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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!