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 Jean's Buccholz's story:
Jean has been volunteer at the EquiCenter for 9 years. She became involved after retiring from a career as a social worker in Crisis Intervention. Her parents had recently passed away and she was looking for some meaningful ways to spend her time. Her daughter asked, “What are your passions?” and Jean’s answer was immediate and clear —helping children with disabilities and being around horses. Since the beginning Jean has worked as a side-walker, a horse leader, an exercise rider and assisting with special events.
“I love the joy on our riders’ faces when they are on their horses,” she says, “and I love working with an amazing staff and group of volunteers.”
When Jean isn’t volunteering, she loves to travel with her husband and visit their out-of-town children and grandchildren. How lucky we are that she’s at the barn almost daily when she’s in town. Jean recalls a very special moment:
“I had been working with a child with autism who came to us with no speech, would not look me in the eye, did not like the physical contact that lessons often require, and was afraid of horses. One day, after we had been working together for some time, she came running up to me and gave me a BIG hug, and looked me in the eye for the first time. That will always be a special moment in my life. There have been so many special times working with our participants before and since then but this was a huge milestone in both our lives.”