said, is the Christmas celebration for homeless shelter children and their families.

Last year, 550 people attended the “Miracle on 92nd Street” event. That was 100 more people than expected, Karr’s wife, Vicki, said.

Snow kept some families in need from reaching Toys for Tots locations, she added, and The Farm experienced more traffic after the party. Donations of new toys and money helped to ensure every child received a gift.

“We had the overage because of the people who sent us the toys,” she said.

The Karrs want this year’s Christmas party on Dec. 6 to be another success. To get there, The Farm needs more volunteers, monetary and toy donations. The proceeds from a country Western-theme auction on Saturday will help fund the party. A holiday bazaar on Nov. 7 will also raise funds for the event.

Volunteers meet at 10 a.m. every Saturday at The Farm to plan fundraisers and events to keep the nonprofit going, volunteer Patrice Wilkins said.

Wilkins heard about The Farm a year ago while standing in line for coffee at Edmonds Community College. She couldn’t wait to get involved. Now, she tries to get others to volunteer but it’s not always easy.

“I couldn’t get anybody in the summer time,” she said. “People were too busy. It was terrible.”

Only a handful of volunteers keep The Farm going on a regular basis, Karr said.

“It takes a lot of work and volunteer dedication,” he said. “Sure it gets frustrating … but we can’t let the kids down.”

No one knows for sure where the donations will come from or how many people to expect this year, Karr said. Local businesses have supported the Christmas party and the nonprofit’s Easter event in the past.

What he knows for sure is that yellow school buses will transport homeless children from throughout King, Skagit and Snohomish counties to The Farm on Dec. 6 and a party will be waiting for them.

“Once you see the impact on the kids, when you feel it personally, you know you make a difference,” he said.

Amy Daybert: 425-339-3491,

You can help

Attend the Country Western Auction Fundraiser at 5 p.m. on Saturday at The Farm, 11212 92nd St. SE, Snohomish. Dinner for $15 a plate, silent, live and dessert auction. Proceeds benefit The Farm’s Homeless Shelter Christmas Celebration on Dec. 6.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Cars move across Edgewater Bridge toward Everett on Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2023, in Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Edgewater Bridge redo linking Everett, Mukilteo delayed until mid-2024

The project, now with an estimated cost of $27 million, will detour West Mukilteo Boulevard foot and car traffic for a year.

Lynn Deeken, the Dean of Arts, Learning Resources & Pathways at EvCC, addresses a large gathering during the ribbon cutting ceremony of the new Cascade Learning Center on Thursday, Sept. 28, 2023, at Everett Community College in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
New EvCC learning resource center opens to students, public

Planners of the Everett Community College building hope it will encourage students to use on-campus tutoring resources.

Everett Police Chief Dan Templeman announces his retirement after 31 years of service at the Everett City Council meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Everett police chief to retire at the end of October

Chief Dan Templeman announced his retirement at Wednesday’s City Council meeting. He has been chief for nine years.

Boeing employees watch the KC-46 Pegasus delivery event  from the air stairs at Boeing on Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019 in Everett, Wa. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Boeing’s iconic Everett factory tour to resume in October

After a three-year hiatus, tours of the Boeing Company’s enormous jet assembly plant are back at Paine Field.

A memorial for a 15-year-old shot and killed last week is set up at a bus stop along Harrison Road on Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2023, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Teen boy identified in fatal shooting at Everett bus stop

Bryan Tamayo-Franco, 15, was shot at a Hardeson Road bus stop earlier this month. Police arrested two suspects.

Fatal 2-car crash closes Highway 99 in Lynnwood

Police closed off Highway 99 between 188th Street SW and 196th Street SW while they investigated.

Mike Bredstrand, who is trying to get back his job with Lake Stevens Public Works, stands in front of the department’s building on Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2023, in Lake Stevens, Washington. Bredstrand believes his firing in July was an unwarranted act of revenge by the city. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Lake Stevens worker was fired after getting court order against boss

The city has reportedly spent nearly $60,000 on attorney and arbitration fees related to Mike Bredstrand, who wants his job back.

Chap Grubb, founder and CEO of second-hand outdoor gear store Rerouted, stands inside his new storefront on Thursday, Sept. 21, 2023, in Gold Bar, Washington. Rerouted began as an entirely online shop that connected buyers and sellers of used gear.  (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Used outdoor gear shop Rerouted finds a niche in Gold Bar

Seeking to keep good outdoor gear out of landfills, an online reselling business has put down roots in Gold Bar.

Naval Station Everett. (Chuck Taylor / Herald file)
Everett man sentenced to 6 years for cyberstalking ex-wife

Christopher Crawford, 42, was found guilty of sending intimate photos of his ex-wife to adult websites and to colleagues in the Navy.

Most Read