In May, I had the privilege of serving on Baudville’s first volunteer team at the Equest Center for Therapeutic Riding. Our team’s task was to plant nearly 200 evergreen trees along the perimeter of the Saddle Safari Discovery Trail. That’s a lot trees!
In addition to our tree planting, we also helped out around the Equest Center by unloading a hay wagon and stacking bales of hay. This work certainly gave us all a greater appreciation for the Equest Center volunteers who do this hard work regularly!
Our day even included rescuing an Equest Center icon, Fred the Turtle. We look forward to cleaning and restoring Fred before returning him to his home when the trail officially opens this fall.
At the end of the day, our volunteer team felt satisfied –hot and sweaty, too! –with all we accomplished. The trail was well on its way!
The greatest highlight, however, was our chance to observe a therapeutic riding session taking place. We watched a rider be carefully placed on a docile horse through the harness-pulley system installed just outside of the riding arena. We experienced firsthand the joy of the riders and the comfort they receive from the horse, volunteers, and instructors during their lesson. And we heard inspirational stories of individuals growing leaps and bounds thanks to the therapy they received at the Equest Center.
For many of us, we’ve become familiar with the Equest Center for Therapeutic Riding over the years because of Baudville’s longtime support, but our day of volunteering strengthened our connection to their mission. At the end of the day, there were eight new advocates for the Equest Center who were well prepared to spread the word throughout our community.
If your organization is passionate about a local charity or cause in your community, there’s no better way to stir your employees’ passion than to provide an opportunity for them to volunteer. The firsthand experience will open their eyes and hearts and foster valuable word of mouth support.