In 2021, the People Helping People Board of Directors awarded a $1,000 Sharing Success Community Grant to Spirit Horse Ranch Education Center. This nonprofit provides healthy, educational opportunities for children.
Spirit Horse Ranch was founded by Rosie Goldstein, who moved to Randolph County from Long Island, New York, in 2002. Upon arriving in the area, she had a vision to provide life-changing experiences for children through the healing power of the horse. Today that is the mission of Spirit Horse Ranch, her nonprofit.
Because Rosie grew up with horses, she understood that children naturally form a connection with the gentle and majestic beasts. This connection permeates the summer camps at Spirit Horse Ranch.
“There is a calming quality to the barns at the ranch,” said Nicole Arnold, communications and public affairs manager at Randolph Electric. “The campers here demonstrate the natural leadership qualities required for the caretaking of horses. The children communicate their love and respect for the animals through their actions and their attitude.”
About six years ago, Rosie began hosting birthday parties and summer camps and advertised the ranch largely through word of mouth. She applied for a Sharing Success Community Grant for the first time in 2020.
“We received the application during the first summer of the pandemic,” said PHP Chairwoman Christina Haynes. “At that time, children had experienced the cancellation of sports and extra-curricular activities, as well as school. The Board recognized that a summer reading camp at Spirit Horse Ranch would meet a need for children to exercise, get fresh air, and span the gap of learning loss through reading.” In summer 2020, Spirit Horse Ranch used the grant to provide camp experiences for children who could not afford to pay for outdoor programs.
In summer 2021, Spirit Horse Ranch won another grant. This time, the funds secured scholarships for children to attend a reading camp, held in the barns with the horses. The campers also learned basic riding and horse care-taking skills.
“Horses teach teamwork, forward-thinking, and how to be aware of your surroundings,” said Goldstein. “Studies have been done that show when children work with horses, they become more receptive to learning in other areas. I have parents who will attest to this!”
Looking for nonprofits to help
The Board of Directors for People Helping People is honored to fund such opportunities for children in REMC’s service territory. If you know of a nonprofit organization that could benefit from a Sharing Success Community Grant, please contact Nicole Arnold at 336-625-5177 or Nicole.Arnold@RandolphEMC.com.