BORROWED FREEDOM EQUINE ASSISTED THERAPIES AND ACTIVITIES INC

Rating: 4.95 stars   21 reviews

Issues: Children & Youth, Health, Human Services, Sports

Location: 2520 Vestal Parkway E. #313 Vestal NY 13850 USA

Mission: Borrowed Freedom Equine Assisted Therapies and Activities, Inc. strives to offer a meaningful experience that will enhance wellness, build life skills and bring great joy and self-esteem to children, adults and families with physical, developmental, intellectual, emotional or socioeconomic special needs. We do this by providing funding for equine (horse), animal assisted activities, agricultural and environmental learning opportunities, and the development and implementation of innovative, beneficial projects. We believe that in fostering the wellness and independence that develops through the beneficial relationships between people, animals and the environment we can make a positive impact on our community and its future.
Results: Since the official beginnings of our program in 2009, we have grown from 8 clients served over a summer session to more than 60 clients weekly over 40 weeks each year. Our program has expanded to include Hippotherapy, Advanced Adaptive Riding, Equine Experiential Education, and Breast Cancer Support and Rehabilitation. More than 95% of all participants will receive their services through scholarships. It is our mission to serve all those who will benefit, regardless of their ability to pay. We have an incredible team of therapy horses including those from loving homes with accomplished show histories, those with special needs who have come here to rehabilitate and learn a new job, and those who found themselves facing the tragic plight that so many of our American horses do...neglect, abuse, or potential slaughter in a Canadian or Mexican slaughterhouse. We work with several excellent rescues, equine professionals, compassionate individuals and a network of supporters who feel deeply committed to helping us reach our goal to help horses help humans.
Target demographics: Children and Adults with physical, developmental, intellectual, emotional or socioeconomic special needs. We specialize in pediatric Hippotherapy and Early Intervention programming
Direct beneficiaries per year: 25 children and adults will benefit from a full year (40 weeks) of Adaptive (Therapeutic) Riding and Hippotherapy
Geographic areas served: The Southern Tier of NY and Northern Tier of PA including Broome, Tioga, Chenango, Cortland, Tompkins and Chemung counties in NY and Tioga, Susquehanna and Bradford counties in PA.
Programs: Adaptive (Therapeutic) Riding and Horsemanship Hippotherapy Equine Facilitated Learning Social Skills Programs Books in the Barnyard Literacy Project
2013 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

Volunteer, and future partner/client. These programs fill a void in the community for at-risk youth. A unique approach for unique individuals. This is why there has been such a high success rate for those fortunate enough to participate. I look forward the a collaboration with "Borrowed Freedom" in which the children at the Georg F. Johnson Dream Center will be able to "take the the reigns" and turn their lives around in the direction of progress and positive futures never before deemed possible. "Borrowed Freedom" has done incredible things, and continues to do so!

Looking forward to the actual "hands on" volunteer work in addition to the current networking capacity!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Make the Dream Center a part of it!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Some

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Rating: 5 stars  

I have been visiting and volunteering sporadically at Borrowed Freedom for over a year now and have been excited to see the improvement and growth of the facility in such a short time. The animals are well cared for and immaculately kept. Colleen has a gift with the children she works with. Her love shines through in her every interaction with them. She is patient, compassionate, and caring. She and Ally are a pleasure to be around.

Borrowed Freedom has a welcoming atmosphere and I always leave there feeling inspired and refreshed.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Rating: 5 stars  

I have been a volunteer with Borrowed Freedom for a year and love going to "the farm" as much as the clients do. During my year with the organization I have worked with several clients and watched them grow and blossom under Colleen's and Ally's care and training. It still amazes me to see the transformation brought about through the program. All the animals, but especially the horses, are given the best of care and love and return it to the students. You have to see it to really understand the transfer between horse and student.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Add more certified people to provide Hippatherapy to more clients.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Some

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Rating: 5 stars  

I am a new volunteer at Borrowed Freedom. I met Colleen at a stable where our daughters both take riding lessons and was excited to find out that she ran an equine assisted therapy organization. I enjoy working with people with developmental disabilities and have a vast background in that area. Put horses in the mix, and this seemed like a perfect fit for me! I know a little about horses, but am learning so much more as I work with Colleen, the other volunteers, and the clients. Adult clients actually teach new volunteers and clients how to approach, groom, and lead the horses around. This not only reinforces what they have been taught about horse safety and care, but also helps with self confidence and communication skills. I love it! The horses are well loved and cared for and everyone there loves what they do. The clients and animals get top priority at Borrowed Freedom.

Bonus: they don't just have horses. There are chickens, ducks, goats, a mule, miniature horses, a miniature donkey . . . it's a regular menagerie!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

have an indoor arena built (or at least a covered one), and make a paved path to the classroom/arena area. Sooo much money. Keep the donations coming in!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Some

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Rating: 5 stars  

A few years ago I discovered Facebook and was able to get in touch with people who I have not seen in years. Colleen and I grew up together in Johnson City and I kept following her posts on her program. My daughter rides horses and Colleen was looking for volunteers so I thought my daughter would be interested. We have been volunteering for Borrowed Freedom since last fall and I can't say enough about what a wonderful program it is. We have learned so much and we cherish every moment we spend at the farm working with the animals and clients. It is truly the most rewarding experience. Our area is very fortunate to have such a well put together program of this type available to us. We plan on continuing to volunteer there for many years to come.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 5 stars  

I am the founder and director of the Borrowed Freedom program. When we first decided to make our program "official" we decided to do it right, to not fly by the seat of our pants, but to take our time and grow all while maintaining the highest possible level of service. Now, three years later, we have grown to become a respected and valued member of the community and have gathered an exceptional team of volunteers that not only enhance our programming through their dedication, but bring years of experience in the fields of Physical and Occupational Therapy, Nursing, Education and more. In the fall of 2012 we will begin our first internships with Binghamton University. I am profoundly grateful to all of the incredible people who have made this possible, without you...it simply would not be as wonderful as it is!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have personally witness children take their first unaided steps, speak their first words and grow 12 feet tall from the self-esteem and confidence they have gained from their work with the horses.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Increase volunteer base, and expand programming for early intervention and at risk youth.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

What one change could this group make that would improve your volunteer experience?

To continue to grow!

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

More than words can describe. It has changed my entire path in life.

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

Again, words cannot describe!

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