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The FIRST Pigs & Kids

Posted by allie gadziemski on

Hello friends! It feels like a good day to start a blog! How else will I share with you so many lovely photos from our first ever Pigs & Kids event last Saturday? The photos below were taken by the incredibly talented Paulina M Photography, whom I am very lucky to have as a volunteer and co-leader for the events that we host.

This event. What can I say? It was amazing. This is what we squeezed into a half-day-camp style event:

- Safety discussion and expectations with the pigs and then getting to spend some time with the pigs. Socializing, offering them treats, giving them space, petting their backs.
- "Which pig" game, talking about how the pigs had different personalities, different likes and dislikes and behaviors, much like dogs in some ways! 
- Hike in the woods with scavenger hunt - Chase, the leader, was amazing with the kids. In the Q & A afterwards, kids couldn't wait to answer his questions reviewing the things they saw & learned about on their hike.
- Snacks! Ants on a log are always a hit.
- Games. Regular day camp style games!
- Crafts! Trisha made bird feeders with one group and Jennifer made piggy headbands with the other!
- Cupcake decorating (and eating, of course!) Haley lead this fun and then taught about landfills, compost, recycling and reusing. Again, hands were shooting up with engaged kids wanting to answer questions and talk about the issue.
- An amazing meal that Tricia and Rosebud worked hard to put together. Smart dogs (vegetarian hot dogs), marinated carrots, roasted broccoli, and "mac & cheese" with a plant based cheese made from carrots, potatoes & cashews!
- Nutrition discussion about where valuable vitamins and minerals come from. (Plants!)
- More games, goody bags, cookies, prizes, lots of high fives, and saying goodbye to the pigs.
- Some kids said hello to the chickens, but Bosco, Ariella and Allie are so new to us that they didn't want to socialize much, so they mostly enjoyed peace in their coop, though we did tell their story to a few people. 

I am wildly grateful for such a wonderful afternoon with such great people. The next Pigs & Kids is coming soon- June 8th. Tickets will be available very soon. We have to beat the mosquitos. It will be a shorter duration overall and smaller groups will visit with the piggies so that 1. the pigs don't become overwhelmed and 2. all kids who want one on one time with a piggy can have that opportunity, as long as the pigs are comfortable with it, too.Pigs & Kids at Sanctuary Event

Kids learning activities with potbelly pigs

Potbelly pig rescue Grand Rapids Michigan

kids and pigs at sanctuary event

cupcake and crafts at fundraiser event for animal sanctuary

craft time at kids and pigs sanctuary event michigan

volunteering for nonprofit animal sanctuary

Cyclops Baker, vegan and gluten free custom cookies Grand Rapids Michigan

hay bales and craft time, animal refuge grand rapids

Children treating pigs kindly at nonprofit sanctuary

Michigan Nature walk at nonprofit sanctuary

Potbelly pig refuge, Michigan nonprofit animal rescue

Teaching kids about nature at animal sanctuary

Teaching kids about landfills and recycling

Making bird feeder crafts at Pigs and Kids event

piggy party at animal refuge Sparta Michigan nonprofit sanctuary

Plant based hot dogs, vegetarian hot dogs meal at event

Love Bites Treatery pig treats and healthy dog treats

Our sponsors for this special event:

Cyclops Bakeshop donated unbelievably delicious sugar cookies served after our meal. Cyclops makes beautifully decorated cookies for all occasions. They are also a local company! Check out more of Cyclops' baked goodies at or @cyclopsbakeshop on instagram.
Love Bites Treatery donated those adorable cakes the piggies devoured! They are a local company who makesnutrient-rich treats, cakes, and food for cats, dogs, and other animal friends. Love Bites Treatery's online shop can be found here:
-  Bit Baking Co. donated the chocolate chip Bumpa's cookies that went home in goodie bags. Bit is another local company, they make a variety of treats that are all scrumptious. Peruse their cookies here:
-  Herbivore Clothing donated adorable animal-friendly stickers & buttons. They sell cruelty-free clothing and accessories! You can find more of their stuff at
-  Hurraw! provided awesome lip balms in the goodie bags. They sell a number of cruelty-free products in many yummy flavors. Shop more from them on
-  Raw Rev donated snack bars. They make lots of lovely protein bars, find them all on
-  Primal Strips provided the plant-based jerky that went home in goodie bags. Their jerky comes in 6 different flavors, all of which are quite good! Try more of them at
-  Ultimately, this was funded by The Pollination Project, who believed in our vision for this fun, educational, special event. They fund very meaningful things that have potential to make a huge impact, and they have a worldwide reach- check them out at

Please consider a donation to help support our mission and our ongoing costs of animal care.


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