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A Bridge of Hope - Horses and Foster Children

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Community , Education
United States
Cycle Year
Dreamchaser PMU Horse Rescue & Rehabilitation
Susan N. Thompson
48019 N. 7th Avenue
New River
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The Dudley T. Dougherty grant will provide support to Dreamchaser’s Lean on Me Program for foster children ranging in ages from 5 to 17. Your grant would allow us to purchase snacks, water and Gatorade for the foster children during the Lean on Me Program, purchase grass hay and alfalfa, and help pay for much needed veterinary care for the horses in the Lean on Me Program. Your grant would also allow Dreamchaser to continue being involved with other disenfranchised children, at-risk children and teens, and continue being very active in the community, not only through the rescue and rehabilitation of horses, but also through our petting zoos, moms & tots programs, community service restitution programs, and work with children from Florence-Crittendon homes, Agape Youth, Boy Scouts, Girls Scouts, and church youth groups.
The foster children’s interaction with horses helps them build self-confidence, learn critical thinking skills, develop communication skills, and explore new environments while utilizing new opportunities to develop high self-esteem. We provide an educational, healthy, and exciting program which holds the interest of the children and allows them to ask questions, learn about responsibility, and enjoy the company of their peers. These children hear the stories of the animals, which resonate with them because of their own stories, and realize change is possible and hope brings blessings. We want to do our part to educate and encourage them to become responsible and productive members of our community and the world.
Proposal Description
Dreamchaser’s Lean on Me Program partners with Big Brothers Big Sisters and Arizonans for Children to benefit Arizona’s foster children. To achieve therapeutic results for the foster children, Dreamchaser’s Lean on Me Program runs approximately three hours. Each child is partnered with a mentor, and each child has a horse during that time wherein they learn about safety, haltering, grooming, leading and riding a horse. Before they leave, the children also get to interact with all the other farm animals including goats, sheep, potbelly pigs, donkeys, chickens and ducks. Specifically, your support would help pay for snacks and drinks for the foster children, as well as providing support for the horses used in the program. We are an all-volunteer organization, and any grant support from you would be expended for our Lean on Me Program and for the care and maintenance of the animals in this program. Not only do we have 47 horses and burros, but also goats, sheep, llamas, ducks, chickens, cats, and birds. The Arizona Humane Society calls us when they have animals they cannot place (hence the goats, sheep, ducks, etc.), and we bring them to the ranch, rehabilitate them, and endeavor to place them in qualified homes. We need to purchase hay by the semi-loads in order to save delivery costs as well as to amass hay. With 47 horses and burros on five acres of dirt, we are totally dependent on hay, and it is our largest yearly expense. A semi-load ranges from $9,000 to $10,000. These horses have been used in the drug industry, abandoned on vacant properties, neglected, abused, malnourished almost to the point of death, and in feedlots awaiting slaughter trucks. Their needs are great, both physically and emotionally, and we give our all to bring them to a state of health in body and mind. They feed our souls and give unconditional love to all who visit and volunteer at our ranch. They help our at-risk and underprivileged youth and teens, and give them hope as well as the opportunity to love, to serve, and to realize life can always change in a positive environment. This ranch clearly exhibits both the ashes of despair and the rising of hope.