I am writing to you today to ask for your consideration in donating to our ramp fund. Three and half years ago, I became a PATH certified therapeutic riding instructor and fell in love with this work. I have been slowly transitioning my business over from a traditional show and lesson barn to a therapeutic riding center that for now also provides traditional lessons. Our therapeutic services have grown considerably over the years and as a result our needs have also grown.
Presently Furnace Brook Farm has three PATH certified instructors on staff – myself, Kate Daly and Katie Murphy Gordon. Katie has also earned another PATH certification in mental health programming and as a result handles most of our mental health students at this time. Katie is now working as a counselor at FLIHH – a local counseling service treating eating disorders, anxiety, depression and other mental health challenges. FBF and FLIHH have partnered in order to bring their clients to FBF to experience the therapeutic benefits of equine assisted activities. FBF is also once again partnering with Justice Resource Institute to provide equine assisted activities to children who have suffered trauma – this program will be run by Meredith Norton who we are excited to have join our team. On Fridays FBF offers hippotherapy services with licensed OT Kim Fuda. Kim brings many of her Early Intervention students to Furnace Brook to receive the many benefits of the horse’s movement to help her student’s reach their OT goals. Kate Daly and I teach a wide variety of students with different challenges. Presently, Furnace Brook Farm and its staff are helping individuals with cerebral palsy, down’s syndrome, Prada Willi syndrome, autism, stroke patients, developmental delays (both physical and cognitive), dyspraxia, blindness, deafness, anxiety, ADHD, anger management disorder, and depression. Our horses are our partners and bring such joy and healing into the lives of both the adults and children who come to FBF.
As our services expand and the number of students increase, our need for certain equipment had become evident. One major is a handicap ramp to help our students mount and dismount the horses. Many of our students are physically challenged and must use a wheelchair, walker or canes to be mobile. Mounting and dismounting with just a mounting block is a challenge and at times puts safety at risk. One of our boarders is a civil engineer and her husband is a builder so together they designed a plan for a ramp. The cost of the ramp in total with materials, labor and permits is $12,000. The ramp is ADA certified with proper handrails, incline and is compliant with all specifications. The materials used are Trex and white pvc to keep maintenance needs to a minimum. As winter was nearing, a generous offer was made to front the money for the ramp to get it done before the weather prohibited construction, but the money must be repayed. We have decided to start a capital campaign to raise funds to pay back the loan. Any amount you are comfortable donating would be greatly appreciated. You will be helping countless riders receive the freedom, unconditional love, and physical benefits that horseback riding provides. Furnace Brook Farm works hard to provide a supportive and nurturing environment to those who have physical and mental challenges. We want everyone to feel they have a safe place to come and feel a part of something. No one at FBF is defined by their disabilities or challenges – we seek to provide opportunity and with your help we can continue to do this.
Donations can be made the following ways.
1. Send a check made out to Furnace Brook Farm to 253 Sandy Hill Dr Marshfield MA 02050 – write ramp fund in the memp
2. Venmo – Andyilles_photog
3. PayPal – [email redacted]
My dear friend Andy Illes has generously offered to help with this fundraising campaign. She has headed many fundraising efforts and will be an outside source documenting all incoming donations and overseeing the repaying of the loan. At her suggestion, I am also going to develop an Amazon wish list for anyone who would like to donate to our program throughout the year. Any donation, big or small, will help us continue to provide our services.
Thank you so much for considering our program and our ramp fundraising efforts. We encourage everyone to stop by and see our work in action. If anyone had interest in volunteering, please let us know – you will find it so rewarding! It is so special to see the magic the horses bring into the lives of these children and adults.
Happy New Year to all!
Check out our video! https://youtu.be/PKvBhWn4S1E
Welcome to the FBF Therapy Program
Erin Van Steenburgh
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