For Michelle and James Herrle, the value of community is at the heart of what they do. They believe in the importance of helping people, especially those who may not have the same safety nets to support them when the challenges of life become overwhelming.
As a family with three grown children, the Herrles have deep community roots through their family business, Herrle’s Country Farm Market, located just outside of Kitchener-Waterloo.
The linking of one generation to the next is important to Michelle and James. They farm the same land that has been in the Herrle family for five generations. The family business has been growing food and feeding the local community for 57 years, ever since James’ parents, Elsie and Howard, began selling sweet corn out of their garage in 1964.
Because of this strong connection to community that has lasted for generations, the Herrles make many of their business decisions with their neighbours in mind. They always consider requests for charitable donations with the following filter: “Will it benefit out community?” And, in turn, they have seen first-hand the community be there for them in so many ways.
“We have been blessed with an amazing support network, which provided an outpouring of love when our daughter, Lydia, suffered devastating injuries in an accident nine years ago.”
In 2012, when Lydia was 13 years old, she was hit by a recycling truck as she stepped off the school bus at the end of the driveway. She suffered a catastrophic brain injury. Her difficult recovery continues to this day.
“After the accident happened, our community showed their care and support for us by tying lime green ribbons, Lydie’s favourite colour, to mailboxes, trees and porch posts – a wonderful way for our community to let us know they were standing with us! Everyone championed Lydie in her recovery and their support buoyed us through many heartbreaking days,” said Michelle.
This outpouring of support is part of what has inspired the Herrles to give back – including by leaving a gift in their Will to House of Friendship.
“Our Christian faith is lived out in community – in sharing and caring for others. With a gift in our Wills, we can continue to act upon our faith and celebrate the values that we hold dear by helping people for generations to come.”
“Maybe you too were taught to see the needs of others. And perhaps, like us, your parents often asked you, ‘How are your actions going to make the world around you a better place?’ That’s why we support House of Friendship, because we value the mission and feel called to share what we have.”
Michelle and James want to be part of the mission and work of House of Friendship, providing life-changing supports, community and connection for people who are facing incredible struggles.
“We’re delighted to be able to partner with House of Friendship. And now, with a gift in our Will, we take great joy in knowing that we’ll be part of that story long into the future, for generations to come.”