2018 Horseshoes for Hope Campaign
They say that hope can be found between what is and what could be. At WindReach Farm, we see how our programs and services inspire hope in the children and adults we serve every day.
While you may not be directly leading one of our Therapeutic Riding Lessons or driving the tractor with a wagon full of school children, your campaign support can help us provide the impactful programs and services that have life-changing effects on our many visitors and participants.
Donate to the 5th annual Horseshoes for Hope Campaign and your gift of $100, $500, $1,000 or $1,500 will be recognized with a personalized horseshoe proudly displayed on our Bridge of Hope for a whole year.
How Your Donations Help Children Like Gavin and Hayden
June 12, 2018
Nine-year-old twins, Gavin and Hayden, are opposites in many ways. Gavin, the comedian of the family, loves to make others laugh, to connect socially and to surprise his mom with flowers. Hayden, who is on the autism spectrum, is a more serious, quiet type who loves animals, collecting rocks, fossils and gems. Born more than three months premature at just under two pounds each, one thing they have in common is having cerebral palsy (CP). This brain injury is not uncommon in very premature babies and results in impaired motor function or posture. Another thing they have in common is their enjoyment of the programs they participate in at WindReach Farm, including the Acres of Fun summer camp and therapeutic riding sessions.
The twins have already faced more challenges than many will in a lifetime, from 105 days in the NICU, to heart valve surgery, to cochlear implants (for Gavin, who was born deaf), to mobility challenges and sensory issues, which is why a place like WindReach is so important for kids like Gavin and Hayden. As their parents, Heather and Dax, watched them participate in their weekly therapeutic riding sessions, Dax explained, “Almost every recreational activity the boys do is for a physiotherapy benefit, but this isn’t just physio, it’s fun.”
Through donations such as yours, WindReach Farm has been able to help many individuals with special needs, like Gavin and Hayden, face the challenges before them in an environment that brings joy and self confidence.
CP affects each person differently. For Gavin, it means that he uses a combination of a wheelchair, a walker and canes to get around, depending on the situation. As he rides his horse past his parents, bubbling with excitement and smiles, he is improving his core strength and balance, things that will help him maintain and improve his mobility. “But it isn’t just that,” his mother explained. “It’s the sheer enjoyment. Gavin wants to walk and run, but can’t. But you wouldn’t know he has a disability when you see him on his horse.” And that’s liberating.
One thing we know at WindReach, that Heather wishes more people understood, is that people with disabilities can often do the same activities as everyone else, just differently. “When people see Gavin in his wheelchair, they don’t expect that he can ride a horse. But he can!” And WindReach is able to adapt to the needs of each user. In Hayden’s case, he is able to walk independently, but is challenged by activities requiring highly coordinated movements as well as some social interaction. Better able to connect with animals, the farm environment puts him at ease. His father explained, “Horseback riding is a sport that strengthens his physical abilities but also really helps with his social skills, independence and self-esteem. His confidence grows here.”
Right now, WindReach Farm is reaching out to you in the hope you will support its annual Horseshoes for Hope campaign, where every horseshoe tells a story. The money raised will help keep programs and services open for adults and children with disabilities, like Gavin and Hayden, who get so much out of them. There are four levels of donations – $100, $500, $1,000 and $1,500– that offer a special opportunity to have your name on a small, medium or large horseshoe that will be proudly displayed on the WindReach Farm bridge. The higher level of donation features horseshoes from the RCMP as well as WindReach Farm horses and highlight the incredible bond between a rider and their horse.
Like Gavin and Hayden, the founder of WindReach Farm, Sandy Mitchell, had CP, but he demonstrated that our lives are defined by our abilities, not a disability as he became a three-time Paralympian and created this magical place with a vision to “inspire, empower and change lives.” Sadly, Sandy passed away on the very day I am writing you this letter, but with your support through the Horseshoes for Hope campaign, together we can help keep his vision alive.
Hejsa Christensen, Board of Directors
WindReach Farm Foundation
About The Horseshoes
Each horseshoe on the Bridge of Hope tells a unique story. Gently used or well worn. Light canter or full gallop? These horseshoes show the world how the WindReach Farm community has come together to help children and adults who benefit the most from our programs and services.
Prominently displayed on the WindReach Farm Bridge of Hope, each horseshoe represent a generous gift made by a thoughtful donor. Horseshoes will be personalized for the period of one year with the option of renewing annually.
A symbol of hope and luck, our horseshoe to you reads: Thank you!
We Need Your Support
Help WindReach Farm ‘bridge the gap’ to ensure our programs and services remain available to those who benefit most. We graciously accept donations of any amount and direct them to the important work we do here at WindReach Farm.
Help us continue to inspire, empower and change lives!