RFJ is bummed to announce that Winter Wonderland at Twin Oak Farms on 1/20/18 has been cancelled due to weather (it sure doesn't feel like winter!). Check back to see if the event is rescheduled.
Executive Director Christi King is honored to present Ride for Joy to the Mighty Girls Book Club on February 10, 2018.
The club is for ages 11 to 14 and features books with strong female characters. Members meet at the Silverstone Library in Meridian on the second Saturday of each month to discuss the featured book and listen to a guest speaker.
February's book is The War I Finally Won by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley with Christi as the guest speaker.
2018 is off to a great fundraising start. Congratulations to RFJ and Chris Allen, the new grant writer, for the first grant award of the year.
The Walmart Community Grant presented Ride for Joy with $1000 to support local communities.
"At Walmart, we strongly believe in giving back and are proud to support organizations that improve communities where our customers and associates live and work.
"As a Community Grant recipient, we encourage you to celebrate this accomplishment...We appreciate your efforts to help people live better and wish you success," said The Walmart Community Grant Team and Faculty.
A hefty thank you to Walmart from all of the bipeds and quadrupeds at Ride for Joy.
Happy New Year from the staff and equines at RFJ!
As you usher in 2018, perhaps you have wondered what 2017 looked like at the barn. Read the 2017 Annual Report to find out.
May this new year bring blessings and joy to you and your family. And a trip to the barn!
As the days to Christmas fly by, many of you may be thinking about last minute gift orders. If that is you, remember to include Ride for Joy as a donation recipient on sites such as Amazon Smile, Flip Give, Fred Meyer, Walmart and others. The students, horses, volunteers, and staff appreciate every penny donated.
Services for veterans have become well known throughout our culture as more and more military members discharge from service. With so many therapeutic options available, it may be difficult for veterans and their family members to know where to engage.
At Ride for Joy, therapeutic riding has been available to veterans since 2014, but the avenue has been in use for many more years. Science has recently begun to track and record the outcomes that riders have experienced throughout history.
Personal stories of the impact of equines abound. If you would like to read more about veterans and equine therapy, the following link will take you to one of many great articles: http://theweek.com/articles/722279/how-horse-therapy-helps-treat-veterans-ptsd.
Staff say regularly that volunteers make RFJ possible, but it bears repeating. Volunteers not only lead horses and support riders during lessons, they create games, organize equipment, and some even donate their time and artistry.
One such volunteer is Michael of MJ's Photography. This up and coming photographer trekked to the barn on a chilly December afternoon to provide much needed pictures of herd members for the new website. His patience and time are appreciated.
Consider him for your photography needs.
RFJ was honored as a recipient of grant monies from the Whittenberger Foundation. This generous grant will help fund new helmets and tuition assistance for the annual All Abilities Camp slated for July, 2018.
The Whittenberger Foundation was established to continue "Mrs. Whittenberger's life-long interest in the welfare of children" with "priority [given] to innovative and enriching projects which significantly improve the quality of life for children and young people."
The team and riders at Ride for Joy are grateful to the board of the foundation for choosing All Abilities camp as a deserving program.
The RFJ Staff is excited to announce the final changes of 2017.
Lauren Zimmerman has accepted a move into the Fundraising Coordinator position left vacant by Christi King's move into Executive Director. Lauren has been with Ride for Joy since her youth, holding a wide variety of positions over her many years. Her vast connections in the community and her ability to network, along with her passion for Ride for Joy and organizational skills, make her a positive choice for RFJ's financial future.
Filling Lauren's vacated roll of Volunteer Manager is Cindy McBride, known around the barn as The Volunteer Extraordinaire. Cindy joined RFJ in 2016 as a side walker and quickly became a go-to for any task needed. During the summer of 2017, she worked as the interim Volunteer Manager. Despite having little time to prepare for the roll, she quickly learned her way through the process of scheduling the indispensable volunteers for each lesson. With a session in the roll already under her belt, she is ready to jump right in.
Both of these women are sure to help RFJ continue positive steps forward in 2018.
2017 was a year of exciting changes at Ride for Joy. Many wonderful additions to the program have changed the face of the barn.
Four new horses have added youth and strength to the therapeutic herd. Adult programming brought increased diversity to the students. Ruck Up & Rebuild Retreat amplified opportunities for veterans to rejuvenate. New staff and promotions improved cooperation and morale. And two staff babies brought smiles and joy to all.
The RFJ staff and volunteers worked diligently through each change, even when the load was heavy, and counted each day as a success. Through transformations large and small, Ride for Joy’s foundation has been strengthened immensely, promising an even greater 2018.
Before 2017 blows to a close, two new, exciting changes will be announced. Check back soon to see them announced…