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2015 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Camphill Village Kimberton Hills, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Developmentally Disabled Centers, Disabilities, Environment, Food, Food, Agriculture & Nutrition, Group Homes, Human Services, Natural Resources Conservation & Protection

Mission: Camphill Village Kimberton Hills is a vibrant farming and handcrafting community that includes adults with developmental disabilities. Founded in 1972, Kimberton Hills’ mission is to encourage individuals, especially those with special needs, to discover and develop their potential in a physically, socially and spiritually therapeutic environment. Over 100 community members with and without disabilities live together as expanded families in 16 households on a 432-acre farm in Chester County, Kimberton, PA.

Programs: Located on a beautiful 430-acre farm, Kimberton Hills provides adults with disabilities the opportunity to learn new skills and make meaningful contributions to their community. Residents can experience home, engage in meaningful work and share with dignity and joy in the social, cultural and spiritual activities of community life. About 120 people live and work in the village. Of these, 45 are adults with developmental disabilities. The rest are volunteer co-workers and their children. We operate a biodynamic dairy and CSA vegetable garden, a coffee shop, bake whole-grain, organic breads and cookies and create beautiful handcrafts. We enjoy a rich cultural life with musical recitals, plays, seasonal festivals and other activities. We also provide a variety of special programs to enhance each person's health and well-being. The cost for a resident with special needs to live in our community is less than half that of the cost of a typical group home. Even so, 87% of our residents require financial assistance beyond the resources of their families and their modest SSI payments. We are committed to providing care for our residents, regardless of their ability to pay. Thus we seek contributions from both individuals and organizations to address this need.

Community Stories

16 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Volunteering at Camphill Village Kimberton Hills has made a tremendous impact on my life. The workers and the villagers are remarkable people who are inspiring, as well as fun. Whatever the task – whether you are helping in the homes and workshops, supporting others in their work, participating in cultural events, or sometimes merely having a good time together on quiet evenings, I guarantee you will leave with a deeper sense of purpose.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had a great experience volunteering at Camphill. It really is a unique community that cares for each other and the land. I feel they provide holistic healing for both the adults with mental disabilities who reside there and the volunteers who spend anywhere from a few days to a lifetime at this place. This is a great place to spend time if you want to experience an alternative way of living that is based on mutual care and compassion.

-Rich Samartino

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I loved my experience at Camphill Village Kimberton. It gave my life a deeper sense of purpose. The interaction between many of the workers helped me gain a sense of passion for them. The tasks at hand helped the community. It was truly a blessing to work at camphill and I will definitely continue to volunteer here in the future

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My wife Carol and I lived in Camphill Village Kimberton Hills for twelve years. We lived in a home with two other volunteer co-workers and five individuals with developmental disabilities. It was village life in a beautiful setting. Members of all household worked variously in the homes, fields, gardens and workshops. They came together regularly as a community to discuss common issues. They celebrated birthdays, the seasons, holidays and religious festivals in plays, concerts, dances, and sports. Occasionally common meals of home-grown natural foods were shared on the green. Life in Camphill was for us a holistic experience in every possible way. It is a place in which one can live, love and thrive alongside life-long friends.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I came to Kimberton Hills in 1973 because its mission combined my social, spiritual and agricultural ideals. For the last 42 years I have loved all the work I have done, as a housemother, gardener, and community member. I am taught most by the people who appear to need my help. I have gained skills, made deep and lasting relationships, and at the same time I have had a wonderful setting to raise my family and to express myself individually, for example by creating and editing a biodynamic planting calendar. I love that the proceeds from the calendar benefit the whole community and don't come to me personally.

5 Jean69

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I can not say enough about Camphill Village Kimberton Hills. I am so grateful to be part of the community and to be able to participate in their efforts. I have yet to find another organization that so truly cares for its cause.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My experience as a volunteer at Camphill Village Kimberton Hills was formative. I lived and worked there for 1.5 years the year I turned 21, having decided to take a year off from college to study bio-dynamic agriculture. I learned a great deal working on the farm, in the machine shop and in the classes held for trainees, and most of all, grew because of the opportunity I had to become a member of an extraordinary community made up of beautiful and diverse people of every age--individuals with developmental disabilities, short-term volunteers like myself (from many countries who came for a practical study of gardening, farming or social work), long-term co-workers (single adults, couples, parents) and children. It is difficult to do justice to the vibrancy, deep commitment, spirit of joy, meaningful and sometimes hard work, appreciation for cultural and artistic expression, and rhythm of life in the village that are so evident when one has the opportunity to spend a little time there. Each dwelling houses a group of people that become family to one another; the whole community a large, extended family. The seasons and the very land itself, orchards, fields and crops, plants, animals, the artisanal craftwork, the authenticity, and the loving care that people share within this community, is truly special. I am deeply grateful that I was able be a part of Kimberton Hills and to behold what is possible when each person is recognized as fully human and respected. There is a remarkable sense that everyone is needed, everyone has something to valuable to contribute, each person is unique and also belongs to the whole. This is a place of nurturing and abundance, it fosters healthy relationships, cultivates the mind, will and spirit and helps the heart to sing. I have great admiration and appreciation for the wonderful people that welcomed and taught me so much when I lived in the village, and I will always cherish and carry my experience of Kimberton Hills with me.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have enjoyed the great variety of work that I am asked to do. I have also learned a lot about vineyards, orchards, gardening, and tree planting. I have also met a lot of people from all over the world.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The people throughout the community opened my eyes and touched my heart. From early morning milking to discussions around the dinner table, the memories are everlasting. Thank you!

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Life sharing with the best teachers in the world! All this while holding fulfilling workshops and creating top quality produce and products.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have lived and worked as a volunteer in Kimberton Hills for many years and am impressed by how well cared for everyone is here. People with and without disabilities, children, elderly, and folks from many different countries all work side by side for the good of each other and the earth. We do organic farming, baking, crafts, and homemaking. There is a real sense of community, with everyone doing the work he or she is able to do, whether it is sweeping the floor, carrying boxes of apples, or taking folks to the doctor. Festivals and birthdays are celebrated with gusto, and everyone knows one another.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered at CVKH for two years as an Americorps service volunteer after college. Living and working in this intentional community not only changed my perception of relationship and daily routine, but it also inspired me to pursue the career I am currently working in. I learned how to assist people with personal care, knit (a now-favorite hobby), lead a household, build friendships with people of various country and ability, and appreciate the land. Even 4 years later, I still feel very close to this organization and the people I met there. My memories from those two years are still a highlight of my life thus far!

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I learned in the weaver under Felicity's guidance and had English conversations with some of the foreign co-workers. I always looked forward to my time in the calm surroundings and felt at peace when I left. I've moved to Florida and dearly, dearly miss the chance to go out to the Village. I haven't found anything like it here. I am volunteering at a village that houses make a wish families while they are at the parks around here. It's a happy place, but miss getting involved with yarn!!

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a full-time volunteer with Camphill Village Kimberton Hills for over 32 years. This community does so much that is socially positive in/for the world, whether it is being a shining example, experienced by thousands upon thousands of visitors, of how a diverse group of people can live together productively and harmoniously; its enabling a life of meaning, dignity and joy for 45 adults with developmental disabilities; its healing of the land through Bio-Dynamic agriculture while providing high quality farm/garden products for many in southeast Pennsylvania; its offering of a Social Therapy Seminar with college credit courses for many young volunteers from around the world; its many environmental awards; its welcoming many school classes for tours and volunteer experiences; its award-winning cultural events venue; its wonderful organic Cafe and craft shop with award-winning crafts; or its 432 acres of beautiful grounds and walking trails which the public is welcome to enjoy. I feel truly blessed to have such a communityorganization to be associated with.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

In my two years as a volunteer I learned so much about myself, and my role in the greater community. Being in a setting that encourages all residents, with and without disabilities, to discover and develop themselves while mutually supporting the community as a whole is something to behold. The reverence for the land and the biodynamic agriculture practiced here, sustainable living habits and bounty of work experiences is something every young person would do well to experience first hand.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It is amazing what this small intentional community can do. Maybe it is because of a lot of help from people with so-called disabilities as well as others, and an emphasis on a wholesome life of service. Raising biodynamic food, helping with neighborhood issues (e.g. local entrepreneurs, food bank, volunteer fire department, animal shelter), living as sustainably as possible, teaching and hosting, including public events, producing and selling licensed organic raw milk, herbs, teas, cider, crafts, cookies and bread... and a great little café--they are serving a lot of people and doing it well. I especially like the horses in the 300 member family CSA and the events in Rose Hall.