Live and Let Live Farm Rescue is a busy place. Teresa Paradise and the rescue welcome any sentient being that needs help, a place to recover, a new start. The lovely farm tucked in the forest of NH has horses, goats, donkeys, chickens, dogs, cats, pigs, parrots and guinea pigs, and many more animals in all stages of rebounding. This magnificent rescue was/is the dream of one woman, Teresa - but it is the devotion, and the dream of many other wonderful folks, too. They are the caring and tireless people who change bandages, sit up all night with a sick horse, feed over 200 animals each day, and do countless other chores, all with love and dedication. They are the volunteers.
|Volunteers at Live and Let Live Farm Rescue attending my "Therapy for Therapy Horses" clinic|
As I visited Live and Let Live this past weekend I was once again struck with admiration for the hard work, caring and love of the many volunteers going about their duties. Never a complaint, always happy to do whatever is needed to be done, and there is always plenty to do here - and at every rescue, therapeutic riding center, horse sanctuary or any of the thousands of non-profits that exist solely to help others.
Traveling about as I sometimes do to visit these wonderful organizations, or just visiting on the phone for interviews to write the stories about, "People and Horses Helping Horses and People," I always notice the volunteers. I thank God for them.
Volunteers give up large chunks of their lives, so that other lives may be made better. Volunteers spend their own money for gas, drive their own trucks and cars so that others might be transported to the healing and loving places. Volunteers work in the heat and the cold so that others might be a little more comfortable. Volunteers sit up late at night pouring over paperwork to fill out just one more grant application so hay, fuel, feed and equipment might be purchased. Volunteers organize fund raisers to keep the supplies coming. And the electric and vet bills paid.
|Volunteers sharing love at Beauty's Haven Equine Rescue|
Volunteers put their heads together to help solve problems. They share new and inventive ideas that create better ways to help those without voices. They travel at their own expense to get accredited, certified so that they might be of greater help. Volunteers cry with the lonely, the hurting. They wipe the tears from sad faces. They laugh with the joyous and celebrate even the smallest victories over challenges. They cradle those who cross the Rainbow Bridge. They hug those who must let go.
|Heartland Horse Heroes therapeutic riding center|
Many things make it possible for these wonderful organizations to help so many, humans and animals. Today there are hundreds of Equine Assisted Therapy centers helping folks with challenges ranging from Veterans with physical and emotional challenges to battered women and at-risk youths as well as many other healing places. And the hundreds of sanctuaries to protect our wild horses, rehabilitate ex-show and race horses, PMU mares and so many other horses who need our voice, our love, our caring. Those voices are the voices made possible by the devotion of volunteers.
As a writer and horse advocate I humbly tip my hat to the wonderful and selfless volunteers who help so many. God Bless and Thank You.
Gitty Up ~ Dutch Henry