Chatham Farm Damaged in Fire Receives Donation from Pet Valu Corporation

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An unexpected surprise for the founder of Charlotte's Freedom Farm in Chatham-Kent.

Lauren Edwards received a $5,000 donation from Pet Valu Corporation.

She says the money will be used to help build a new barn at the farm.

As AM800 news reported in early July, a fire broke out at the farm on Brook Line in Chatham killing a number of animals including a dog, a pony, chickens, ducks and cats. 

Edwards says since the fire, the old barn has been demolished and construction has started on a new barn.

She says the support from the community has been overwhelming.

"The main thing though is the way people have reached out with their support," says Edwards.  "People as far as volunteers coming to the farm, the first week we had people that would come for 10-12 hour days and just help with anything we needed."   

She says her insurance company will cover a certain per cent for the new barn but she did have to come up with an additional $100,000.

Edwards says Wednesday's donation will make a difference.

"It was just so generous of them, completely unexpected to walk in and have them there presenting that cheque for $5,000," says Edwards.  

She says since the fire, the farm has received donations from all over the world including Germany, Japan and Australia. 

The farm is home to 30 rescued animals including pigs, goats, sheep, ducks, chickens, a donkey, and an alpaca.

- with files from AM800's Patty Handysides