Archive for the ‘Volunteer’ Category

DSC04695Today marks the 4th year Windrush Farm has hosted Deloitte, the international accounting, auditing, and consulting firm for their IMPACT Day.

Each year, on the first Friday of June, the company initiates IMPACT Day that requires all employees to perform a day of community service instead of coming into the office. Ninety-nine percent of Deloitte professionals will participate across more than 462 locations through 100+ focused projects, and touch more than 220,000 lives.

With the guidance of farm manager Roland Dudney and executive director Mandy Hogan, 18 professionals dressed in bright blue IMPACT day shirts donated their time to beautify Windrush.

A handful spent time digging posts holes to repair a fence in the pony paddock while others cleaned the grounds near the gazebo. Some power-washed away the winter dirt from the white barns and the rest cleared the trails so that Windrush clients can safely make their way through the acres of wooded trails on the property.

Normally these employees work as auditors and consultants but today they are using their problem-solving skills to perfect the paddock measurements.

”Today these professionals are the arms and legs! It is a major commitment but they are happy to do it,” said Linda Strovink, former Deloitte employee and current Windrush Farm volunteer.

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Windrush Farm was pleased to host a group from The MENTOR Network on Saturday, April 12th for the company’s 2nd Annual National Volunteer Day.

The MENTOR Network is a national network of local health and human service providers offering an array of quality, community-based services to adults and children with intellectual and developmental disabilities, individuals with brain and spinal cord injuries and to youth facing emotional, behavioral and other medically complex challenges, as well as their families. Nearly 800 employees across The MENTOR Network volunteered in nine states on April 12th along with friends and family. Participants organized spring cleanups and painting projects at a Boys & Girls Club, community boathouse, battered women’s shelter and various parks across the country, while others boxed products at food banks and sorted donated items at The Salvation Army.

With two corporate offices in Massachusetts, Boston and North Andover, the organization was seeking a volunteer location in each area that supports the same populations they serve as a company. Windrush was chosen for its specialized services for those with developmental and intellectual disabilities, and for its proximity to the North Andover office.

“The mission of Windrush Farm directly aligns with the values of The MENTOR Network, and I felt it was a unique organization that our employees would enjoy volunteering at,” says MENTOR Marketing and Corporate Philanthropy Coordinator, Victoria Hay.

A group of 7 volunteers spent the day cleaning the sensory trail area and parking area gardens. It was the perfect face-lift for the farm.

“It means a lot that friends in our community took time on their day off to volunteer doing tasks here at the farm,” says Mandy Hogan, Windrush Farm executive director. “Our volunteers are critical to the success of the program, we couldn’t do it without them.”

To learn more about The MENTOR Network, please visit their website,

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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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ginaAfter an impressive 12 years as an employee and more than 6 years prior to that as a volunteer, Gina Armano, Windrush Farm’s co-volunteer coordinator, is retiring this month.

Not only is Gina responsible for organizing a yearly workforce of 500 volunteers, but she is also one of the driving forces behind the Dances with Horses Gala.

She is best known by her office mates for her “Italian sign language” and light-hearted spirit. We will miss you Gina. We wish you the best. Enjoy it.

Send her well-wishes here!

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DebShadeAs Elizabeth Andrews so eloquently put, “Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart.” For both Paul Spiers and Debra Shade, this couldn’t be more true.

Dr. Paul Spiers, of Danvers, was an avid supporter of Windrush Farm. His passion for helping others and going above and beyond the call of duty was admirable. After his passing in 2013, Windrush Farm established the “Award for Volunteer Excellence” in his memory.

The first award recipient is an active volunteer whose service has exceeded all expectations. Debra Shade’s dedication to Windrush Farm spans more than 23 years in a variety of capacities; program volunteer, board member, fundraising committee member and friend.


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Serve with Liberty

photo 3Our friends from Liberty Mutual are back! And this time they are giving the Windrush Farm offices a facelift! For the entire week, every day a group of 7-10 employees will be at the farm helping out. Many are painting the office but others are weeding and mulching to get the grounds looking their best. Thanks everyone for your help! This place looks awesome.

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DSC04274Thank you to our friends at AARP in Tewksbury for choosing Windrush as a site to do community service.  A group of 10 volunteers opened up the trails wide enough so that that our clients, horses and their volunteers can all enjoy the fall foliage. You did an amazing job. Thanks again!

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