‘Tis The Season For Giving: How Readers Can Give Back Beyond #GivingTuesday

‘Tis the season when we all have giving back on our minds — here are some ways you can give back all year long!

Original image by Canva/elpo11o/CC

Between #GivingTuesday two weeks ago and the upcoming holidays, ‘tis the season when many are thinking about giving to charity. As wonderful as it is to donate during the holidays, what about giving back year-round? For that matter, what do these charities need the most?

We spoke to representatives from four non-profits in different sectors of the horse industry: C.H.E.E.R (equine rescue), Friends of Ferdinand (Thoroughbred retraining and rehoming), Reins to Recovery (therapeutic riding) and the USHJA Wheeler Museum (historic preservation museum) for their take on how readers can give back, whether to them or locally. Here’s what they said.

Horse Nation: What items are you most in need of?

Calli Johnson, Reins to Recovery: “We’re always in need of office supplies, toilet paper, paper towels, printer paper, ink, laminated paper, finger paint, postage, envelops, sensory toys, etc. For the horses, we’re always in need of horse treats, hay, wheelbarrows, manure picks, tack or financial support to purchase special items specific to horse and rider needs. We have many special projects that need financial funding currently, such as classroom conversion, enclosing the tack room, pasture reseeding, a sensory garden and more.”

Billie Douglas, C.H.E.E.R: “Hay, good quality grass hay.”

Lori Miller, Friends of Ferdinand: “Good leather halters, good lead ropes, shampoo and fly spray for the summer and donations to pay for hay, grain, farrier and vet.”

Denise Quirk, USHJA Wheeler Museum: “The wheeler Museum showcases artifacts, photos, literature and videos of the traditions and legends of the sport through physical and digital exhibits. There are three main categories of materials that are solicited/accepted: A. Items connected to the theme of the major, rotating exhibits (currently hunter/jumper photography; next up show hunter traditions). B. Items that tell stories of people, horses and events that capture the positive essence of the sport, illustrate traditions and/or track change in the sport over time. And, C. Materials that can be useful in researching the history of the sport (horse show programs and prize lists, magazine runs, etc.)”

Horse Nation:  What do you most need volunteers to do? How can people get involved?

Johnson: “We need volunteers to help with our therapeutic riding program, feeding horses, barn management and fundraising committee. Look us up on Facebook or contact us to come visit and sign up to volunteer.”

Douglas: “Mucking stalls and pens, just grooming and brushing the animals. We always need volunteers to help with online auctions, different fundraisers, fosters are always needed.”

Miller: “Get the word out, share our posts, talk about our horses, tell people about us. Sharing is easy. To get more involved, there’s a volunteer form on the website – depending on the location and person’s skills and time, we could use some virtual help – alongside help filming and taking pictures of adoptable horses, grooming, cleaning tack and perhaps even riding some.”

Quirk: “Pass along their horse show mementos, treasures and stories. Support the costs of preserving, digitizing and presenting stories and artifacts. Let us know what information they’d like to see to better understand the hunter/jumper sport and its traditions of good horsemanship. Join the USHJA Wheeler Museum Facebook group, follow the Show Jumping Hall of Fame at the USHJA Wheeler Museum Facebook and Instagram channels, donate funds and contact the curator (Quirk) at: [email protected] with questions and suggestions. As the collection grows, there will be more hands-on opportunities for participating in the collection and cataloging processes.”

Horse Nation: What are the best ways for people to donate? Do you participate in Amazon Smile or a similar program?

Johnson: “They can send a check to Reins to Recovery, 10861 N. US Highway 31, Seymour, IN or call us at 812.350.4864 to discuss options. Not at this time [regarding participation in Amazon Smile or a similar program].”

Douglas: “Through our PayPal: [email protected], or mail to C.H.E.E.R. at P.O. Box 1031, Strasburg, CO, 80136. Yes, we are on Amazon Smile.”

Miller: “To donate, reach out on the website (https://friendsofferdinand.com/) or via Facebook. Yes, we do Amazon Smile and also Kroger [Community Rewards] and Adams Horse Supply.”

Quirk: “Monetary donations to the USHJA Wheeler Museum can be made through the USHJA Foundation website or by sending a check to USHJA Headquarters. Donations (monetary and artifacts with marketable value) are tax deductible. Suggestions, materials and questions about exhibits can be made to [email protected]. Yes, both the USHJA Foundation and the Show Jumping Hall of Fame and Museum are listed as participating charities in Amazon Smile.”

Horse Nation: Finally, how would you suggest readers find local organizations similar to yours if they’re interested in giving back locally or volunteering?

Johnson: “Look up centers online through PATH [Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship, International] or Eagala.”

Douglas: “Ask a rescue you trust, they can help find a local rescue for volunteering. Ask people that have adopted animals where they got them. Do your homework, research good legitimate rescues.”

Miller: “Reach out to the local horse community and ask. Lots of Facebook groups are out there for horse people near certain places, they will help you! Also, the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance has a list of accredited organizations, see if one is close to you.”