Visionaries - Changing the World One Story at a Time

Season 04

Gould Farm

Gould FarmTucked in the Berkshire Hills of Western Massachusetts, Gould Farm was founded by Will Gould in 1913 as a refuge for anyone suffering in mind, body or spirit. The farm is now a therapeutic treatment center for adults suffering from mental illness as well as a working farm. For this shoot, The Visionaries crew became part of the Gould Farm community to learn why its approach to treating schizophrenia, bi-polar disorder, depression, and other psychiatric illnesses is so unique and effective. At Gould Farm there are no patients. People who have been referred here from other institutions for transitional treatment are called guests, but regardless of whether someone's stay at the farm lasts for five days or five years, nobody is merely a guest. Staff, volunteers, as well as guests share daily living and work together to overcome fears and limitations, test new abilities and share the skills and talents that sustain compassion and community. Shows 401 & 402.

The Caring Institute

Bill and Val HalamandarisThe Caring Institute, of Washington DC, was founded in 1985 by brothers Bill and Val Halamandaris to teach the value of caring. In this episode, meet four of the extraordinary recipients of National Caring Awards: Henri Landwirth lost his family and his youth to the Holocaust. He came to the US poor and became a successful businessman who dedicates much of his time to helping children and their families through his "Give Kids the World" village, which gives terminally ill kids a chance to live out their childhood dreams in nearby Disney World.

Rachel Wheeler Rossow has legally adopted 21 kids, most of whom have severe mental and physical handicaps. At her home in Ellington, CT, she calmly and lovingly cares for these children who have profound physical and emotional needs.

Hugh Jones believes in giving back to the community, and as CEO of a large Jacksonville, FL, bank, encouraged his employees to do the same. Inspired, they continue to contribute over 40,000 hours a year to community projects. Jones also washes dishes at a local homeless shelter and supported the Korean Heart Program, which brought Korean children with heart disease to the US for surgery.

Momma Hawk created the "Recovering the Gifted Child" program in the Chicago public school where she teaches. With tough love, patience and innovative teaching techniques, she instills self-worth and the will to succeed in kids wrongly labeled hopeless and expendable. Show 403.

Nonprofits' Insurance Alliance of California

Picture from NIAC ShowFounded in 1989 by Pamela Davis, The Nonprofits' Insurance Alliance of California (NIAC) is a unique umbrella organization that provides affordable liability insurance to other nonprofits so they can effectively fulfill their missions. This episode features five NIAC members, each serving very different community needs: a senior citizens network, the California Gray Bears, operates a recycling center and distributes donated food to the elderly; Women's Crisis Support works to eradicate violence against women; Heads Up, Inc., an equestrian center, uses horseback riding as therapy for physically and mentally disabled children; San Francisco BayKeeper, an environmental group, monitors water quality, reporting violations of pollution control laws; and Watts Health Foundation operates mobile medical units in LA's inner city neighborhoods. Now nine years old, NIAC has 1,500 member-insureds, and annual insurance premiums totaling $10 million. Show 404.

Connecticut Institute for the Blind/Oak Hill

The Connecticut Institute for the Blind/Oak Hill provides children and adults with multiple disabilities the opportunity to live, learn and work in the community. Founded in 1893, CIB/Oak Hill has evolved from a nursery school for blind children to a statewide provider of community-based educational, vocational and residential programs for over 400 children and adults from ages six to 85. Lars Guldager, Oak Hill's Executive Director for 20 years, has helped transform the way people with disabilities are treated in our culture. CIB/Oak Hill's mission is to enable people with multiple disabilities to live with pride, dignity and independence. Show 405.