We asked a few very dedicated and loyal volunteers about how they became involved, what they do, and what magic happens at the EquiCenter to keep them coming back. Each shared a special time they will never forget. This is Elaine and Lindsey Anderson's story:
Elaine and her daughter, Lindsey (see more about Lindsey below) began volunteering in 2011 after meeting Debi Houliares, EC’s director of programming, at an autism awareness event. Lindsey had helped with a riding clinic for individuals from ARC which was held at her riding stable and developed an interest in helping people with disabilities through work with horses. Elaine thought volunteering at EC would be the perfect way for her and Lindsey to foster that interest. Elaine helps out with cleaning and yard work and has also served as a side-walker.
Elaine says “my favorite part of going to the EquiCenter is being able to see how volunteering just a little bit of time can have a great impact for both others and myself.”
When she is not volunteering she is a wife, mother of two and kindergarten teacher. Elaine considers a special aspect of being at the EquiCenter: “Being Lindsey’s mom has given me a different perspective from others. I am so moved by watching what the instructors and staff have done to help my daughter learn and love the ability to help others through horseback riding. It’s so important to me as a parent as well as being a volunteer myself.”
Lindsey, 15, who began volunteering with her mom, Elaine, in 2013, was attracted to the EquiCenter because of her love of horses and her desire to help individuals with disabilities. She has been a side-walker and horse leader; and has done pony rides for Military Family Day.
Lindsey is a junior at Midlakes High School. She takes riding lessons, is a varsity swimmer, is involved in 4H and enjoys playing various musical instruments. We’re very fortunate that this busy teen makes time to help out at the EquiCenter! Lindsey recalls a very special time at the EquiCenter: “My favorite experience working at the EquiCenter has been working with Horizons at Harley group. I saw students who were so afraid of riding and I loved seeing them overcome their fears and focus on one thing: to become a rider. It was great to be part of that for them.”