Corporate Matching Gifts

Jenny Rierson and Arrowhead General Insurance Agency

HorseFriends is grateful for our volunteers that go above and beyond giving their time & talents to our organization. Jenny Rierson is one of those volunteers. Here is her story.

Since I got my first horse when I was seven, my life has been all about horses.  I wanted to find a way to help others using my horse knowledge and skills.

My mom and I got involved with HF (HorseFriends) a few years ago.  We have a close friend that was a participant.  We were able to see firsthand how HorseFriends can positively impact someone’s life.   It takes a special horse to be a therapy horse.  They have to have a great personality, they have to love people, and above all, they must be tolerant and accepting.  I have the privilege of working with these horses as a sidewalker so that others can benefit from spending time with them and riding. 

The participants range in age and are both children and adults.  Their challenges vary from muscular dystrophy to autism to down syndrome to PTSD to ADHD.  The participants benefit both mentally and emotionally from the interaction with the horses as well as physically from the actual riding.  Many participants are restricted in their movements during their daily lives.  Riding a horse allows them to be mobile and have legs when they otherwise might not.  It allows them to guide and feel in control of a 1,000-pound animal when many other things in their lives are not in their control.   

Besides the participants, this program benefits the families and caretakers.  For some, it is an hour of downtime with no demands.  For others, it is seeing their child sit up straighter because their muscles are more relaxed or reach for something and hold on to it because their motor skills are improving. 

The most profound change I experienced was to see a non-communicative little girl actually smile.  HorseFriends changes the lives of the participants and their family members, but it also impacts the volunteers. 

I am thankful that I get to spend my time with these horses, the instructors, the participants, and their families.   This experience reminds me to slow down and appreciate the important things in life. 

Jenny is in the black vest and green sleeves

Jenny shared her story with her company, Arrowhead General Insurance Agency, along with a link to our website and video. Each quarter Arrowhead selects a charitable organization to support, up to $1,000, in matching donations. We are pleased to announce that Jenny, her co-workers across the country, and Arrowhead, succeeded in raising $2,000 for HorseFriends through Arrowhead’s charitable giving program during the second quarter of 2021!

(l to r) Jenny Rierson, HorseFriends Operations Director, Mandy Crews, and Jenny’s mother, Ellen, presenting HorseFriends the $1,000 check from Arrowhead.

If you, or your company, is interested in making a charitable donation or matching gifts to HorseFriends, please contact Fundraising Director, Lisa Bunch, at Lisa@HorseFriendsNC.org or call 336-339-6565. Donations may also be made through the website on the Support page.