Mission: Horses & Heroes believes in teamwork to help restore those affected by trauma; we just happen to use horses. Our heroes need not suffer for the vital work they do so we provide the space and opportunity for healing.
Results: Here is the actual list we compiled back in 2016 for our 2017 goals. Let’s see how we did:
1. Gain contracts with 2 mental health agency providers across the metro area to provide consistent mental health services for their clients. CHECK!
We are approved service provider for Wyandotte County Mental Health Services and we are partnered with Signature Mental Health VALOR, program. These providers refer clients and pay for reoccurring services offered
2. Secure 5 corporate sponsors. Acquire sufficient manpower to help manage program and deliver sponsorship expectations. Let us know if you work for a company that is possibly interested! WORK IN PROGRESS! This focus will extend into 2018 and beyond
3. Build Mini-Horse Program to include MINI's of VALOR. CHECK! Successfully created partnership with the Shawnee Police department and joined them for 2 community events
4. Build volunteer base to include local high school and college students who will work to complete required community hours. Know someone who may fit this description? CHECK! Partnered with UMKC, JCCC and St James Academy. Another invaluable volunteer connection is with the newly formed Veteran’s Court of Johnson County
5. Serve 40 veterans or first responders, 40 kids and spouses affected by stress or trauma, and 40 elderly or homeless patients. Combining our programs and through community outreach, we have touched immeasurable numbers. Actual equine session numbers fell below our goal by half
6. Appoint new members for our Board of Directors. Seeking strong leadership! Interested? CHECK! Three new board members identified and start their terms in Jan 2018
7. Communicate with university level researchers to identify research topics and available grants. CHECK! Met with group of equine specialists at the University of Kansas School of Veterinary Medicine to discuss research topics. No research projects started to date
8. Start Instagram account and identify person to manage and track all social media marketing strategies. PARTIALLY CHECK! Partnered with individual who has taken over social media posts. Twitter, Facebook accounts up and posting regularly
As you can see, we have accomplished quite a bit in 365 days!
Target demographics: Our focus is providing equine therapy services to veterans and others affected by PTSD.
Direct beneficiaries per year: Austistic clients, foster families, PTSD clients
Geographic areas served: We are located in Kansas City with affiliate locations around Kansas City, KS and MO
Programs: Counseling, communications, problem solving, PTSD, group dynamics, self esteem
I am very slowly working on challenges that allow me to be with other people in a more usual way after trying to manage PTSD through traditional therapies. Being with the horses is calming. I feel like a step at a time I'm meeting who I can be instead of what my life has led me to be.
My therapist does some psyche's seed planting but never forces my next move. She knows I'm already hard on myself. She is, like the other 2 leggeds at Horses & Heroes, down to earth & kind.
This is an exceptional group & a safe space to work on self or just be & both are at your pace.
My gratitude to Julie & Rachel & all the volunteers.