URGENT: Prevent Veteran Suicide and Rescue Horses

View Press Conference Here 

H.O.O.V.E.S. (Healing Of Our Veterans Equine Services) always offers support to veterans at NO COST. In 2018 our organization was promised a partnership and large financial contribution that would change everything. Based on this partnership and promise to pledge, we took the leap of faith to secure our 30 acre farm and sanctuary and began our veterans healing retreats. This has enabled us to provide life changing healing services for veterans suffering from service related illnesses such as PTSD, suicidal thoughts, addiction and depression; helping our service men and women return to the lives they fought to protect. 

Then we got the shock of a lifetime.  The critical funding we were depending on was in an instant, rescinded. As you can imagine, my team and I were devastated beyond words. Our hearts were in our throats as we realized the challenged we were now facing - saving the farm so we can continue to save lives. 

Because people are more important than funding, my team and I did what most would do. We rolled up our sleeves and went to work. Even with the help of our dedicated donors, and personal sweat equity, it hasn't been enough. 

What the past year has taught me personally, is that rolling up my sleeves has cost me sleep, peace of mind, and all my resources. If I was given the miracle of redoing the last year, I would have still worked hard, but instead of staying silent I would have included you. 

So now my friends, I am coming to you. I NEED YOU. The next veteran NEEDS YOU. If we cannot secure this funding our veterans and Toledo will permanently lose this resource. 

CURRENT NEED: $100,000 

Total cost of farm $700,000

The land owner has been so generous by letting us lease the farm for the last year, but the time has come for us to secure the down payment in order to keep the farm open and continue to save veterans without interruption.

By investing in HOOVES, you're investing in the veteran who yearns to not just return home, but to actually BE home. 


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In 2009 I opened the doors to Healing Of Our Veterans Equine Services. My friend and I had to "trick" our very first veteran client to get him in the arena. We told him we needed a model for a video/photo shoot and all he had to do was go through the exercises with the horses. He obliged and came out three separate times, then didn't come back again. After realizing how much it took to run a non-profit and thinking that maybe the program just didn't work, I decided to call it quits after just 6 months. When this veteran got word of my decision he called my friend and begged her to tell me not to give up. He told her the program saved his life and after years of therapy and hopelessness, it was the ONLY thing that worked for him. That veteran is now a social worker and had been helping other veterans for the past 7 years. 

It was in that moment I made a promise to that veteran and to myself that I would never stop bringing this work to veterans. Ten years later I could tell you success story after success story but you'd be reading this post for hours.  

Now here we are. A LOT has happened since the beginning of this journey. Along the way I suddenly lost the man who was my best friend and business partner - my father, and in turn lost my original farm and sanctuary where I started the program. I've watched several of the horses who saved lives cross over the rainbow bridge. I've begged and bartered to use other facilities to continue this work, I've shed literal blood and sweat and cried more tears than you can possibly imagine. 

Over the past decade my dedication has been unwavering and my optimism has been eternal. There have been moments that I have felt I would sacrifice my own life for this program, but realize that wouldn't really be helpful to anyone. 

I once heard the saying God doesn't call the qualified, he qualifies the called. I can tell you in every sense, that when he chose me I was clearly the latter of the two. And through lesson after lesson, year after year he has qualified me. To a point that I don't know how to be anything other than what I am. A facilitator of life changing transformation for veterans. Don't believe me? Just ask Tristan, or Kellie, or Tim or Joanna. Ask Teresa or maybe Nick. This list goes on. These are all brothers and sisters in arms that have attributed the restoration of hope and healing they experiences to the tools provided in a HOOVES Retreat. 

I simply cannot imagine what will happen to the veterans in need if they lose the resources of H.O.O.V.E.S.


Donations (257)

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  • Meline Abelian
    • $10 
    • 3 yrs
  • Anonymous
    • $1,000 
    • 4 yrs
  • Meggan Fairchild
    • $50 
    • 4 yrs
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    • $100 
    • 4 yrs
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    • 4 yrs
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Amanda Held
Swanton, OH
H.O.O.V.E.S (Riverbend Equine Therapy Services)
Registered nonprofit
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