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June 27, 2012

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June 27, 2012

In my entire riding career, I have never come across an establishment as respectable and effective as the Square Peg Foundation. The facility is nestled in Half Moon Bay, and can best be described for its aesthetic value by the term "breathtaking". Each rescue horse at the ranch has a unique and wonderful disposition. I would accredit their friendliness to the fact that these horses are simply happy; happy to work, to serve, and to be in the care of the Square Peg staff. What is most phenomenal about these horses having such fantastic dispositions is that many of them have faced tremendous adversity prior to their arrival at Square Peg. I suppose the dark histories of many of these rescue horses are an inspiration to the students; many of whom have faced adverse life circumstances of their own. These children come from all walks of life, and despite the variation between the circumstances, personal characteristics, and physical characteristics of each child, they all fit in at the Square Peg Foundation. I fear that my review will not do the foundation nearly enough justice. One would have to experience a day at the ranch and see for themselves how palpable the love and positive energy is here.

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

June 7, 2012
1 person found this review helpful

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June 7, 2012
1 person found this review helpful

I’m Max, i am 17 years old and I’ve been hanging out with the people and animals at Square Peg since I was five. I learned to ride during the very first Square Peg summer camps. But Joell, Greg and Sigourney didn’t just teach me to ride.
They made sure I also learned responsibility, That if we
don’t care for the animals they won’t care for us. Over the years I’ve learned to get the horse out of the barn, to groom the horse, saddle the horse, bridle the horse, tie up the horse, untack the horse, groom the horse again. I’ve also learned how to do many necessary if not elegant chores such as cleaning stalls, feeding the horses, filling water buckets, and countless other important tasks. I have learned more life lessons at Square Peg then everywhere else i have ever been combined times 10 I will always as long as i live be doing everything i can to help this amazingly wonderful organization/place/second home for me and many others.

The Great!

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

Every part part of my life

Ways to make it better...

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

I don't see how it could be any more amazing.

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

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

I don't see how it could be any more amazing.

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

I have made countless friends and learned so many new things; i learn something new each time i go to Square peg

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

Happy

November 16, 2010

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November 16, 2010

I am a 14 year old volunteer and I have been with Joell since I was 7 or 8. This place is like my second home. I take a lesson once a week, and I LOVE it. During the summer I usually help with the summer camps and that's super fun too. The kids are sweet and I really love the learning aspect and how excited they get to ride. Joell, Greg, and Sigourney are amazing people who are great teachers and riders too. The horses are definitely amazing, the barn pets are sweet, and the kids obviously love to be there. What I love the most is the on-hands learning. At other stables barn chores are dismissed and let for others to deal with. Here, every aspect of being at a barn are learned (barn chores, feeding, medical, tack, cleaning, safety etc.) I love this place and its amazing!!!! It makes a huge difference in my life and I know it makes an even bigger impact in the kids lives :)

The Great!

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

taking lessons, helping in camps/lessons

Ways to make it better...

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

Nothing

December 26, 2008

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December 26, 2008

Your time and money show immediate results. Joell Dunlop provides a sanctuary for kids with special needs and unwanted horses. At first glance, Square Pegs is a small coastside riding facility, but dig a bit deeper and you'll see so much more. Some of the kids shoveling stalls or sweeping up are 'at-risk' kids getting their first chance to enjoy the outdoors and bond with large animals. Some of them are 'special needs' kids who would never get the chance to ride in any other environment. Some are kids just out for a riding lesson. You can't always tell by looking or talking to them, and they all get the same patient and caring attention. It's truly a unique environment and I learn to be a better person every single time I'm out there.

The Great!

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

the kids...the smiles and sense of accomplishment they get from their time around the horses.

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When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008

September 19, 2008

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September 19, 2008

Through the wonderful support and enthusiasm of Joell,Chris and their entire crew at Square Pegs, we were able to place a few of our students at this marvelous establishmet we called a "job site." Our program provides students with disabilities an opportunity to learn about different career options during their youthful high school years. A few of our students expressed their interests in working with horses as well as wanting to work in the outdoors. What a better place to train them but at Square Pegs!! Joell,Chris and their "patient" staff, had welcomed us with open arms and gave everyone the opportunity to learn about ranch life as well as the ability to bond with such a beautiful animal. Their entire family has made everyone feel like they are at home. What a lovely setting it is to call "home!" A few of our graduates still talk about their experience at the ranch and always ask how everyone is doing. They truly have the right motto,"Everyone Fits!" Thank you Square Pegs for your graciousness and ongoing support!

The Great!

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

Watching my students grow from this experience out at Square Pegs.

Ways to make it better...

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

I wouldn't change a thing!

More feedback...

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

Seeing my students grow from their experience of working at a ranch. The staff sure made a difference as well as the bond with the horses.

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

Everyone at Square Pegs are very kind and patient! They respected all of our students and were very supportive to each as individuals.

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

"clone" themselves and offer this great program all across the world!

Ways to make it better...

You couldn't change a thing!

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

The need for more donations.

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

Square Pegs is WONDERFUL and this great organization should have more people donating for such a great cause!!!!

Should this review be counted for a specific campaign?

WorkAbility Program

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2007

September 6, 2008

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September 6, 2008

My daughters have been volunteering at Square Peg Ranch for about six months and it has been a delightful experience as well as an invaluable learning opportunity. Joell's horses are always treated with loving kindness and it shows. After a few ground rules and common sense pointers were learned I have always felt that my girls were safe around these large animals. Because they are so well cared for, they respond in kind. In addition, learning what it takes to maintain a farm has been a privilege, hard work ( good for body and soul ) and a ton of fun. With horses, dogs, cats, and goats, Joell's place is the worlds best petting zoo, where you will also meet the nicest and smartest people around.

The Great!

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

the happiness of the staff, clients, volunteers and resident animals at Square Peg Ranch.

Ways to make it better...

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

do it the way Joell does.

More feedback...

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

having the opportunity to be around the horses in a safe and friendly atmosphere.

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

all outstanding individuals.

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

have the large pastures that would keep all the horses in seventh heaven.

Ways to make it better...

I had only known about Square Peg sooner.

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

the weather.

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

if you love your kids,you should sign up with Square Peg Foundation. There's no better way to earn community service credits while you learn and have fun.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008

September 1, 2008

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September 1, 2008

I was attracted to Square Pegs because of their slogan "Everyone Fits". Even me? A horse crazy middle-aged woman? Yes, even me! I found wonderful ways to volunteer with the organization that brought me into close contact with the animals I so love. Joell Dunlap is a force of nature... and it is a beautiful thing to watch the compassionate way she works with kids and animals. Square Pegs is an oasis of kindness in our sometimes indifferent world.

The Great!

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

the way the horses relate to humans... they are so much more alert and sensitive than horses that I have seen in other lesson situations.

Ways to make it better...

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

I couldn't run this organization. Joell Dunlap is an amazing person who has created something very unique and beautiful.

More feedback...

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

Growing confidence in my ability to relate to horses and ride.

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

amazing. I particularly enjoyed the guest speakers who came to talk on specific topics.

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

serve many more children in need. I would like to see some of our local low income Latino children have the experience learning to ride horses that many of the more affluent kids enjoy.

Ways to make it better...

there was a way for me to practice riding individually to integrate what I was learning in lessons. The facility is rather small, so arena space is limited.

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

Certainly funding, and the danger of director burn out as she fulfills so many roles at once.

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

There is a highly spiritual component to this program that is hard to convey to funders. I hope they will come see the program in person.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008

August 30, 2008

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August 30, 2008

Few times in life are you honored to meet truly special people that work tirelessly to change the lives of others. I have met those people recently. I have been looking for a chance to work with animals and special needs children for a while now.I have found that in a small ranch in Half Moon Bay where injured horses and challenged children come together to create a second chance for everyone. Under the supervision of the deciated and loving hand of Joell Dunlap.I have learned new lessons on compassion.Joell and her team have saved the lives of so many horses that were written off to injury, age, or thought not to be of any use anymore. I have fell in love with the horses spirit, their stories and learned the healing qualities of the giant gentle creatures. As they run through the open pastures with renewed joy or kick up their heals in mischievous bliss. I am forever grateful for being present on the ranch and being able to be a part of the moments that inspire the spirit in all of us. I am honored for my time as a volunteer at Square Pegs

The Great!

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

The animals and children who they touch

More feedback...

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

being with the horses and learning from Joell

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008

August 29, 2008

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August 29, 2008

What Square Peg has done for my daughter Sarah and her sister Rachel is beyond words! Sarah's face lights up at the thought of working with the horses and alongside Greg, Sigourney and Joell! Their encouragement and guidance is helping her to feel more confident in ALL she does, at the ranch and beyond! The time with the horses is magical. She asks to ride frequently but is just as happy to work and play with the horses and goats and "Sissy" and all the cats! We can't thank you enough!

The Great!

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

observing the staff, volunteers and all the clients benefiting from the loving and nurturing environment.

Ways to make it better...

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

Find enough people to help do the administrative stuff so that instructors and staff had more time to do the "work".

More feedback...

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

relaxing and seeing the smiles on my girls faces!

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

kind, generous, thoughtful and thorough.

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

spread its magic throughout the world!

Ways to make it better...

I had more time to be there!

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

financial freedom and time

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

Anyone who is touched by this wonderful woman's vision, will forever be changed for the better!!

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008

August 28, 2008

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August 28, 2008

I volunteered here for about six months, and while there, I had such a wonderful experience! It was a lot of fun to meet the people and work with the horses. This organization does some really awesome things and is a fantastic place to get involved with. It's NOT a waste of time when you're volunteering, because there's always something to learn and do. Plus, if you're tired or sick, they don't get mad that you can't work. They value whatever you can give them, no matter how big or small. I loved every minute of it, and hope that they stick around for a long time, because what they do makes a huge difference to a lot of people.

The Great!

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

the attitude of the kids who come to ride the horses. They are always really excited and can't wait to work with everyone!

Ways to make it better...

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

pay close attention to how my volunteers are feeling and possibly create a time for all the volunteers to meet and spend some time together bonding.

More feedback...

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

feeling that I'm making a difference doing something I love.

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

very considerate and kind. They made sure that, while I was there to work, I had fun as well.

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

make the world a lot better place for kids with disabilities.

Ways to make it better...

there had been more volunteers helping me. I got tired very quickly, and often couldn't stay as long as I wanted to.

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

the lack of funds. With more money, they would be able to do even more than they already have.

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

they work hard to make other people's lives better and that's what makes their organization so special.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2007

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