The Sassy Vegan hosts event to support Lopin' Along at the Farm Micro Sanctuary

On April 16, at Studi07, The Sassy Vegan will be hosting their monthly makers market from noon until 6 p.m. The market is known as Sassy Sundays and features over 25 local craft and artisan vendors, entertainment, and vegan food. The recurring market is meant to gather local vendors and create a family-friendly, all-inclusive event while supporting a good cause.

Last month the Sassy Sundays event collected menstrual items for East Allen County Schools in collaboration with DSA of Fort Wayne.

Dessert made by the Sassy Vegan.Rachel Smith, Owner of The Sassy Vegan and the person organizing the market, says these events are a great way for her to give back to the community that’s helped her grow her small business. 

She launched The Sassy Vegan in 2020, focused on selling delicious vegan and gluten-free treats. Without a storefront, the bulk of her business comes from local markets like Sassy Sundays, pop-up events, and through partnerships with local businesses that carry her products.

“As my business grows, I’ve made connections and I want to use that in a positive way,” says Smith.

One of those connections is with Jessica Wallace, the founder of Lopin’ Along at the Farm Micro Sanctuary, a safe haven in Lawill, Ind. for farm animals that have been injured or deemed no longer useful to the farms they previously resided at. Among the residents there you’ll find three goats in wheelchairs and a blind chicken named Alice.

Lopin’ Along will be featured at this month’s Sassy Sunday. Patrons will have the opportunity to meet Jack, a goat in a wheelchair who lives at the sanctuary, and contribute items and monetary donations to the micro sanctuary. 

Jack the GoatJack the Goat is somewhat of an unofficial “spokes-goat” for the sanctuary and the face of Lopin’ Along’s merchandise, which will be available for pre-order at the market as well. Wallace says he is really friendly and social, so he enjoys coming to events to meet people. 

Lopin’ Along is asking visitors to bring baby wipes, bleach, high-efficacy laundry detergents, carrots, animal crackers, blueberries and cat treats in exchange for raffle tickets. Winners will be drawn during each hour of the event.

As a nonprofit organization, Lopin’ Along depends on donations and volunteers to care for the goats, chickens, and horses residing there, which is why events like the upcoming fundraiser hosted by The Sassy Vegan mean a great deal to Wallace.

Donations allow animals like Millie the goat to receive a second chance at life. Millie’s been a resident for two years. At her previous home, Millie suffered a spinal cord injury while pregnant. Wallace says Millie carried the pregnancy to term– all while unable to walk. After she gave birth, her kid was taken, and Millie’s owners insisted that was it for her. She was unable to walk, they believed she’d simply deteriorate and need to be euthanized.

But Wallace took her in, and now Millie the goat is living her life out at the sanctuary. 

Millie the Goat“She doesn’t let anything stop her,” says Wallace. “And now she’s on her third wheelchair because she keeps breaking them.” 

Wallace says farm animals are typically not given the same veterinary care other pets or animals are, but she’s here to change that when she can. She provides medical care and a safe haven for these animals to live their lives peacefully.

A poster for Sassy Sunday's Lopin' Along fundrasier.Sassy Sunday’s’ Lopin’ Along Event featuring Jack the Goat
At Studi07 on April 16, from Noon-6 p.m.
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Brittany Smith is Input Fort Wayne's Managing Editor. Previously she served as Assistant Editor and participated in the College Input Program. She also volunteers for Northeast Indiana Public Radio.