Archive for the ‘Volunteer Profile’ Category

Contributed by Gina Armano

Windrush_031 copyThis year commemorates a remarkable event at Windrush Farm, the 50th anniversary that kicked off a movement started by our founder, Marj Kittredge. The number of individuals affected by what Marj began in 1964 is staggering. Thousands of clients and volunteers over the last 50 years plus the work of other centers that have sprung up across the country are a direct result of her work. Windrush Farm’s program is not only one of the first of its kind in the United States, but as we have evolved through the years, so has the diversity of our offerings and the versatility of the volunteers who make our programs happen every day.

The evolution of therapeutic riding allows individuals with disabilities an opportunity to explore alternative forms of treatment and recreation. The obstacles our clients must overcome to advance and improve their lives is awe-inspiring and their stories are endless. The horses provide their legs and their mobility, while our volunteers provide their support physically and emotionally. Their borrowed legs can go anywhere they want them to go, through the woods, across the fields, up and down hills, with an ease they otherwise never have.

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IMG_0155 2A huge thank you to the 20 kids from Brooks School who spent the morning cleaning the gardens, sensory trails and outdoor arena. The place looks great. We appreciate your help.

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Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these volunteers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds…

Three hundred sixty-five days a year, on regular days and holidays, through blizzards and in summer heat, volunteers come to Windrush Farm. Monday through Friday, as many as 225 individuals give of their precious time and unique talents to do everything from assisting in classes to mucking out stalls. On Saturdays and Sundays, more come. They are the working students, the community service organizations, the folks who simply can’t come during the week. Still others work quietly behind the scenes, perhaps serving on a committee or on the farm’s all-volunteer Board of Directors. Without them, without this dedicated legion, Windrush could not function.

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Contributed by Gina Armano

Kim If you have spent any time in the barns at Windrush, or any where on the property for that matter, it’s easy to see all that it takes to make things happen for our riders and horses. Without the help of our volunteers it would be impossible and one in particular has been invaluable since she began with us in the fall of 2004.

As a child, Kim Bortolussi had the same love of horses most of us had growing up. At the age of eight, she was fortunate to be able to take lessons and got her own pony when she turned twelve. Kim and “Dots” rode and showed all over New England, but as adulthood crept in, Kim was pulled in other directions, losing touch with the horse community, but never with her passion and love for them.

Seeing an article in the newspaper recruiting volunteers at a local therapeutic riding center, Kim was drawn back into the horse world for about seven years as she assisted riders with disabilities at Ironstone Farm. Once the demands of motherhood and her three small children called, she had to once again walk away from the horse world that she loved.

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Girls Anyone who comes to Windrush in the afternoon will notice a number of high school students helping out. Many are here to fulfill volunteer service requirements for their school. But some continue to volunteer even if they have already “put their hours in.” Jordan Dash and Carolina Rago are two teen volunteers who help out on Friday afternoons.

Jordan has been a Windrush fixture for several years. She started out as a rider here in 2004 and has since become a valuable groomer, sidewalker and horse handler. Jordan says, “I volunteer because I love being around horses. The people here are very friendly.” Who’s your favorite horse, Jordan? “Seth!” Jordan can also be counted on to fill in as a substitute volunteer when needed. It’s very clear that Windrush Farm is a favorite place to be for Jordan!

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Volunteering at Windrush Farm
Contributed by Susan Winslow

Sue_1 When I was a teenager, I visited Windrush Farm with our local Pony Club. I remember thinking Boxford was really ‘the country’ compared to Wenham, and I instantly fell in love with the horses, the sweeping green fields and forest and the beautiful farm. It was horse paradise and I wanted to live there.

Many years later, my life came full circle when my husband and I moved our family to Boxford and I began volunteering at the farm. In the past ten years, my daughters Lexie and Keelie have ridden at the farm and joined me as volunteers. We all agree that volunteering at Windrush is, by far, one of the most rewarding things we have done with our lives and we feel blessed to have been part of the special Windrush community. We have made friends, had fun and felt the joy that comes with watching horses help transform people’s lives.

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