guest post by Jenn Scheurich
When I reached to Andrea to ask about how she might be able to help raise awareness for a cause near and dear to my heart, I never imagined she would open up her blog to me. I am simultaneously extremely touched by such a generous gesture, and also a little nervous! I want to share some information with you all about a program that has profoundly impacted my life and is doing really wonderful things for kids in our community. Sprout Therapeutic Riding & Education Center provides equine assisted therapies (both physical and emotional) to the special needs community, at risk youth, wounded service members, and pretty much anyone else who asks for help. Brooke Waldron (Executive Director) and Cathy Maddox (Administrative Director) have made it their mission to open their arms and welcome everyone to Sprout who comes in search of growth, needs support, or wants to help, and it is truly inspiring to see their service in action.
About a year ago, I was asked if I was interested in joining the Board of Directors at Sprout and cautiously accepted. I knew a little bit about the program through some other local horse people and had been impressed with Brooke the few times I had interacted with her. At the time, I was a new mom of twins, already struggling to juggle the demands of parenthood and a full time work schedule, but I felt really strongly about the mission of the program and so I signed my name on the proverbial dotted line and jumped right in. What I have learned as I have gotten more involved has made me so grateful for the opportunity to support Sprout. As a lifelong "horse person", I have long been in awe of the healing power horses provide. They love unconditionally and endlessly, and bear our burdens without complaint. For participants in Sprout's programs, this healing power is on full display, as you can see in this video created by one of our volunteers. As a mom, that emotions of the participants really hit home for me.
The reality of running a therapeutic riding program is that we are largely dependent on the support of the community. Families raising children with special needs are often already overwhelmed with costs associated with medical care, and we want to ensure that our services are still accessible to those who need them most. In order to ensure that access, program fees are heavily subsidized (by as much as 65%), and as a 501c3 non-profit, we rely on a mix of donations, grants, and fundraising to close that gap. WALK ON WITH SPROUT
Here's where YOU come in - we are asking our local community to Walk On with Sprout in 2013. Walk On is one of the first commands we teach our riders. It’s how they encourage their horses to take their first steps from the mounting blocks, and often is the starting point for discovering the joys of riding. The side-walkers and leaders support the riders, much in the same way the community supports Sprout. We have a number of events upcoming where we would love to have your participation, and we are also always looking for volunteers to join our 2012 Loudoun County Volunteer Team of the Year.
Walk on with Sprout. Volunteer. Donate. Attend a Fundraising Event. Tell your Friends. We are here to serve the community, but we need your help.
Upcoming Fundraising Events:
August 16, 5:30-7:30 pm : Saddles to Success Open House @ Sprout
September 7, 12:00 pm: First Annual Sprout on the Green Golf Tournament @ South Riding Golf Club (click here to register or become a sponsor)
October 5: Sprout Barn Dance
October 27: First Annual Sprout 5k/1K Fun Run @ Clyde's of Willow Creek
For more information and to support this great local charity, please visit: www.sproutcenter.org.
Hi! my name is Andrea and I'm a not-so-average Northern Virginia blogger, mom, and transplant from the Midwest. I host Girls Night Out events, meet ups, and write about events and my adventures in the DC area. I love to travel, brunch, and drink wine with my neighbors! I'm known to live on the wild side and order Venti iced double shots at 5pm.
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