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2017 Top-Rated Nonprofit

SonRise Equestrian Foundation

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animals, Children & Youth, Mental Health, Mental Health Treatment, Youth Development Programs

Mission: SonRise Equestrian Foundation is a free, non-profit organization making a positive difference for children living with social, emotional, or physical challenges including terminal illness.

Target demographics: children facing social, emotional, and physical challenges

Geographic areas served: Alameda & Contra Costa counties

Programs: In the Saddle - a horseback riding program geared towards children facing physical and developmental challenges. Lessons partner one child, one mentor, and one horse for a 45 minute session, which includes some grooming and saddling if the child is able. Lessons are personally tailored to accommodate the special needs of each child.

Team Equine -a working ranch program geared towards children facing social and emotional challenges. Supervised by adult volunteers, the kids participate in chores, horse science, riding, and arts & crafts. The activities incorporate life skills like responsibility, work ethic, empathy, and manners. SonRise fosters an environment where the kids can build solid relationships with each other and with positive role models in a healthy community..

Traveling Tails - a program that brings miniature horses into children’s hospice and care homes to visit children who are near the end of life or facing serious medical issues. The minis also visit special needs schools and camps, working with children who have autism and other developmental delays.

Community Stories

2 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer, donor and board member at SonRise for a number of years. I never cease to be amazed at the positive impact that horses have on special needs kids. The well trained volunteers and staff make it all work. It is a place where I can see and feel the difference my support is making in kids lives.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have had the privilege to be associated with SonRise Equestrian Foundation for many years, originally as a friend of a participant's parents , then an occasional volunteer and now as a donor and Board Member. The work the SonRise staff and volunteers do with very limited resources is truly exceptional, not to mention the incredibly positive impact they are making in children's lives.

I commend the entire SonRise team for the hard work, dedication and committed service to children and their families that SonRise serves.

Review from Guidestar