Nixa Community Foundation Grant
The HAY Foundation was awarded a grant from the Nixa Community Foundation in the amount of $3,735. This grant will provide the opportunity for 9 children in Nixa who are Wards of the State, in the custody of a guardian or currently in Foster Care to participate in the 8 week Horsemanship Lesson Program in 2017.
Between January 1 to October 1, 2016, 25 children who were in Foster Care or were in the care of a court appointed guardian completed or were enrolled in the 8 week H.A.Y. Foundation Horsemanship Lesson Program. These children had been removed from their biological parents for multiple reasons (i.e. physical or sexual abuse, neglect, homelessness, addiction, behavioral noncompliance and parental addiction, death or imprisonment etc). The Nixa Community Foundation grant for $1,800 awarded to the HAY Foundation in 2015, assisted with the partial cost of 9 of these children this year.
This is a thank you note written by a high school girl to her sponsor in September, 2016:
“I just wanted to say thank you. I’m a foster kid, and there’s barely anyone willing to donate anything. I loved the horses. My horse was Tonka. I’ve been trotting and walking with him. I was kinda scared of trotting. But I really loved the experience. I really appreciated the donation. I’m really grateful for the donation.”
Finley River Community Foundation Grant
The HAY Foundation was awarded a grant from the Finley River Community Foundation in the amount of $532. This grant will help provide Horsemanship Clinics to children in Eastern Christian County. Many children who have graduated from the 8 week Horsemanship Lesson Program have taught their peers in Horsemanship Clinics held at their school or at Laurel Arena. . Horsemanship Clinics are taught by H.A.Y. Foundation Instructors and former or present H.A.Y. Foundation students with the assistance of a full grown horse in a round pen, miniature horses, or a life size model horse (when weather doesn’t permit the use of live horses)
Horsemanship Clinics have educated more than 3,600 local children in the past 3 years.
Date Range Approximate number of students participating in clinic
September 2013 to May 2014 1,687
September 2014 to May 2015 1,230
October 2015 to June 2016 720
On Thanksgiving morning, CrossFit Springfield held the 5K Gone Bird event and participants donated $2,000 to benefit the H.A.Y. Foundation in remembrance of Landon Potts. Landon helped build the outdoor arena and put up hay at Laurel Arena.
As a result of this donation, 5 local children will be able to participate in the 8 week Horsemanship Lesson Program in 2017 in Landon’s memory. The HAY Foundation would like to express our sincere appreciation to Chance and Sherry Potts and the owners of CrossFit Springfield, Grant & Melissa Wistrom and Jeremy & Jenny Mhire for selecting the HAY Foundation as the benefactor of their philanthropic efforts. A thank you note will be sent to CrossFit Springfield from each of the 5 children who benefit from the generosity of the many donors who gave monetary gifts on Thanksgiving. The HAY Foundation is thankful for each of these donors as we strive to help children in our community.
The HAY Foundation was awarded $1,245 from the Table Rock Lake Community Foundation! This gracious award was the result of a grant written to cover the cost of HAY Foundation 8 week Horsemanship Lesson Program for 3 children living in Stone county. The HAY Foundation is very thankful to the Table Rock Lake Community Foundation for awarding this grant money to help change the lives of children. Amy Koenigsfeld and Sarah Fuller went to Silver Dollar City on October 26th to accept the award. Amy and Sarah posed for a photo with John Coonrod, a board member on the Table Rock Lake Community Foundation.
THANK YOU Table Rock Lake Community Foundation!!
Some exciting progress reports of current students
At her 6th lesson, a 16 year old girl proudly told staff members that she had been “clean for a month” from drug use for the first time.
A 4 yr old boy diagnosed with PTSD and anxiety barely spoke when he began with the HAY Foundation. When he did speak, he was almost unintelligible. At the 7th lesson his guardians stated that he now talks all the time, initiates and maintains conversations with other people and his speech has greatly improved (as verified by a HAY Foundation staff member who is a speech/language pathologist).
A 14 year old boy showed “zero respect for women” as reported by his guardians. He was paired with a male instructor who continually modeled respect and manners around all female staff during the lessons. By the boy’s 4th lesson, he initiated a conversation for the first time with a female staff member when he arrived at the arena.
An 11 year old girl who struggled with depression and anxiety was brave enough to stay in her bedroom for the first time during a night time thunder storm. She had recently completed the 8 week HAY Foundation Program and had gained self-confidence and reduced her anxiety.
The H.A.Y. Foundation welcomes Sarah Fuller. Sarah joins us as an Instructor and Assistant Coordinator to the Foundation. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Sarah is also a founding member of Ozarks Equine Therapy Center and will continue to serve in that capacity as well. She has extensive experience with kids while working at Springfield Park & Rec.
I grew up in the Ozarks and have always loved this area. I have passion for working with horses and helping people. In 2012, I graduated from Missouri State University with a BS in Recreation, Sport, and Park Administration, and also obtained a minor in Equine Studies. After graduation I pursued that passion and obtained my EAGALA certification. I am the Equine Specialist part of the team. Over the years, I have worked with a variety of clients including, at-risk youth, clients with addictions, and corporate teams. I truly believe in this model of treatment and am particularly excited about utilizing this to help the military population. Growing up in a military family has given me a lot of insight on the toll war can take. I am looking forward to growing our military services programs that will help active duty service members, veterans, as well as their families.
Thrivent Financial is a financial service provider that gives back through a program called Thrivent Choice. With Thrivent Choice, members can recommend where some of Thrivent Financial's charitable outreach funds go. Since 2010, members have used this program to direct $300 million to churches and nonprofits nationwide! And now, the H.A.Y. Foundation is eligible for those funds! If you, or anyone you may know, is a Thrivent Financial member, please share this information and learn more by clicking HERE. The demand for H.A.Y. services is rapidly growing and without funding, we will not be able to keep up with it. Our Wait List is already two months long and we don't want children in need to have to wait any longer!
Thank you all so much for your support and generosity.
Help us spread the word about Thrivent Choice!
Give Ozarks Day is right around the corner and WE NEED YOUR HELP!
In order to meet our 2016 goal of serving 94 children in the local community, we must raise a total of $40,395! Currently, we have raised $35,000, which will serve 81 children. On Give Ozarks Day, we need to raise $5,395 more so that those 13 children will get an opportunity to overcome their social and emotional struggles. Please help us my clicking HERE next Tuesday, May 3rd, to donate and by sharing our page with your friends and family.
We greatly appreciate all help and support.
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