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July 14, 2014

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July 14, 2014

I began volunteering at SIRE in October 2012. Initially as a way to be around horses again and of course volunteer my time in a way that would benefit others. What I found in these client riders and staff and the horses and of course other volunteers has changed my life. I am inspired by the strength and bravery of every rider who may initially approach with trepidation, mere months later are competing in Top Hands. I know I feel power and freedom on horseback, but some of these riders come for wheelchairs. Imagine how that must make them feel. The instructors and staff always make the experience for riders fun and entertaining while they perform tasks to make them stronger and stretch their limits. Feels like play but you can see how hard everyone works - the payoff is the growth and confidence building every week. It is awe inspiring. I am grateful to have become a part of SIRE and all they do.

Ways to make it better...

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

Just want more. More staff, more clients, more volunteers. More people to know about SIRE and the way they change the lives of their client riders young and older.

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?

2014

July 14, 2014

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July 14, 2014

I started volunteering at SIRE as a way to stay close to horses and work with the disabled.

As a bit of history, I am a breast cancer survivor. My medication depletes my calcium so after being throw from 3 different horses, I quit riding for fear of breaking something, like a hip. As
for working with the disabled, my mother was an amputee so as I helped her resume a "normal" life, after the loss of her leg, I gained a modicum of knowledge of how the handicapped are perceived and treated by experiencing it first hand. I also saw what the treatment of others did to her mindset. I wanted to show those individuals called disabled that everyone's normal is different and a smile or a display of kindness through encouragement from a volunteer, or from the rider to the volunteer for that matter, is the BEST! SIRE is the WHOLE package...

People tend to give you kudos for working at SIRE but I just say I do it because I'm selfish. Volunteering with such a great organization make ME feel great. Working with individuals trying to better themselves gives me the incentive to better myself. And the friendships I have gained, disabled and able-bodied, are, well...priceless.

If it weren't for SIRE, I wouldn't have a horse of my own who I love to drive with a carriage. Without SIRE, I wouldn't be training to be the Able Bodied Whip for their newly reinstated Driving Program. To sum it up, if I hadn't gotten involved with SIRE, it's mission and it's people, I wouldn't be near as happy with my life as I am now.

Sidebar: I mentioned my horse. He is young, 10 yrs., and I am not-so-young, 61. But when I quit working with/driving him, he will be the best therapy horse I could train him to be so my hope is that the rest of his life will be spent as a SIRE therapy horse helping the disabled in his later years as I have enjoyed doing in mine.

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?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

July 14, 2014

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July 14, 2014

After my little brother passed away 6 years ago, at 5 and a half months old, due to different health issues that he was born with, my mom started volunteering at a therapeutic equestrian center like SIRE. Now that I am old enough to do it myself, I searched for a place once we moved to houston last year. I have been volunteering at SIRE since January of this year. It has been such an amazing experience to help all these wonderful people! If my brother hadn't died, he would have been one of these kids riding at SIRE. It brings me much joy to volunteer at SIRE, and help put a smile on all these precious people. :)
-McKenna (15)

Ways to make it better...

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

I wouldn't do anything! It's perfect.

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?

2014

July 14, 2014

more

July 14, 2014

SIRE is amazing! I started volunteering with them in the fall of 2013 and have loved every second of it. Everything that they do is for their amazing riders! It is not just a motto, the rider is number 1 at all times. The joy and improvement in the riders that I have seen is remarkable. Their abilities are enhanced by the therapy that they receive. The care and attention that SIRE provides to their riders is phenomenal! This is a special group of people that make this therapy available to those who benefit from it. I have gotten back so much more than I could ever give by being a SIRE volunteer.

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?

2014

July 14, 2014

more

July 14, 2014

Having volunteered with SIRE for over 7 years, I have been able to see first hand what a great difference it makes in a child's development. I am a retired special education teacher and know the difficulties these students have finding something they can accomplish and be proud of. The staff is amazing (and that includes the horses). It has enriched my life so much and I will continue to volunteer as long as I can.

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?

2014

April 11, 2013

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April 11, 2013

I began volunteering about 19 years ago and have been in so many roles, but it is seeing the magic on horseback that makes it all worthwhile. I am currently working with a young lady who cannot speak; she communicates through her body position and facial expressions. When her face lights up, she shares that light with all who are around her. It is clear how much she enjoys it, and she know that she must work to sit up straight to keep riding.

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

April 9, 2013

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April 9, 2013

My daughter started volunteering at SIRE three years ago, got me hooked, and now my son volunteers, too! As a dad, I love SIRE because it is a great place for my kids to do great work with great people. My kids have created lasting relationships with people of all ages and from many different backgrounds. And, they get to see how our clients with a variety of challenges are real people with the same goals, fears, and dreams that we all have. As a volunteer, I love seeing how an hour on a horse can truly change my clients' lives by giving them more physical, cognitive, and emotional strength. I also love my fellow volunteers, and the staff is amazing. They always make us feel appreciated, because at SIRE, we are all part of the team. If you're looking for hands-on volunteering that lets you change lives in a fun, supportive environment, SIRE is your place.

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

April 8, 2013

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1 previous review
November 12, 2012

Well, all you have to do is look into the faces of our riders and the story of their growth and joy unfolds. Then you look at their loved ones watching them progress and then you know why all of us ... more

April 8, 2013

I have been a volunteer with SIRE, the Houston area Equestrian Therapy Program, for a little more than 5 years. I have seen adults, young adults, teenagers and children come into and through the program. I have encountered their family and caretakers who support and cheer them on. I still cannot find the words to tell you how much this program has touched each one of them. I celebrate every little success I see each of them accomplish with their favorite horse...the big smile one their faces! I celebrate when I see a young woman who was severely brain injured in an auto accident feel the joy of her horse under her body for weeks and then become able to go back to school (college) and graduate last May! Wow! What a success story! I see a little girl with autism get on a horse for the first time somewhat bedraggled finally settle down, then a big smile come across her face, she sits straight, and, then I know she was meant to ride...today she is reigning her horse as if she had been born on it! Now, isn't that a great success! This is what SIRE does...this is what the program is all about...how can I not nominate it!

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

November 12, 2012

Well, all you have to do is look into the faces of our riders and the story of their growth and joy unfolds. Then you look at their loved ones watching them progress and then you know why all of us do what we do...anything and everything to support the work of this program. I have been a volunteer with SIRE for the past 4 years since I retired from University work. I am not sure any words can describe the tremendous experience it is to see a Iraq veteran, injured by a road bomb, ride and become stronger, more balanced, more confident he can make it! Or, see a litte girl who is autistic, ride for the first time...fighting against getting on the horse, and then, once up on the saddle her face lights up and a smile appears...wow...she was made for riding. Now she is excited every time she comes. This is what I say to others.."it puts gas in my tank" and is the reason I keep volunteering doing anything I can do to keep this program alive! Thank you SIRE Family!

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

December 4, 2012

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1 previous review
February 16, 2011

I am the one who benefits by being at SIRE. Everyday that I volunteer I learn more about giving back to others, about people who have handicapps and about horses. I value the continual training SIRE... more

December 4, 2012

I have had a great experience volunteering at SIRE. I benefit in many ways while volunteering at SIRE. I share in the clients success, the parents joy for their child's learning, and I am educated to be a better volunteer ever time I am at SIRE. The instructors are terrific to work with. It's great voluntering at SIRE.

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

February 16, 2011

I am the one who benefits by being at SIRE. Everyday that I volunteer I learn more about giving back to others, about people who have handicapps and about horses. I value the continual training SIRE offers for its volunteers. Their instructors are wonderful to work with.

The Great!

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

Many of the clients I have volunteered with have be able to make great improvements in their confidence, independence, and mobility.

Ways to make it better...

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

Better use of their bank of volunteers. Better contact with their volunteers to keep them in the loop about the many events they have. round ups,, Luncheons, Gala, Top Hands, Special Olympics, Golf Tourn'y...this email!

November 19, 2012

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November 19, 2012

I have volunteered with SIRE for 3+ years. I have witnessed this organization continue to provide the very best to its clients not only by the professional and caring instructors but also providing training and education to its volunteers. The clients benefit immensly as everyone works hard to help improve the quality of life for persons with disabilities. I was already volunteering at SIRE when my sister was stricken with a disease that caused her to require a wheelchair. I brought her to SIRE and she began to regain her mobility. She now walks with only a cane for support! It has given her personal freedom, confidence and hope.

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

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

with training, lead a horse or walk beside a client in his or her lesson, helping her with balance or focus. Volunteer