- Hands & Hearts for Horses received a $25,000 grant to renovate their playground and make it handicap accessible.
- The program is working to expand their services to reach more people.
- Check out the video above to hear what new programs are added.
It's a therapeutic riding service for those with disabilities. It's called Hands & Hearts for Horses.
"We're hitting kind of our momentum of growth," said Susie Shin, Executive Director.
That's Executive Director Susie Shin. She says on average the non-profit sees over 100 people weekly. There's just one problem—there are only 6 staff members.
"The staff can't do it alone. We rely heavily on those volunteers to help make sure those lessons are therapeutic but also safe," said Shin.
Shin says that the need is growing and that 13 percent of Thomas County has some form of special needs or a disability.
A percentage the non-profit tries its best to cater to, but they need some help.
That's not all.
Hands & Hearts for Horses are working to expand their services to reach even more people.
This is how they're doing it.
They're teaming up with other organizations such as the Vashti Center, and Keiser University.
"I am an occupational therapist, and I started my private practice Red Hills Therapy about 2 years ago. I partner with Hands & Hearts for Horses," said Caroline Fullerton of Red Hills Therapy and Keiser University.
Caroline Fullerton is one of the partners.
With help from people like her and a new $25,000 grant from the Christopher Reeve Foundation the horseback riding service is now able to offer things like growth and wellness programs, occupational therapy sessions, playground renovations for handicap accessibility and one day even carriage driving.
They just need a little help to get it done.
"They're growing and need more volunteers," said Fullerton.
Chin tells me carriage driving lessons can be expected to kick off in 2025.