Sometimes we never truly comprehend the power of community until disaster strikes.
At the end of December 2017, Justin and Tori Engelhardt of Sioux County, Iowa woke up to a very unpleasant surprise in their backyard. The couple runs a small business called Wild Hill Honey, but on that bitter winter morning, they found that vandals had inexplicably barged into their shed and destroyed fifty beehives that housed over half a million honey bees.
The hives had been spilled onto the snow, and sadly the bees were not able to survive outside in the cold temperatures. Justin and Tori were devastated to find piles of their precious bees all over the icy ground. Hundreds of thousands of bees perished in this senseless act of vandalism.
They estimated the damage to be approximately $50,000, which their insurance would not cover. They thought their small business was finished, for sure, but then something amazing happened.
Justin and Tori posted about the crime on their Facebook page, and soon their community rallied around them! A GoFundMe page was established, and within two days they had raised over $30,000.
The couple was humbled beyond words, taking to Facebook to say:
“Thank you to everyone for your generous contributions and your amazing show of support. Because of you, we will be able to continue our business in the spring. We are deeply moved by your compassion. Between the contributions and the equipment we were able to salvage, our needs have been met.”
Now that Justin and Tori have received enough money to keep their important work going into the spring, they asked that future funds be contributed to other worthy environmental causes.
Bees are essential to producing certain crops, and their numbers have been rapidly decreasing in recent years. Please be sure to share this story to spread the love… and encourage everyone to respect nature and farmers everywhere!