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2016 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Rose of Sharon Equestrian School Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal-Related, Animals, Centers to Support the Independence of Specific Populations, Children & Youth, Human Services, Youth Development

Mission: Rose of Sharon is dedicated to improving the quality of life for children and adults challenged by disability. ROSES provides experiential learning opportunities which draw upon the therapeutic potential of the horse-human bond to facilitate change, growth, and healing. Additionally, ROSES seeks a leadership role in the field of equine-assisted activities by partnering with academic and medical researchers to demonstrate the efficacy of therapeutic horsemanship programs; and by cooperating with members of Maryland's horse industry to provide vocational training for entry-level workers.

Results: ROSES has been serving students with disabilities for 15 years. The skills learned at the stable continue to effectively transfer to the students' lives in school, at home, and throughout the community at-large.

Target demographics: students with disabilities

Direct beneficiaries per year: 100

Geographic areas served: Baltimore County, Baltimore City, Surrounding areas

Programs: equine-facilitated learning

Community Stories

100 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

We took our students to the farm and the experience was great. The staff was helpful and everything was organized and we were able to work on skills relevant to the student goals. There were a number of activities that I believe benefitted our students in a variety of ways. Students also enjoyed working with the staff and seeing the animals. I highly recommend the Rose of Sharon Equestrian School for students of all ages who have special needs. It was an outstanding and unique experience for students and staff and we look forward to our next trip.

GW

Volunteer

Rating: 5

ROSES is a wonderful school. I've had some experience with therapeutic riding programs, and ROSES exceeds them all. The curriculum is well thought out and holistic in its approach, the horses are very well trained and cared for, and the volunteers, volunteer coordinator and owner are welcoming and passionate about their work.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is my 3rd school year volunteering at Roses. Each year I become more financially committed and more time committed. I help out by working in the barn, taking care of the horses and working with the students. 2015 means more commitment as we all work forward to learning about and training the minis to pull a cart as well as getting Stella, the horse more involved in lessons. It is a very exciting time at Roses. I hope anyone reading this will consider joining us and helping out. Janet Knox, volunteer

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This will be my 3rd year volunteering at ROSES. Each year my commitment to the organization grows with more time spent helping-out as well as increasing my financial giving. That is because ROSES is a wonderful therapeutic riding program with dedicated and caring people who believe in the sanctity of life both human and animal.

To anyone reading this, I encourage you also to volunteer at Roses. You won't be sorry. There is plenty to do. You will feel welcomed and have patient as well as expert instruction. Joan Twining and her critters are the best.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Rose of Sharon is definitely the best nonprofit I have ever volunteered for. The program is very well-organized and the horses are given extremely good care. The other volunteers and the supervisors are friendly and devoted. It is not uncommon to stay extra time after a volunteering shift just because we don't want to leave!

Darlene18

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I got involved with Rose of Sharon through the purchase of a horse I sold, Stella, who is now in their program. Joan Twinning is an exceptionally diverse woman with extensive knowledge of horses and horse care. I got the opportunity of visiting Rose of Sharon when I delivered Stella to Rose of Sharon. The operation is amazing.... well thought out with every detail addressed. Although I didn't get to meet any of the students, there was a flow of positive energy that filled this operation. Joan and her staff are certainly the roots that make this operation so wonderful and successful.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I first visited Rose of Sharon and met Joan two years ago when I moved from Texas. Having owned a ranch in Texas with horses and longhorns, I was looking for a place to be with horses again. I was immediately impressed with the care the horses receive at Roses. Joan does a great job taking care of the horses and preparing for lessons with the children. Due to my work schedule I can only volunteer on weekends but would love to do more. I am very grateful for my friendship with Joan. Rose of Sharon is a blessing to our community.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have know Joan my many years now and will always admire her amazing determination to make ROSES the vision she always imagined it would be. Through the hurdles that a nonprofit can go through, she focuses on the people she has touched in so many ways and the horses that are part of her soul. In the 9 years I have been involved it has grown into an even more amazing place with the gorgeous new arena. I never thought that day I walked into the barn to just volunteer once a week with one little boy, that Joan, the horses and all of the people I have met along the way have changed my life. At a time where I needed so much, this place gave me more than I ever imagined! The open arms of ROSES is always a place I know I can go to feel peace and appreciation.

Previous Stories
7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am in my third year of being employed with ROSES and I am so thankful that I found this organization. It has given me a new appreciation to families that face the challenges of having a child with special needs. Having a place like ROSES for their children to be a part of is so important. They are able to care for and ride horses in a safe place and learn skills they can not learn in a classroom. Being a part of the daily care of the horses, teaching the students and everything in between gives me such a feeling of accomplishment that I am proud to help ROSES continue to strive for the goals such as finishing the construction of the indoor arena so that more children can benefit from such an awesome experience!

Ila C.

Donor

Rating: 5

As a donor to any charity, I like to know first hand the organizational structure, skill set, efficiency and passion of the administrators. I do not donate to charities that have heavy over-head costs and over-paid management. Roses definitely meets my criteria of fiscal responsibility and compassionate service to an under-served group of children. My husband and I contribute funds to Rose of Sharon with high confidence that resources will be utilized with maximum impact in delivering service to the special needs children fortunate enough to be introducedrecru to Rose of Sharon.
Joan is the heart and soul of Roses, and her husband Randy is the muscle and strength of Roses. Together and with the support of many volunteers, they have built an incredible facility that provides a valuable service to children of special needs and to our community.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My experience with Rose was truly amazing. I run a program for students with special needs and my students had the great pleasure of attending Joan's program for many sessions. From the first day I meet Joan I knew her program was a good fit for all student young and old. Her organization is run professionally and with great care and compassion for the horses and the clients. Joan takes great care to ensure that all have a good experience on the farm. She worked with my staff to set up individual programming for students that needed extra planning and support. The horses themselves have special needs and this too makes it a special place to be. I highly recommend it!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

When I had the opportunity to volunteer at ROSES it brought such joy and fulfilment being part of such an amazing program. I loved being able to experience things through the students eyes. Watching them overcome their fears and accomplish their goals was extremely rewarding. Joan was the most inspiring person to work with and learn from. Her love for the horses and her students was a part of everything she did for the program. My volunteer experience went far beyond my expectations when we were invited to a talent show at the student's school. I cried through the entire show because I was so overwhelmed with pride at the confidence the performers had in themselves. I believe ROSES played a part in that by allowing them to discover skills and feel proud of themselves by caring for the horses.

lisar1

Client Served

Rating: 5

ROSES is home.
The horses will always be my daughter's special siblings, and there is no place on earth that offers serenity to all like ROSES.
Joan has done so much for so many, and is a true blessing to all.

Thank you.

Previous Stories
9

Client Served

Rating: 5

Rose of Sharon Equestrian School has been providing many gifts to my daughter for many years. She has learned compassion, patience, endurance, structure in addition to how to care for and ride horses. Joan Twining and her staff/volunteers ensure that each child has an experience that is wonderfully unique and well suited for them. It is a safe, structured environment with a breathtakingly beautiful facility and location. How lucky are we that we have found such a wonderful place!

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

a great non profit organization that was started more than 11 yr ago. Primary focus is providing basic horsemanship skills to persons with disabilities;primarily those on the autism spectrum. Through a grassroot approach they were able to build a wonderful indoor arena that was designed for the needs of those with sensory processing issues. It truly demonstrates how it puts the ability in disability; for the participants and the equine partners.

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

Roses is built with passion: for the persons/kids we serve,for the horses that are our staff;for the volunteers that provide their time and energy to make changes in the lives of the clients we serve. the executive director takes no salary as the program is building; her salary is the positive changes she sees in the clients we serve. We live for the day that weather is no barrier to providing the services that make our clients blossom . Once our indoor arean is complete we will be able to serve so many more and the changes that evolve will touch so many lives in such a positive way.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This fall begins my third year as a Rose of Sharon volunteer. Each year gets better. Joan, her staff, and all the other volunteers are wonderful to work with and the facility is spotless. When I started volunteering I was a very inexperienced and had no exposure to disabled children. I have observed first hand how much the time the kids spend at Roses means to them and how much their self-confidence improves as they work with such large animals. When they finally have the opportunity to ride "a real" horse, their faces light up. It's a blessing for all of us volunteers and children alike.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

ROSES is a wonderful place, full of inspirational people and horses! Joan has dedicated her life to therapeutic horsemanship and has touched many souls along the way. The horses are so patient and understanding, no matter who they are working with. If you are looking for therapeutic horsemanship classes that are individualized and personal, ROSES is the place to go.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was originally a Towson University Family Studies and Human Services intern at Rose of Sharon from January 2013-May 2013, became a donor in August 2013, and am now a volunteer. ROSES has not only introduced me to what I want to do but it has helped me grow and truly realize my full potential. From Jake the barn cat to Joan Twinning, everyone is warm, welcoming, kind, and nurturing. I have volunteered for other therapeutic equestrian centers and none compare. There is no better place to volunteer for or donate to. ROSES really works hard to be the best they can be and to benefit as many individuals as they can.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I recently became a volunteer at Rose of Sharon Equestrian School. From the very first day when I came to interview with Joan and see the facility, I was positively impressed by the environment there. The atmosphere is extremely pleasant and relaxing, with soft instrumental music playing in the barn which seems to enhance the well-appointed buildings and pastoral setting. The new indoor riding arena offers students an opportunity to work, while protected from the weather. The barn is the most clean and well-organized farm building I have ever visited. It is clear that these are not just animal stalls but the homes of the special equines which help to heal the spirit of all humans who come there. The horses receive the most exquisite individualized care, including specially tailored diets and meticulously groomed living quarters. Joan’s caring nature and gentle personality come together with the peaceful setting she has created to foster a positive learning and healing environment.

My schedule is very busy and although time constraints only allow me to volunteer a few hours per week. I look forward to going to work there, whether I am sweeping floors, cleaning feeding trays or watering horses. It has rapidly become a respite from the daily grind of rushing around town. I highly recommend the Rose of Sharon Equestrian School as place of solace, encouragement and growth.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Roses is an amazing organization for children with disabilities. The amount of time, effort, love, and caring that goes into making this such a life changing experience for their students is amazing. Joan is truly making a difference with not only her students, but every person that walks through her door.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My daughter volunteered at ROSES. She came for the opportunity to work with horses and stayed for the love of Roses. The program is very well run with such love and attention to detail. The horse and barn are so well cared for. There is even soothing music that plays just for the horses. This is a place where healing occurs not only for the clients but also for the animals and anyone who comes into contact with Roses. Such a worthy program that will leave an impact on you for the rest of your life.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have loved every second spent at Rose of Sharon. It is really an amazing place. The barn and rings are very well kept and very impressive. The horses clearly love their jobs and it is awesome to see them during lessons and the way they interact with the children. Ms. Joan is especially what makes Rose of Sharon so special. I have always loved watching her during lessons, because the patient, caring way she works with every child makes every experience that much better. My two years spent volunteering at Rose of Sharon were some of the most rewarding experiences I have had. Rose of Sharon is truly a unique and spectacular place!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My experience of volunteering at Rose of Sharon has been nothing but amazing! The facilities and barn are extremely well kept and gorgeous. Ms. Joan Twining truly lives for Rose of Sharon. It is amazing to watch someone in action doing something they really love. Her constant positivity and happiness radiate through all she does. She cares so deeply for the horses, childre, and program. The horses are such beautiful animals that are gentle and kind in every way. Roses is a great place that is doing remarkable things to help inspiring children. There is no place quite like Roses!