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October 16, 2013

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October 16, 2013

Project R.I.D.E. makes me smile every day. For the past year, I have volunteered roughly 200 hours with this wonderful organization.
What started out as a class requirement has become something that has changed not only my perspective on individuals with varied abilities, but also my attitude
towards life. Prior to working with Project R.I.D.E., I sweated the small stuff. Every little thing had to be perfect or my day was ruined. Seeing happy, laughing children who overcome daily struggles has really changed how I feel about my own problems. There are posters encouraging happiness and laughter throughout the arena that remind me to stop and smell the roses. Project R.I.D.E. is my "happy place," where my problems disappear when I volunteer.
In addition to promoting happiness, Project R.I.D.E. really takes time to emphasize the importance of its volunteers. This is part of the reason I keep coming back. The executive director, Tina, always stresses that lessons could not happen without volunteers to lead, sidewalk, and keep the arena tidy. Project R.I.D.E. makes its volunteers feel important and celebrates them at every opportunity. No matter how long I stay, I always get a big "Thank you!" at the end of each visit.
Project R.I.D.E.'s Volunteer Coordinator and Community Outreach Manager, Marisa, takes the time to get to know each volunteer and recognize their special talents. When I first mentioned to Marisa that I wanted to be an event planner, she quickly found me some great work experience in helping out with several of Project R.I.D.E.'s big special events.
Even though I have fulfilled my class requirement at Project R.I.D.E., I still plan to volunteer whenever the opportunity arises.

Ways to make it better...

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

Find a new business to sponsor the vending machines or sell other snacks for volunteers. Create a mobile app or some other way to sign in for volunteer shifts. If I'm working in the office, I generally don't have a chance to get to the clipboard at the other side of the arena. A mobile app that lets you "check in" based on proximity would be really useful. It would also be a cool way to track the total number of hours that I volunteered!

More feedback...

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?

2013

March 11, 2013
1 person found this review helpful

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March 11, 2013
1 person found this review helpful

I was in a lonely, dark place in my life- having some fairly serious health issues and going through a lot of stress at work. I finally took a leave of absence, which helped some, but left me lonelier than ever and w/o much reason to get out of bed every day.
My therapist asked me what I liked
to do that I'd stopped doing, maybe due to work, or lack of time. I remembered I'd loved working with horses in my teens, but hadn't had any real opportunity in the intervening 15 years or so.
I'm also quite shy and nervous around large groups of people. My therapist suggested finding a program like this one working with horses, because I already knew I could, and with kids, because they don't make me feel so anxious. It would get me out of the house and help others while helping me, as well.
I couldn't have guessed how much I would LOVE my time at Project RIDE. All of my fears and anxieties fell away working with the clients here. Most were children, some were adults, but I never felt judged or awkward, and I looked forward to every shift I could work. I started as a "sidewalker" and got to train as a "leader" (in charge of grooming, tacking and leading the horse through the sessions). Unfortunately, after a few months my health took a turn for the worse and I haven't been able to go back yet. I definitely will, though. Just like the students get to build on their skills through the program, I imagine I'll need to build my stamina and confidence back up as I go. Everyone here is so supportive and friendly, I miss going in to help. I miss seeing the progress my "little peanuts" made every single session. I miss our silly songs and games and most of all I miss their strong, determined hearts and the near constant laughter. Project RIDE affects everyone who participates - students, instructors, volunteers, observers. Everyone should visit at least once to see the wonderful things they are accomplishing there all the time.

More feedback...

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

March 11, 2013
1 person found this review helpful

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March 11, 2013
1 person found this review helpful

Every visit to Project RIDE is a fun learning experience, not just for the riders, but for the volunteers too! The staff, volunteers, and riders are all like a close family. I have never left the arena without a smile that remains with me for the rest of the day. Project RIDE is a special place filled with special people!

More feedback...

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

December 11, 2009
1 person found this review helpful

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December 11, 2009
1 person found this review helpful

Excellent Organization! Treats all volunteers like stars, and everybody has a great time, while really helping kids with special needs!

The Great!

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

Some of the kids that come here nonverbal, start speaking and connecting with the volunteers within a matter of weeks!

Ways to make it better...

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

Do more fundraiser and get more horses, to be able to help more kids!

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The staff always make you feel so valued!

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Enthusiastic and supportive of all types of people- just some of the most warm hearted people you will meet.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Help so many more children become verbal and enhance their social, academic and emotional skills!

Ways to make it better...

I had more time to volunteer.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

not enough funding to support more horses- the waitlist for kids to get into the program is hundreds of people long!

One thing I'd also say is that...

This is a really worthwhile place, where volunteering my time actually produces tangible results in the children we help!

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

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3 hours of volunteer time for this nonprofit will...

walk beside 20 students while they ride, making the best part of their week possible. Volunteer