At Sunshine we have volunteers that represent a wide range of ages, backgrounds and experience levels. This variety is part of what makes our volunteers so special. There is always an opportunity to work with and learn from people you may not have otherwise encountered. Mom and daughter, Marlene and Morgan, have been Sunshine volunteers for a little over three years. They both came to Sunshine with prior horse experience. Both of them have become an important part of our volunteer crew. They are also members of the Home Learners Association of Central New York (HLACNY). They love volunteering at Sunshine and thought that some of the other HLACNY families might enjoy it as well.
HLACNY meets every Friday from September through June and offers classes based on the interests of its members. Marlene submitted a proposal to the HLACNY and to the Sunshine Horses board for approval of a horse care and awareness class at Sunshine. Her proposal was approved and 6 teens, aged 13 to 15, signed up for the course.
The 6-week course started in the summer and is entering its final week. The primary goals of this course: increase public awareness about the mission of Sunshine Horses, encourage teens to volunteer in their community; and to teach them all that is involved in caring for a horse.
The class has been a huge success! It has been great to see kids who were initially apprehensive about working horses become proficient in grooming and leading.
A lot of our horses were happy to be grooming models and enjoyed all the attention they received from the teens. We even have teens who enjoy cleaning stalls and buckets! The teens and their families have also started coming to the barn outside of their class time to help with volunteer chores.
Thank you to all the Sunshine volunteers who helped out with the class and to the HLACNY families for joining the Sunshine family. A special thank you to Marlene and Morgan for bringing this class to Sunshine.
Opportunities like this, where we can interact with community organizations, are an integral part of our mission.