My Nonprofit Reviews
Review for Save A Forgotten Equine, Redmond, WA, USA
I'm one of those horse lovers who can't afford their own horse, but wants to get "barn time" under their belt. And I can't afford donating money or tack, but I have a lot of time and elbow grease.
I volunteer a couple of hours each week to two equine related non-profits in my area. At S.A.F.E., I do basic barn chores (mucking, feeding, watering, little odds and ends as requested) and find my time there to be rewarding, and informative. Due to the varying age, health and training backgrounds of rescued horses, I'm learning much more about all things equine that relate to horse behavior and healthcare, than I could ever learn just taking lessons at a conventional lesson barn, even though I'm not actively involved with the vetting and training of the rescues at S.A.F.E. Everyone is always really friendly, and happy to answer my sometimes dumb questions, which is much appreciated.
For prospective volunteers... Volunteers don't generally get to ride horses at rescues, and S.A.F.E. is not an exception. This has never been a problem for me, as that isn't what I do my volunteering for, but it's good to keep in mind, if you're considering volunteering in exchange for lessons.
The orientation was a little shallow and quick compared to what I'm used to at other places, be they work or volunteer orientations. People with any kind of "I rode horses as a kid"-type of experience will get the hang of it in no time, but if you don't have a lot of horse experience, just make sure to ask questions as you go along. Nobody will force you out of your comfort zone, but just make sure to ask for information, or help if you're unsure. Everyone is happy to help, which to me, is the draw and keeps me waking up early on my volunteer days, to go there again. :)
My favorite part in volunteering for a horse rescue is to find out a horse has been adopted. Sure, I'd love to bring them all home with me, but I know better, so whenever I hear or the happy endings and new homes, I get a sense of collective accomplishment.
If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...
I might require that staff and volunteers to wear name tags when on site. I have a really hard time keeping names in my head, and attaching them to faces. Especially since not every volunteer and staff member knows each other due to different schedules, sometimes there is a moment of "Who are you, and what are you doing here?" going on until introductions are done. Some kind of 2-page orientation hand-out would be nice for people getting used to a new place.
Would you volunteer for this group again?
For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?
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When was your last experience with this nonprofit?