The Kinney's Homestead Dream

The first night in our cabin was spent huddled on the couch next to the stove, the dog laying on our chests, and snow falling on our faces from the holes in the tarp we had nailed up for walls. We hadn't finished the insulation yet as it was October and we had spent most of that month moving our belongings and the entire farm (did you know U-Haul doesn't say anything when you use their trailers to move pigs?). The rest of our winter wasn't much warmer. We managed to finish putting up insulation, but snow made it impossible to finish siding and interior walls. We lived in a glorified tent, burning standing dead and green ash for heat and running a generator at night for a few hours for electricity. But we had a dream. We still have a dream.

To continue our dream, we need help to keep the land we've been building on for the past year. Due to an act of nature, we won't have the money we owe come November to buy the land. We will lose everything we've put into the property and won't have the capacity to get into a rental. Please read our story and share how hard we've worked to pursue our dreams. Any donation is greatly appreciated.

(P.S. Images load slowly on a phone.)

24615688_1507839611.7759_funddescription.jpg(Bonnie (left) and her sister working on her cabin. She did most of it on her own! A strong woman.)
24615688_1507839869.1698_funddescription.jpg(Our cabin's frame is almost finished!)
24615688_1507839898.3563_funddescription.jpg(Home for the winter!)
It has now been a year since we started clearing a plot of woods by hand and building our cabins in Vermont. My partner, Caleb, and myself in one cabin, and Caleb's mother, Bonnie, in her own. We've built little by little since the snow melted this spring. We now have 20 amps of electricity to each house and are almost done siding. Septic and running water are the big goals for next summer. Progress is slow because we all work and are paying for each project as we go.

24615688_1507841580.6837_funddescription.jpg(Putting in a driveway. It still isn't finished so we have a 200ft walk straight up hill to the cars.)

24615688_1507840417.0736_funddescription.jpg(Caleb spent all winter cutting down trees and hauling them up hill for us to stay warm.)

24615688_1507841281.6556_funddescription.jpg(Before our siding went up this summer.)

24615688_1507841042.242_funddescription.jpg(Our cabin as of September. We got the hemlock boards from a local gentleman who still runs his own sawmill at 80 years old. The siding is finished now!)

Our long term goal is to have this be an escape for people who want to find sanctuary in a small cabin in the woods-- to invite people to come stay and help on the farm, or to have a Bed & Breakfast retreat next to a mountain brook. Ideally even be able to rehabilitate wildlife in need and keep our 35 acres of woods untouched for the wildlife that call it home.

24615688_1507841782.8937_funddescription.jpg(Our bathing spot and home to many brook trout.)

24615688_1507839291.0261_funddescription.jpg(Our neighbor rescued a baby deer and returned her to the wild when she was healthy again. However, she's quite friendly so it's a bit shocking when a deer walks up to you in the middle of the woods.)

24615688_1507840721.7728_funddescription.jpg(Escape artists.)

An act of nature means we could lose all of the blood, sweat, and tears we've put into this land over the past year. The equity from the sale of Bonnie's previous house was supposed to pay for half of the property, with the rest of the amount going into a payment plan with the original landowner. The amount due in November is going towards the original landowner's siblings, who are older and in need of the money for health issues. Unfortunately, two months ago, the previous house flooded due to heavy rain and a burst water main. The overall cost of the damage means we will not have enough equity left to pay our installment in November and we will be foreclosed on.

24615688_1507841088.015_funddescription.jpg(Preparing for the winter, in hopes we'll still be here!)

24615688_1507841352.4878_funddescription.jpg(The cabin is to the left.)

We have put all of our savings and extra money into building our dream. With our bare hands, we have doubled the value of this land. If we are foreclosed on, we will lose everything and will have little means to find a new living situation. All bank lending options have been exhausted, as the cabins aren't technically finished. And so we are reaching out with very little time left. Please, if you are able to donate anything, you would forever have our gratitude. If you are in a position to lend a large sum with interest repayment, please get in touch with us. If we don't reach our goal by early November, the money we raise will help us find a place to live this winter.

With humility and hope, we are sharing our lives, our fears, our dreams, with you and ask you to share our story. With much love to the friends who have helped us along the way and those who will help us here, we thank you.

Marina, Caleb, and Bonnie
(and our dog, five cats, six goats, three pigs, 30 chickens, two turkeys, five rabbits and cow)


  • Meg butak 
    • $30 
    • 47 mos
  • Phil Edelstein  
    • $100 
    • 47 mos
  • Bob Wendling  
    • $200 
    • 47 mos
  • Candi Huber 
    • $50 
    • 48 mos
  • Annette Kluzak 
    • $100 
    • 48 mos
See all


Marina Welch 
Topsham, VT
  • #1 fundraising platform

    More people start fundraisers on GoFundMe than on any other platform. Learn more

  • GoFundMe Guarantee

    In the rare case something isn’t right, we will work with you to determine if misuse occurred. Learn more

  • Expert advice, 24/7

    Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more