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 Sue Hill's story:
Sue, 55, has been volunteering since 2011 when she was introduced to the EquiCenter by one of her former BOCES students who invited her to come and watch him ride. That one visit was all it took. She now spends countless hours doing a variety of jobs: side-walking, leading, grooming and hygiene, pasture picking, marketing/fundraising, and helping out with special assignments and events.
“Oh, and I’m always trying to recruit new volunteers as well!” she says.
When she’s not volunteering, Sue can be found at Monroe #1 BOCES where she has worked for 21 years, currently as a worksite supervisor for work-study and transition students.
Sue loves watching EquiCenter students smile and have a good time, and witnessing such breakthroughs as being able to say “walk on”, controlling the horse without help, and sitting upright without support. “Dressing up for the holidays is always a gas, too!” she says with a laugh. Sue recalls a very special moment:
“At EquiTrails I saw a young lady whom I used to lead in lessons. We hadn’t seen each other in quite some time. In the barn she yelled my name, walked hurriedly toward me, and gave me the tightest hug. And I hugged her right back. We make connections while we volunteer and these emotional benefits are often just as important to our participants as the physical ones.”