People choose to volunteer for a variety of reasons. For some it offers the chance to give something back to the community, for others it provides an opportunity to develop new skills or build on existing experience and knowledge. Regardless of the motivation, what unites them all, is the giving of their time, a true gift in itself!
Comments we hear from PARDS volunteers when asked, why PARDS?
~ The love of horses
~ Making a difference in the lives of others
~ Opportunity to give something back to an organization that has impacted my life, directly and indirectly
~ To gain confidence and self-esteem while feeling valued for what I have to offer
This year’s volunteer has expressed and demonstrated all of these. We first met Teaghan at PARDS previous facility when she came in just to visit the horses. Teaghan shared she used to own horses, so during her visit we shared information on volunteer and lesson opportunities with her. It was discussed that being on the Autism Spectrum she would qualify for our Therapeutic programs which seemed to instantly bring a smile to her face.
In the summer of 2019 Teaghan registered in our Adult Therapeutic Skills Camp and realized the love of reconnecting with her love of horses and learning as much as she could; and so her journey with PARDS began.
That fall Teaghan registered in our Therapeutic Cart program and during her first session she came to a volunteer orientation and began helping as a volunteer in the barn and to visit with the horses, staff, and other volunteers. She was always eager to do more. As her confidence built, new skills learned and a feeling of belonging, we asked if she would be interested in helping in different needs in the barn. Horses needed to be brought in, groomed and tacked, ready for lessons and as Teaghan expressed, “I love just being around the horses!”
That being said, we asked if she would be interested in helping in lessons. With her kind nature, soft spoken voice, Teaghan fit right in with our younger riders in the Little Pony Motricity Program, leading and sidewalking.
While visiting with staff and volunteers we learned other interests and talents of Teaghan's. She has a love of trucks and drawing both by hand and digitally and has donated a picture yearly to our Dine & Dance silent auction.
Teaghan shared she loves being at PARDS as it provides a judgement free environment and cart driving and working around the horses is therapeutic and peaceful for her. Volunteering at PARDS has also been a great way to increase her knowledge in horse care and we can’t thank Teaghan enough for the help in lessons. With a newly acquired drivers licence, we are excited to see how she will be more involved in PARDS and grow their knowledge in everything PARDS!.
Please share in thanking and congratulating Teeghan Keddy as PARDS 2021 Volunteer of the Year!