CHESAPEAKE, Va. -- Months ago, Knickers, a Holstein-Friesian steer of impressive size, made headlines around the world.
The six feet, three inches animal is the unofficial biggest steer from Australia.
Here in Hampton Roads, there is one similar steer in size.
WTKR visited Chuck, a six foot, two inches steer in Chesapeake, to learn how he and his owners are taking action for the community.
“I fell in love with him the minute I saw him,” Kimberly Goodwin, who is the co-founder of the non-profit Kisses From Chuck, said.
Her husband and co-founder Leigh Goodwin said, “He has a heart as big as he is.”
Chuck came into their lives five years ago. They said Chuck was on the verge of death at a dairy farm, and was not expected to survive.
But they cared for him and nursed him back to health.
“I knew he was hurting. Love cures a lot,” Kimberly said. “Now he’s able to love people back.”
Love is what the super-sized steer was giving to children from the group Families of Autistic Children of Tidewater Friday morning.
The group of about 35, who are all autistic, range in from 6 to 27 years old.
Families of Autistic Children of Tidewater Representative Sheri Bragg said many of the children have sensory needs and have different abilities, and fall on different points of the spectrum.
Chuck and the other animals on the farm are used as therapy animals.
9-year-old Liam Harris said Chuck was his favorite animal he saw today.
“Because I never really seen a cow before,” Harris said, “I think this is a good place to check them out. I like his size. This is amazing.”
At the Farm of Northwest Pines, they have rescued horses, donkeys, goats and pigs.
The Goodwins minister to people through their animals. They bring out youth groups, at-risk teens and other older adults to the farm.
“(Chuck) has a way of knowing who needs the most attention and he responds accordingly,” Leigh said
The Goodwins say they don’t go on vacation, but take time off from work to host people at their farm free of charge.
“Just to see their faces light up when they come out here, it’s all worth it,” Leigh said.
Their ultimate goal is to build a train around the 16 acres of property. They would like to bring people from hospice out to the farm.
They hope a train around their property would be able to share the joy the animals bring to more people.
“We make wishes come true one smile at a time,” Kimberly said.