Running a nonprofit is not an easy task. Your records need to be spotless, your constantly having to update to the newest social media platform and do backflips to keep everyone happy, but the hardest and biggest task is recruiting volunteers.
Equine therapy classes need a total of 5 – 12 volunteers for each class. This runs 3 days a week and about 45 weeks out of the year.
On top of just volunteering for classes, there is always help needed at fundraisers, horse shows, parades, or whatever your organization is involved in. I like to sit back and think, would I volunteer for my own organization, honestly somedays it would be no. In the hot months, my volunteers are outside in the heat, walking horses or helping children with special needs.
The sun is beating down on you the entire time, but oh wait, let’s not leave out the flys buzzing around you all day as well. As you walk for 45 minutes at a time. The sell, working with horses and helping children, lots of fresh air and sunshine, and no problem at all logging your 10,000 daily steps.
Saddle Up was blessed to have a very faithful volunteer for 18 years, Sally Cunningham, my mom. It would take a lifetime to tell or show all the activities and how many times my Mom stepped in and helped at Saddle up. She won first place at a chili blaze under the name of Saddle Up, made probably over 3,000 mummy dogs over the years for our spooky barn fundraiser, helped put floats together for the annual Christmas parade, and blinged up shirts for our special Olympic team.
This is just the tip of what she did. Everyone knew her as Grandma Sally. You could always count on her to be sitting in the stands cheering the kids on at 4-H horse shows, schooling shows, and Special Olympics.
My Mom was Saddle Up’s first volunteer, and our best. Always there to offer support in any way she could.
On June 3rd my Mom slipped into heaven with my sister and myself at her side. I lost my Mom but I also lost Saddle Up’s number one volunteer.
It’s ironic that Saddle Up changed into just a therapy center for children with special needs at a time when my Mom was no longer able to help. God gave us a new angel and supporter in the Colman family that not only bought the property we were on so we could continue services but the family also volunteers and helped the organization in all aspects.
Every organization has its number one volunteer, I just wanted to honor the longest and best volunteer saddle Up ever had, Sally Cunningham. You left a mark everywhere and I know that many children are better today for the work, advice, and friendship she gave them.
She’s watching from heaven and I’m sure cheering on every one of these kids involved in this organization. I am ever grateful to my Mom for all her help, and I pray that her name and legacy live on through all the work at Saddle Up.