The H.A.Y. Foundation wants to express our gratitude for being awarded 2 grants from the Nixa Community Foundation to serve children who have endured trauma. In the past 4 years, the H.A.Y. Foundation has served approximately 90 to 100 children per year who are dealing with emotional challenges. In the past 18 months, referrals to the H.A.Y. Foundation have shown a drastic increase in youth who have experienced trauma in their life. H.A.Y. Foundation staff members have witnessed that these children frequently display anxiety, anger, poor communication skills and possess low self-esteem. From January 2018 through May of 2019, the H.A.Y. Foundation has completed 148 referrals for services. Of these 148 youth, 50 have endured one or more of the following types of trauma:
1. Physical trauma: Trauma due to physical abuse, severe neglect or starvation
2. Sexual trauma: Trauma due to rape or sexual molestation
3. Psychological trauma:
Trauma due to death of a family member
Trauma due to abandonment by one or both parents or legally being removed from the parents’ care
As a result of the physical, sexual and/or psychological trauma endured by these 50 children, 49 youth demonstrated moderate to severe anxiety, and 8 youth attempted suicide or engaged in self-harming behaviors.
Since 2018 there has been an increase in referrals from private counselors and psychologists who have witnessed beneficial results for their clients who completed the H.A.Y. Foundation Horsemanship Lesson Program in conjunction to continuing their private counseling. In 2019, referrals have also been received as a result of a local Judge requesting youth attend an equine program which addresses social/emotional issues. Although the H.A.Y. Foundation works directly with youth experiencing emotional challenges, the positive changes the youth experience have an effect on the relationships with family members, guardians, school personnel and friendships.
In the Fall 2018, the H.A.Y. Foundation applied for and was awarded a $4,550 grant by the Nixa Community Foundation, to provide the opportunity for 10 children in the Nixa area who have endured physical, sexual or emotional trauma, to participate in the Horsemanship Lesson Program in 2019. As of May 1, 2019, we had already filled all 10 of those spots, with more referrals flowing in weekly. In June, the Nixa Community Foundation held an extra grant round with funds through the Rural Ozarks Health Initiative. The H.A.Y. Foundation was awarded an additional $1,365 to provide horsemanship lessons to 3 more children, in the Nixa and Christian County area, who have endured trauma. We are very grateful for the continued support and generosity from the Nixa Community Foundation!
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