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Borrowed Freedom Equine Assisted Therapies and Activities Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Centers to Support the Independence of Specific Populations, Children & Youth, Equestrian, Health, Human Services, Rehabilitative Care, Sports, Youth Development - Agricultural

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

Community Stories

21 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

I came to Borrowed Freedom as a client a year ago. Working with the horses has helped me in ways I cannot describe with words. All I can say is thank you, and I hope you continue to do your good work.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My twin daughters have greatly benefited from the Borrowed Freedom program. They have overcome many obstacles in their little lives being former foster children and the services provided at Borrowed Freedom have been a great tool to help them recover. Their social skills have improved immensely as well as their self esteem. They ADORE Miss Colleen and think she is hilarious:) The animals at Borrowed Freedom are all as gentle and kind as Colleen and her family and are wonderfully cared for and loved. My family is so very grateful for Miss Colleen, Ally and all the sweet animals at Borrowed freedom. I would and have recommended this program to others.

Linda216

Client Served

Rating: 5

My granddaughter, Cami, has benefited hugely from her experience at Borrowed Freedom! She started "riding horsey" when she was just two. Suffering from weak core strength, she was receiving hipo therapy at Borrowed Freedom. She absolutely loves riding, largely because of the loving and patient guidance she has received through Colleen and staff. The therapy has helped Cami build her core strength and improve her posture and confidence. We are very thankful for the help she has received and hope to continue with the riding, indefinitely. Thank you, Colleen !!!!!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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!

Kimberly-Kira G.

Client Served

Rating: 4

This is one of the few organizations that offered therapy to adults. Having Dumplin, the mechanical therapy horse made it even easier with my physical disability and weather was not a factor. I traveled 1500 miles and took medical leave just so I could do the program for 5 weeks. Time and effort well spent. Hoping I can participate next year.

Nikki13

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son has grown in confidence and compassion while working with Colleen, Ally, and the horses! He is always looking forward to his next session. His diagnosis are Aspergers, depression and anxiety.

Jessica130

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Borrowed Freedom is a non-profit organization that I partner with to provide physical therapy services using hippotherapy for children with special needs. Borrowed Freedom has opened up a whole new modality of treatment protocol for me in my PT practice, that is highly effective with children who have Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome and Autism Spectrum Disorder to name a few. Treatment using the horse to achieve physical therapy goals has been one of the most effective and beneficial that I have seen in my 18 years of physical therapy practice. Borrowed Freedom has helped children learn to walk, talk and interact more appropriately with their enviornment. The children love the horses and always come with arms wide open for hugs for the horse after each treatment. I received my Doctorate of Physical Therapy, an advanced degree, three years ago and the research supports the effectiveness of hippotherapy as a treatment modality in PT practice. But equally important are the smiles on the children's faces that is priceless and the most effective learning happens when children are having fun and enjoying what they are doing!

Donor

Rating: 5

Colleen's attention to detail across the board is one of the reasons why Borrow Freedom is such a success. The animals receive the best of care, the facility is exceptionally well maintained, and she tailors something individual for each of the clients. They are not just up on a horse for a ride, they are participants in their own therapy.
Borrowed Freedom also brings a wonderful sense of community to the riders and their families, the volunteers and the donors.

Danielle42

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Hats off to Colleen and her program; her team provide outstanding services to the community and beyond! Colleen is generous in heart and spirit. I run a therapeutic riding program in Scottsdale, Arizona. Colleen has been a dedicated supporter of my program for years. I find Colleen's enthusiastic energy for her program uplifting and inspiring. She is an email away for advice and support. Her students, their families and all the volunteers are lucky to have her and Borrowed Freedom in their lives!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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!

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have had the pleasure and honor to work with Colleen, Ally, Todd a/k/a Farm Hand, and many other volunteers since the inception of the program. Borrowed Freedom has grown and developed like a child. Borrowed Freedom is more than a therapy program. It services the community and public at all times of need. I have a special connection with Borrowed Freedom because of a poney named Shadow a/k/a Domino Night Warrior. Shadow joined the Team in June of 2010 shortly after my mother's death, and he helped me grieve with my mother's death as well as my best friend, Lynne's, death in August of 2010. I adopted Shadow in July of 2012 and since then, Shadow and I have many "therapy" sessions while taking care of farm chores. My real profession is a personal trainer, and I cannot tell you one client that does not acknowledge that poney on a daily or weekly basis. Not only has Shadow touched my life, but other lives as well, and for that, I am very thankful.

Tracy45

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son is 11 yrs old and is autistic. He loves "going to the farm" so much that for his birthday this year he asked everyone to bring a donation for Borrowed freedom instead of gifts. He was so proud to bring the money he raised to Colleen. He has grown so much since he began this program last Spring. Borrowed Freedom Equine Assisted Therapies and Activities is an amazing program! We couldn't be happier! Thank you to Colleen, Allyson, Trooper and to the volunteers!

Shelby J.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Borrowed Freedom Equine Assisted Therapies and Activities isn't just a "therapy" program; it changes lives. They help so many in their community, and all of their animals have are especially in tune with the riders and family members of the program. I have seen evidence of those who "could not speak," say a word, and those persons with challenges, overcome them. They are an honest and legitimate organization, and I am impressed with how well managed they are.

Shannon52

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Borrowed Freedom Equine Assisted Therapies and Activities is an amazing organization! Colleen's knowledge of the field and passion for the work she does incredible. The work done really impacts the community and is a much needed, life-changing outlet for the people it serves. The horses are impeccably cared for and the facility is well-maintained and gorgeous.

Donor

Rating: 5

My family has made several donations to Borrowed Freedom in the past two years. We are impressed with the way they use donations to leverage the greatest results. They are who they say they are, and do what they say they do. The horses are happy and healthy, the farm is clean and safe and every dollar is used the way it should be. We also liked that they are their own non-profit and our donations are not used to pay private farm owners large fees like most programs do.

Lori28

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter is actually the client. She is 26 years old and disabled. She loves all animals, but especially horses. We have been with this organization for a year now. My daughter has grown in so many ways. She is learning how to care for horses. She also is learning communication, patience and many other things. This program is provided free of charge to us. Colleen Cheechalk, the founder, is wonderful with all the children and the animals. I give this farm and the orgainzation a lot of credit for what they do for these kids. Joan Wright

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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!