"Where special kids and horses shine."

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Saying goodbye to one of our own, sweet Kennedy
February 9, 2017


"As a therapist at Shining Hope Farms I have the privilege of meeting and working with amazing children and families everyday. Each story is different and special in its own way and no matter how many years you have put in as a therapist every child holds a special place in your heart, but some children leave a bigger mark on your heart than others -Kennedy was one of these children.

Kennedy was small but her personality was big. She was cautious to get to know and trust you but once she did her love and connection was like no other. Her smile and laugh were contagious. She never had to say a word for her expressions and gestures spoke volumes. Her spirit and joy were life lessons to all she met–that your love and determination can overcome the challenges you are given. Sadly, we had to say goodbye to Kennedy but her memory and spirit remain strong with those she met at Shining Hope Farms. I will always remember Kennedy’s face when she came to the farm-pure happiness. Her smile while she sat on the swing with her stuffed horses and her strength as she walked with hands held to the barn. She loved the toys and the people but she especially loved her time with her pony Willy. I will always remember that no matter the day or the weather, when she was on Willy, Kennedy was smiling and tapping his withers to “walk on”. Kennedy will be missed and loved by all at Shining Hope Farms." - Kelly Coney-Pacious, Physical Therapist

Shining Hope Farms receives grant from community foundation for a hayloft renovation for a new multipurpose room
October 28, 2016


News Release
 
For Immediate Release
 
Contact:

Milinda Kirkpatrick
Shining Hope Farms, Executive Director
704-827-3788 office
milindakirkpatrick.shf@gmail.com 


Shining hope farms receives grant from community foundation for a hayloft renovation for a new multipurpose room

MOUNT HOLLY, NC (October 28, 2016) – Shining Hope Farms is pleased to announce it has received a $12,000 grant from the Community Foundation of Gaston County.


The funds generously donated by the Community Foundation of Gaston County will be utilized to renovate an existing hayloft into a much needed multipurpose room at Shining Hope Farms’ Mt. Holly farm. The space will be used for additional therapy space for activities with patients, volunteer training sessions, a conference room for board and staff meetings, and a training room for continuing education workshops.


The project will be also be funded by a combination of other sources. Shining Hope Farms has secured flooring for this project from Lumber Liquidators in Gastonia and plans to seek donated labor from local contractors. Some contributor dollars will also be utilized in the completion of the project.

Currently, the organization does not have a space that can accommodate more than six people comfortably, and as the nonprofit has grown in size, this has been challenging both for treatments and other activities such as meetings and trainings.

“While a horse is one of the primary treatment tools we utilize, the ability to work in a clinic setting (in conjunction with the horse) is crucial for creating a well-rounded treatment session,” says Milinda Kirkpatrick, Executive Director of Shining Hope Farms, “Fortunately, this renovation will go a long way in accepting new patients feasible, as there will now be additional clinic space to treat the children whose families contact us for services daily.”
 
Volunteer trainings are another area that will benefit from the creation of a multipurpose room. “We have recently created a training video which we believe will more effectively train visual learners and streamline the training process,” says Kirkpatrick, “Right now we do not have a place where we can show the video to the 30+ individuals who are interested in attending our trainings on a monthly basis, however the new multipurpose room will give us the capability to utilize this video and other technology”
 
“This grant is truly invaluable in so many ways and we are so grateful to the Community Foundation of Gaston County for awarding us the opportunity to do this renovation so that we can best serve the children and adults in our community that depend on our services,” added Kirkpatrick. 
 
The Community Foundation awards annual grants through a competitive application and review process. “The Community Foundation is pleased to award a grant to Shining Hope Farms for the purpose of converting unusable space in a barn into a usable multi-purpose space.  With individuals and families from our community being served weekly, the grants committee felt this use of funds would further the treatment options offered by Shining Hope Farms,” said Ernest Sumner, President CFGC.


About Shining Hope Farms

Shining Hope Farms is a 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to enable children and adults with disabilities to achieve functional goals through the use of equine assisted activities and Hippotherapy. Hippotherapy is a physical, occupational, and speech-language therapy treatment strategy that utilizes equine movement as part of an integrated intervention program to achieve functional outcomes. They are a Premier Accredited Center of PATH Intl. (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship, International) as well as the American Hippotherapy Association, and currently operate sites in Gaston and Mecklenburg Counties with 22 horses, 25 staff members consisting of occupational and physical therapists, speech language pathologists, and PATH Intl. certified riding instructors, as well as many wonderful volunteers which help to make a well-rounded program. For more information, visit shininghopefarms.org

About the Community Foundation of Gaston County

The Community Foundation of Gaston County is the leading steward of philanthropic giving by connecting donors with community needs to enhance the lives of present and future generations. The nonprofit organization has invested more than $83 million in grants and scholarships over its 38-year history. At its core, the Community Foundation is an organization created with gifts from generous people committed to local causes. For donors, the Foundation serves as a philanthropic advisor. For the community, the Foundation serves as a grant maker and a civic leader. Through the support of its donors and fundholders, the Foundation has been able to address some of the community’s most pressing needs, including hunger, housing and education. For more information, visit Cfgaston.org.


Organizations coming together to better the community.
September 10, 2016


Organizations coming together to better the community. That's exactly what happened when Charlotte Bridge Home, The Independence Fund, and Shining Hope Farms partnered together on September 10th. Veterans gave up their Saturday to do some grueling work in the extreme heat by unloading 590 bales of hay off a 53' tractor trailer into the hayloft at the Charlotte farm.

Other Veterans and family members helped with other farm projects like painting pasture fencing, and deep cleaning the clinic. Group leaders Peter Samaroo, Peter Haarstick and Mike Chodkowski with Marc & Teri constructed a pagoda over the seating area for the families to enjoy while watching their children in the arena. Afterwards, a delicious BBQ meal prepared by Peter Samaroo and Teri & Marc Greene, was served with all the fixins and we invited our local fire department to partake in the meal to commemorate 9/11 and honor their service to our community.

Shining Hope Farms was surprised with a fantastic gift of an all terrain power wheel chair from The Independence Fund. This will enable us to take children and adults on the sensory trails when they are not able to ride a horse. We are so appreciative of this new equipment that will expand our scope of being able to serve those with special needs. Thank you Nick Kaylor for teaching us how to operate it. Special Thanks to Marcel Solomon for coordinating the event and being the point of contact for all organizations and volunteers. Funding for the projects and meal was provided by The Independence Fund. A huge Thank you Tommy Rieman and the Board of Directors of the Independence Fund for your kind generosity towards Shining Hope Farms and its participants!!! What a day, what a memory!

Give need a vacation with SummerShareCLT
July 6, 2016


Need in Charlotte doesn’t get a vacation. That’s what SummerSHARE is all about. This two-week campaign, which starts July 11 and lasts until July 22, will inspire our community to give much-needed products that we need this summer.

We are collaborating with nearly 80 other local nonprofits and SHARE Charlotte to make SummerSHARE a success and we want you to be a part of it! Here’s how:

  • Help us fill our top needs -- Go shopping on our Amazon Wish List (and please make sure to leave your name and address in the gift message so we can thank you!). You’ll be helping us obtain much needed items for our kids, horses, and farm.
     
  • Like us on Facebook and share our #summershareCLT posts.
     
  • Follow us on Twitter and retweet our #summershareCLT tweets.
     
  • Follow us on Instagram and like/repost our photos.

#summershareCLT won’t last forever. It’s only here for two weeks, and then just like a sweet tea on a hot Sunday afternoon – it will be gone. This is a special opportunity for everyone to be part of a movement that will make summer in Charlotte more awesome. We are grateful for, and honored by, your support of our work!

Shining Hope Farms hosts annual Special Olympics Equestrian Show​
June 27, 2016


For Immediate Release
 
Date:  June 27, 2016
 
Contact: Jean Penner
              Development Director
              704-827-3788 office
              jeanpenner.shf@gmail.com
              
 
Local Special Olympics Equestrian Show Gives Riders the Chance to Shine
 
CHARLOTTE, NC – On Saturday morning, 12 local athletes competed in a regional Special Olympics Equestrian Show hosted by Shining Hope Farms at their farm located off of Beatties Ford Road.  The show, which is put on annually by Shining Hope Farms, is held in partnership with Special Olympics of North Carolina. This year, the 12 riders were from Mecklenburg, Gaston, Lincoln, and Union counties. They competed in various levels and classes catered towards their interest and abilities which included dressage, showmanship, and working trail classes.
 
Riders and their families look forward to the show all year, and thankfully, Saturday brought beautiful weather. Throughout the morning, participants showed off their talents with family and friends, bonded with their teammates and coaches, cheered one another on, and had a good time.
 
“When these children/young adults showcase their riding abilities at the SHF Special Olympics it is just another way of giving them even more self-confidence,” said Sarah Allen, a mom of one of the athletes, “There is a little bit of competitiveness involved and a whole lot of fun and smiles. They become a part of something that others around them, who are typical, receive more frequently.”
 
Carol A. Mejia, owner of White Rose Equestrian Center in Iron Station, and volunteer judge for the second year in a row commented, “It is very obvious how dedicated the staff and volunteers are toward the riders and the pride they have for them and their accomplishments is evident. The riders overcome their limitations and work hard to remember their tests and always compete with a smile. It's humbling and very rewarding."
 
The event wouldn’t have been possible without the help of many generous volunteers and sponsors. Local sponsors included Wells Fargo, The Worrell Network Office, Northwestern Mutual, Cannon Cassidy, Horne Heating and Air Conditioning, AcuCare Clinic, Star Bright Pharmacy, Coppa Coffee, BluHawk Wealth Management, Chris & Sarah Allen, Stanton McDonalds of Callabridge Ct. and Northlake, Mountain Island Lake Harris Teeter, and Edible Arrangements of Mt. Holly-Huntersville Rd.
 
About Shining Hope Farms
 
Shining Hope Farms is a 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to enable children and adults with disabilities to achieve functional goals through the use of equine assisted activities and Hippotherapy. Hippotherapy is a physical, occupational, and speech-language therapy treatment strategy that utilizes equine movement as part of an integrated intervention to achieve functional outcomes. They are a Premier Accredited Center of PATH Intl. (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship, International) as well as the American Hippotherapy Association, and currently operate sites in Gaston and Mecklenburg Counties with 22 horses and ponies, 28 staff members consisting of occupational and physical therapists, speech language pathologists, and PATH Intl. certified riding instructors, as well as many wonderful volunteers, which help to make a well-rounded program. Shining Hope Farms is also a GuideStar Exchange Gold participant, a leading symbol of transparency and accountability among nonprofits. For more information, visit shininghopefarms.org.


Hippotherapy Becomes More Accessible Thanks to $7,500 Grant from Mecklenburg Medical Alliance and Endowment
June 9, 2016

For Immediate Release
 
Date:  June 9, 2016
 
Contact: Jean Penner
              Development Director
              704-827-3788 office
              jeanpenner.shf@gmail.com
              
 
Community Foundation of Gaston County Gives Distinguished Service Award to Local Nonprofit Leader
 
GASTONIA, NC – Yesterday morning, Milinda Kirkpatrick, founder and Executive Director of Mount Holly and Charlotte based nonprofit Shining Hope Farms was awarded the Linda Wagner Slade Distinguished Service Award by the Community Foundation of Gaston County. The surprise award was announced at a breakfast ceremony that wrapped-up this year’s Community Foundation Run, an event which Kirkpatrick has played an integral role for over decade.
 
Milinda Kirkpatrick joined the Steering Committee for the Community Foundation Run in 2005, not long after getting her nonprofit, founded in 2002, off the ground. The Run, formerly known as Run for the Money, is put on by the Community Foundation of Gaston County, and takes place annually in April in downtown Gastonia. Since its inception in 2003 it has raised over $15 million for many of the nonprofits in Gaston County.
 
The award is named after Linda Slade Wagner, co-chair of the first ever Run for the Money, and is used to honor someone who:

  • Loves the Community Foundation Run and is willing to devote time and talent to making it successful
  • Is committed, responsible, loyal, enthusiastic, dependable, creative and willing to go beyond the call of duty
  • Cares enough to spend the time and energy it takes to make Gaston County a better place to call home
  • Knows it’s not just about money. It’s about bringing the Gaston County community together and having a good time while they do it.

 
As a member of the set-up/clean-up committee, a sub-committee of the Steering Committee, Kirkpatrick has worked behind the scenes over the years doing a lot of the heavy lifting. She starts her volunteer job months before the actual Run working with various city departments and private companies to line-up supplies and services. Then starting with the day before the Run and continuing until two days after, she handles the daunting amount of tasks that are necessary to set up and break down the event. This year, she and her son-in-law even acted as a delivery van to several nonprofits that had things stored downtown.
 
“Any task that is needed to be done, she is always up for the challenge,” says Daughtry Hopper,
Director of Community Impact & Resource Development for United Way of Gaston County, Inc, of Kirkpatrick’s role in the event.
 
“Milinda is a team player who has a gift for seeing what needs to be done and taking delight in being part of the solution,” says Jean Penner, Development Director for Shining Hope Farms.

About Shining Hope Farms
 
Shining Hope Farms is a 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to enable children and adults with disabilities to achieve functional goals through the use of equine assisted activities and Hippotherapy. Hippotherapy is a physical, occupational, and speech-language therapy treatment strategy that utilizes equine movement as part of an integrated intervention to achieve functional outcomes. They are a Premier Accredited Center of PATH Intl. (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship, International) as well as the American Hippotherapy Association, and currently operate sites in Gaston and Mecklenburg Counties with 22 horses and ponies, 28 staff members consisting of occupational and physical therapists, speech language pathologists, and PATH Intl. certified riding instructors, as well as many wonderful volunteers, which help to make a well-rounded program. Shining Hope Farms is also a GuideStar Exchange Gold participant, a leading symbol of transparency and accountability among nonprofits. For more information, visit shininghopefarms.org.
 


Hippotherapy Becomes More Accessible Thanks to $7,500 Grant from Mecklenburg Medical Alliance and Endowment
June 3, 2016

News Release
For Immediate Release

Contact Jessamyn Farrell
Shining Hope Farms, Assistant Director
704-951-7040
jessamyndib.shf@gmail.com 

HIPPOTHERAPY BECOMES MORE ACCESSIBLE THANKS TO $7,500 GRANT FROM MECKLENBURG MEDICAL ALLIANCE AND ENDOWMENT


Mount Holly & Charlotte, NC (June 3, 2016) – Shining Hope Farms (SHF) is excited to announce that they have received a $7,500 grant from the Mecklenburg Medical Alliance and Endowment (MMAE) to purchase a lift system which will help patients transition  safely on and off horses for their Hippotherapy Program.
 
Last week MMAE awarded $69,000 in grants to 11 area health and community organizations, whose work supports MMAE’s mission of building a healthier Mecklenburg community, with SHF being among them.
 
Shining Hope Farms’ Hippotherapy Program is a physical, occupational, and speech-language therapy treatment strategy. It utilizes equine movement as part of an integrated intervention to achieve functional outcomes in order to improve quality of life for patients and their families. It is the only one of its kind in the Charlotte Metro area.
 
The addition of the lift system will make the program more accessible to certain patients who wouldn’t have otherwise been able to transition safely on and off the horse with just human assistance due to size or certain mobility issues.
 
“The lift is something we have needed for a long time, but has been financially out of reach for our nonprofit,” states Milinda Kirkpatrick, Executive Director of SHF. “This grant is an incredible blessing to our farm and community members."
 
The organization serves 179 children and adults weekly and receives calls daily from prospective patients. “There is a tremendous need in our community for these life changing services, which is why we want to make it as accessible as we can,” adds Kirkpatrick.


From left to right: Jennie Carruth - Recording Secretary for MMAE, Jean Penner – Development Director for SHF, Milinda Kirkpatrick – Executive Director for SHF, Gina Clegg - Grants and Disbursements for MMAE, Mimi Compton – President of MMAE

About Shining Hope Farms

Shining Hope Farms is a 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to enable children and adults with disabilities to achieve functional goals through the use of equine assisted activities and Hippotherapy. Hippotherapy is a physical, occupational, and speech-language therapy treatment strategy that utilizes equine movement as part of an integrated intervention to achieve functional outcomes. They are a Premier Accredited Center of PATH Intl. (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship, International) as well as the American Hippotherapy Association, and currently operate sites in Gaston and Mecklenburg Counties with 22 horses and ponies, 28 staff members consisting of occupational and physical therapists, speech language pathologists, and PATH Intl. certified riding instructors, as well as many wonderful volunteers, which help to make a well-rounded program. Shining Hope Farms is also a GuideStar Exchange Gold participant, a leading symbol of transparency and accountability among nonprofits. For more information, visit shininghopefarms.org.

Lincoln County Community Foundation Awards SHF Grant

May 31, 2016


Shining Hope Farms has long served participants from Lincoln County as part of our multi-county service area, so we were thrilled to learn that the Lincoln County Community Foundation would be supporting our Hippotherapy Program through a $1,500 grant. This grant was part of $19,333 generously awarded to other local area nonprofits servining Lincoln County residents. Established in 2001, the Lincoln County Community Foundation addresses a broad range of local needs through its grantmaking program, awarding grants annually to local area nonprofits. Since 2002, it has awarded more than $113,000 in grant funding to organizations serving Lincoln County. The Foundation helps local nonprofits secure their futures through endowments and the establishment of charitable giving programs. The Foundation is also committed to helping individuals and families reach their philanthropic goals. It is an affiliate of Foundation For The Carolinas. Visit www.lincolncounty-cf.org to learn more.

Shining Hope Farms brightening lives with Hippotherapy

May 19, 2016

Click here to read an article featuring Shining Hope Farms in the Banner News. 

Shining Hope Farms brightening lives with Hippotherapy

May 19, 2016

Click here to read an article featuring Shining Hope Farms in the Banner News. 

8th Grade Class at SouthLake Christian Academy Raises Money over Three Months to Sponsor Horse.

April 5, 2016

SouthLake Christian Academy continues to be an incredible supporter of Shining Hope Farms, most recently seen in the amazing donation by the 8th grade class on Thursday, March 24th. The donation was a culmination of some tremendous fundraising efforts over the span of three months to sponsor one of our horses. Thank you 8th grade class, SLCA, and SMF and Student Council for your generous contributions.

Riding Instructor Receives Certification

March 16, 2016

Congratulations to our Riding Instructor Elisabeth Larson who officially became certified as a PATH Intl. Riding Instructor this past weekend. This is something she has been working very hard towards and will be a great asset to our programs!

Toy Horses Donated

March 15, 2016

Thanks to Schleich, USA, a company that makes toy figures, our kids now have beautifully hand-painted toy horses (even ones that look like their horse!) that they can take home.

Thank you so much for this generous gift, and to Emily Birt who contacted us about making this happen.

Welcome Little One!

February 29, 2016

A big congratulations goes out to our Physical Therapist Ms. Kelly and her husband Paul on the birth of their little girl Madeline Grace. 

Speedway Children's Charities Grant

December 10, 2015
Shining Hope Farms received a grant from Speedway Children's Charities for the fifth consequtive year! Read all about it in our press release

Giving Tuesday

Novemeber 27, 2015


Learn all about how to #GiveShiningHope for #GivingTuesday and #GivingTuesdayCLT here

Shining Hope Farms Receives a Grant from the Community Foundation for Therapy Tools

October 30, 2015


The funds generously donated by the Community Foundation of Gaston County will be used to purchase evaluation software and therapy equipment (specifically two indoor therapy swings) in order to effectively treat the various special needs of the children they serve as part of their Gaston County Hippotherapy Program. Read all about it in our press release.

Alex Receives Sponsorship from The Wells Fargo Foundation

October 6, 2015


We are delighted to have received a sponsorship from The Wells Fargo Foundation for our equine staff member Alex at our Mecklenburg farm! Thank you to The Wells Fargo Foundation and thank you to Wells Fargo employee Kristi Whitey for applying on our behalf.

Mountain Island Wells Fargo Awards Shining Hope Farms Community Grant

September 25, 2015


Shining Hope Farms was a recipient of a Wells Fargo Community Connection Grant after being nominated by the Dunn Commons Wells Fargo in the Mountain Island Lake area. Wells Fargo has an awesome commitment to their local communities and the Charlotte area as a whole between grant funding and volunteer hours. Thank you!

EQUUS Foundation Awards Shining Hope Farms Scholarship Funding

August 28, 2015


We are so excited to announce that we have been awarded a grant from the EQUUS Foundation for the third year in a row! Grant funds will be used to provide scholarships for some of the families in need in our Therapeutic Riding Program. We are so grateful to the EQUUS Foundation for their support.

Carolina Panthers Charities Fund New Saddle for the Farm

July 31, 2015


Carolina Panthers Charities has generously awarded Shining Hope Farms a grant to fund a Tucker Endurance/Trail Saddle to use in our Therapeutic Riding Program. This saddle is expected to serve approximately 45 youth of both genders who are in need of a saddle of this size and configuration. This particular saddle does not have a "saddle horn" which makes it easier for our individuals with physical limitations to get on and off of the horse. Additionally, it helps the rider sit in the proper position, reduces the risk of falling, and helps to strengthen the rider's core and other muscles.

We have received our Premier Accredited Center Status!

July 30, 2015

We are excited to announce that we have achieved Premier Accredited Center status with PATH Intl. (the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International), the governing organization for equine-assisted activities and therapies for individuals with special needs. By achieving this benchmark,we have become one of only two Premier Accredited Centers offering Hippotherapy in the state of North Carolina, and the only one in the Charlotte Area. Read all about it in our press release.

Ronald McDonald House Charities of North Carolina has Granted us $10,000!

July 21, 2015

We are so thrilled and grateful to Ronald McDonald House Charities of North Carolina for their incredibly generous grant of $10,000 to Shining Hope Farms. We had a wonderful time celebrating at our check presentation ceremony at the Ronald McDonald House of Charlotte on July 22. This grant will do so much to help our Hippotherapy Program. Read all about it in our press release. To read more about RMHC of NC, visit http://rmhcofnc.org/.

Games Show and Fundraiser Held at Mount Holly Farm

July 19, 2015


Riding instructor Madison Hood-Bowker hosted a Games Show at our Mount Holly Farm on July 18. It was a great way not only for riders in our lesson program to show off to friends and family what they have learned, but also to help generate funds for the farm to purchase an AED for our first aid kit.  

Our fourth annual Special Olympics Equestrian Show is in the books!

June 15, 2015

Our fourth annual Special Olympics Equestrian Show was held on Saturday, June 13 at Shining Hope Farms' Charlotte location. We had 13 participants who showed off the skills and talents they had been developing during all the hard work and preparation in the weeks before the show. We are so proud of each of our riders!

We would also like to thank our coaches, staff, volunteers, and sponsors who helped make this day possible.

Special Olympics 2015 Sponsors:

Platinum Sponsors
CannonCassidy
The Worrell Network Office, Northwestern Mutual

Silver Sponsors
Coppa Coffee & Tea

Bojangles

Bronze Sponsors
Collins Cleaners
BluHawk Wealth Management
Chris & Sarah Allen
Stanton McDonalds of Callabridge Ct. and Northlake
Jaynes Village Tack Shop
Dover Saddlery

Jackson Orthodontics Gives Back to Shining Hope Farms

April 27, 2015

We are so grateful to have been selected as one of Jackson Orthodontics' monthly charities that they give back to. This morning we got to tour their fun office and meet their lovely staff before being presented with a check. We are so thankful, and encourage you to check them out if you're in the market for some orthodontic work and like the idea of watching movies in their movie theater while you wait!

The Community Foundation Run was a big success!

April 20, 2015

A big thank you goes out to Shining Hope Farm's runners and walkers who ran in this past weekend's Community Foundation Run - Toni, John, Finnian, and Dublin Keating, Joelle Ryan, Bobbie Mones, Jessi Culbertson, Jim and Charmaine Gallager, Andrew Gonzalez, and Allison and Michael Pell. Also a big congratulation goes to Joelle Ryan won 1st place in her age group and Finnian Keating won 2nd place in his age group. Great job!! 

We also want to thank our wonderful volunteers who helped to make this possible including Janine Turbe, Debbie Cloy, Stevie Ryan, and Paul and Connor Kirkpatrick. 

Connor and Paul even made it to the final four in the corn-hole tournament!

What a great event! 

Shining Hope Farms Selected as the Recipient of Whole Foods Lake Norman's 5% Community Giving Day on April 21

April 9, 2015

We are delighted that we have been selected as the recipient of Whole Foods Lake Norman's 5% Community Giving Day! On April 21, Whole Foods Lake Norman will be donating 5% of the day's net sales to the farm. Please join us that day from 8 AM - 10 PM to go shopping! More details can be found in our press release.

Barn Show and Fundraiser Held at Mount Holly Farm

March 16, 2015

Riding instructor Madison Hood-Bowker held a Barn Show open to all of Shining Hope Farms' riders on March 14 at the Mount Holly Farm. Funds raised were used to pay half the Mount Holly location's annual vet bill. Madison did a great job putting the show together and the riders did a great job performing! 

Generous Company Donates Long-needed Lighting for Mecklenburg Farm
January 13, 2014

The Mecklenburg farm location is having a huge new improvement to the outdoor arena. Thanks to the generosity of Powerworks Electric and Cree Lighting, we will be able to serve more children with new arena lights including the poles, fixtures, wiring and installation! Thank you Michael Fiore for facilitating this wonderful gift to so many that will benefit from it.

Need a last minute gift idea? Honor a friend of loved one with a life-changing gift from our catalog.
December 15, 2014
 

Here's how it works:

Step 1: Choose a gift to give as a family to help children in your community OR give a gift in the name of a friend, relative, or coworker.

Step 2: Purchase your gift from our online gift catalog OR over the phone at 704-827-3788 during normal business hours.

Step 3: Email us at shininghopefarms@gmail.com if you have any special requests for your card.

Step 4: Sit back and relax while we prepare your personalized card for your recipient. Cards will be send out within 48 hours of your order.

Shining Hope Farms Joins the National #GivingTuesday Movement to Encourage Spending With a Purpose
November 26, 2014
 

Shining Hope Farms will be participating in #GivingTuesday on Tuesday, December 2 on all of our social media outlets.

 

We have joined #GivingTuesday, a first of its kind effort that will harness the collective power of a unique blend of partners—charities, families, businesses and individuals—to transform how people think about, talk about and participate in the giving season. Coinciding with the Thanksgiving Holiday and the kickoff of the holiday shopping season, #GivingTuesday will inspire people to take collaborative action to improve their local communities, give back in better, smarter ways to the charities and causes they support and help create a better world. Taking place December 2, 2014 – the Tuesday after Thanksgiving – #GivingTuesday will harness the power of social media to create a national moment around the holidays dedicated to giving, similar to how Black Friday and Cyber Monday have become days that are, today, synonymous with holiday shopping.

 

This is the first year we have joined #GivingTuesday and we are hoping to channel the generous spirit of the holiday season and to inspire action around charitable giving in the Charlotte area. This #GivingTuesday, we challenge our supporters to help raise money to fund our growing Hippotherapy and Therapeutic Riding programs at our Charlotte and Mount Holly locations by donating at least $25 (equivalent to the cost of feeding one of their equine staff members for a week). As an incentive, several donors have generously agreed to match the first $3350 donated. The goal is to raise $6700 with the match for our programs, which enables children with disabilities to achieve functional goals—facilitating transformational quality of life improvements for them and their families.  

Awarded Speedway Children's Charities Grant
November 20, 2014


We are so pleased to announce that we have been awarded a Speedway Children's Charities grant for the 4th consecutive year! We are so grateful for their ongoing support.

Contra Dance & Silent Auction Recap
November  17, 2014

Thank you to all who came out to our Contra Dance & Silent Auction on November 14th. It was a great time. You all helped us to raise money for our programs and hopefully walked away with some great items from our silent auction and tired feet! A special thanks goes out to Mountain Island Charter School for hosting and partnering with us as well as all of our generous silent auction donors. We have never seen such great items!

EQUUS Foundation Grantee
September 22, 2014

We are so excited to announce that we have received a grant through the EQUUS Foundation that will help to fund scholarships for our Therapeutic Riding Program. This is the second year in a row we have received this grant, and we are honored to be one of only three organizations in NC to have received it this year, as well as to have once again passed their comprehensive verification processes which includes high standards for the management and operation of a charity responsible for the care of horses.

The EQUUS Foundation is dedicated to ensuring the well-being of horses, improving the quality of life of people through equine-assisted activities and therapies, and fostering the horse-human bond.

To view our Messenger Profile which demonstrates our commitment to public transparency regarding our programs, horse care practices, and governance please click here:

Lumber Liquidators Grantee
September 10, 2014

We are excited to announce that we have received a grant from Lumber Liquidators for flooring for our newest construction project. We are so grateful to have been selected and can't wait for everyone to see this new beautiful flooring.

Special Olympics Horse Show
September 10, 2014

Our Special Olympics Horse Show held on August 9 was an amazing success thanks to our wonderful staff, volunteers, sponsors, and incredible participants. We had 17 riders from Gaston, Mecklenburg, Lincoln, and Alexander Counties who competed in 12 different classes.Special thanks goes out to the following sponsors:

- The Discovery Trail at Rocky Creek for being our presenting sponsor...
- Beth & Bill Lippincott, not only for their generous sponsorship but for providing a tent for us when there was rain in the forecast
- Jay Wilson for photographing our event and creating this wonderful video, which can be viewed here.
- Subway of Cornelius for donating lunch
- Bojangles of Mountain Island Lake for donating breakfast
- Tractor Supply, Boot Barn, Dover Saddlery, and Discovery Place for donating fabulous merchandise as prizes for our participants (which they loved!)
- Jayne's Village Tack Shop
- Queen City Fencing
- Claire Chadwick, Julie Reynolds, and Alex Chadwick
- Sarah & Chris Allen
- Claude & Carol Ives

Volunteer Training
September 9, 2014
A big thank you goes out to the 10 individuals who came out to our volunteer orientation on Monday night. We are so grateful to them for wanting to give up their time to volunteer with Shining Hope Farms, and are excited to get them started in our schedule.

Two New Staff Members
August 28, 2014

We are excited to welcome two new staff members into the SHF community. Janine Ell, a speech therapist who has joined us on Wednesdays at our Gaston Farm as well as Julia Baer, our new part-time office manager.

American Hippotherapy Association Level II Training
11 people participated in the AHA Level II Training workshop on March 6-9, 2014, including 2 Shining Hope Farms staff members!

Push America Give-a-Push Weekend
Thank you to Push America and their Pi Kappa Phi members who came out this weekend (October 19-20) to help us construct our covered arena expansion and spruce up our farm. Thank you also to our sponsors--Northlake Chick-Fil-A, Sticky Fingers, Jim N’ Nicks BBQ, Lancaster’s BBQ, South End Einstein Bros Bagels, Food Lion of Dallas, Bobby Boy’s Bagels, SHF BOD member Beth Lippincott, the Home Depot of Gastonia, Costco, and Sally’s YMCA. Your help is invaluable. 

Shining Hope Farms Receives GuideStar Exchange Gold Participation Level
We are happy to announce that we have recently received the GuideStar Exchange Gold participation level, a leading symbol of transparency and accountability awarded to only 360 of 90,000 nonprofits on GuideStar--the premier source of nonprofit information.

Thank you to all of the volunteers who came out to our July Volunteer Training last night!
We would love to thank of the wonderful volunteers that came out to the volunteer training last night, it was one of our biggest groups yet! We are delighted by your enthusiasm and giving spirit and can't wait to get all of you on board!

Thank you to all of our sponsors for our Regional Invitational Special Olympics Horse Show!
Our presenting sponsor was RiverTaw Farms and other sponsors included Mountain Island Lake Bojangles, Discovery Place, Mountain Island Lake Harris Teeter, Davis Lake Harris Teeter, and Food Lion of Huntersville. Thank you so much for helping to make our event a success! 

Congratulations to Leslie Lytton!
A HUGE Congratulations to Leslie Lytton for passing her PATH Certified Riding Instructor tests this past weekend in Virginia. The certification process is challenging and requires a lot of time, hard work, and studying. Great job, Leslie!

Welcome to our new AmeriCorps VISTA!
Congrats to Jessamyn Dib who has been hired as Shining Hope Farms AmeriCorps VISTA!  Jessamyn holds a Bachelor of Arts from SUNY Albany, obtained in 2011.  She will be starting with SHF in November, and we can not wait to have her on board to help with capacity building!  Welcome Jessamyn!

Promoting Shining Hope Farms!
Thank you to Valerie York who attended the Bayada Home Health Care Pediatric Special Needs Trade Show to promote SHF as a service provider!

Martin Marietta Helps Shining Hope Farms

Huge thanks goes to Scott Gibbes with Martin Marietta for the donation of the pit gravel that was used by Seth Yarber to complete his Eagle Scout project.  Scott Gibbes has consistently assisted SHF with help from the quarry with materials for the riding arenas and gravel for drainage projects.  Thank you again for your generosity and kind support.  Many lives have been improved on the materials that we have received from Martin Marietta.

Congratulations to the following Boy Scouts for completing their Eagle Scout projects at Shining Hope Farms

Seth Yarber renovated the parking lot at the Charlotte farm by laying railroad ties around the natural area.  He also filled in the natural area with hard wood mulch and treated the parking lot for weeds with roundup.  This was in addition to the sensory trail project that he and Troop 777 of Mecklenburg County accomplished.  Great job to the entire Yarber family and Troop 777 for all their hard work.

Thank you Austin of Troop 313 from installing the picket fencing at the Charlotte farm for the playground area. 

Thank you to Parker Ramsey for constructing wooden Adirondack chairs that provides a wonderful seating area for the parents to enjoy watching their children while in sessions.  He also built a natural area and supplied mulch for the seating area.  Parents and family members are thrilled with this addition to the farm.

Anthony Spinelli chose to install a drainage system to the outdoor riding arena.  He cut out dirt around the far side of the riding arena, put in a retainer wall of landscape blocks, installed drains with drainage pipes to carry access water from the riding arena without loosing the arena footing materials.  This was a very complicated, but important project for the farm since it holds the materials in the arena as well as preserves the grading work that was done to the outdoor arena.

Thank you Brandon Bennett for clearing out and installing pit gravel on the top portion of the sensory trail at the Charlotte farm for his Eagle Scout project.

Wells Fargo
Thank you Daryl Norman and his group of Wells Fargo Advisors for their days of service on September 6-7, 2012.  This group totally transformed the Mecklenburg farm by mowing the grass, weed eating around the perimeter of the property including fence lines, priming & painting picnic tables, cleaning the clinic, office, and restrooms, hauling limbs and sticks from the trails, destroying fire ant mounds around the farm, installing landscape edging around the beds, filling the landscape beds with mulch, etc. etc. etc.  Milinda kept having to make runs to Lowe's and Home Depot to get supplies to keep this fast paced group busy!

Thank you Terry Oates and her group from Wells Fargo for their tireless efforts to help haul hay from the fields to store in the covered arena at the Gaston farm on September 14th.  They put up approximately 300 bales of hay.  Other employees that stayed back at the farm performed other farm chores that included: power washing the vinyl siding of the clinic and tack room, weeded the landscape beds around the stable area, weedeated the fence line and treated with round up, cleaned the clinic, tack room, and rabbitry.

Hands on Charlotte
Hands on Charlotte has been instrumental in the operation of both farms for several years.  We would like to express our gratitude for the countless hours you spend in beautifying and enhancing the properties, handling horses, being side walkers, attending and supporting the staff at the horse shows, and the list goes on!  THANK YOU!

BB&T Lighthouse Project
Shining Hope Farms welcomed BB&T on Friday, June 15th after having been accepted as a "Light House" project organization by the employees of the IT Division in Charlotte, NC.  Joey Townsend was our advocate and liaison in organizing the hugely successful day and bringing it to completion.  The main task chosen by BB&T to assist with was a cement walkway from the therapy clinic to the loading ramp in the covered arena.  The supervision for this project was Jim Smith.   Without the walkway, the patients wheelchairs would get stuck in the sand while being pushed by the therapists to the loading ramp where the children would be transferred onto their horse. 

Other tasks that were accomplished on the work day were the installation of saddle racks in the tack room, blanket bars in the storage room, cabinets for storage in the storage room and a work bench.  It was like an extreme stable makeover.  BB&T purchased the saddle racks, blanket bars, storage cabinets, and work bench as well as some much needed power tools to help maintain the facility.  Employees even donated tools from their personal resources. Careful planning and preparation went into this workday that included multiple visits to the Charlotte farm by Joey and Jim of BB&T.  The new, metal saddle racks replaced old wooden sadden racks that were coming off the wall that caused the saddles to fall on the floor on a regular basis.  The blanket bars allowed us to get the saddle pads off the floor in the storage room.  Now the pads will be able to air out between lessons, thus saving on our utility bills by not having to launder the pads so frequently.  The staff, volunteers, participants, and Board of Directors at Shining Hope Farms sincerely appreciates ALL the hard efforts and funding provided by BB&T that will make the everyday function of the farm easier and more productive.

WELLS FARGO Day of Caring sponsored by The Home Depot

Shining Hope Farms was honored to be a participating non profit organization for the Wells Fargo annual Day of Caring.  Qualifying organizations had to apply and be accepted in order to host this event.  The project we chose was the Parking Lot Renovation at the Charlotte farm.  The natural areas in and around the parking lot and the parking area itself had become overgrown with weeds and brush and were in great need of a face lift.  Since this area is the first thing that guests see when they enter the property, it was an important task to redo the landscaping and parking areas. We also needed to expand the number of parking spaces so that more vehicles could access the parking area due to the growth of the programs.  The project was coordinated with the assistance of Amy Ruschkofski of Wells Fargo, and Angela Munson of The Charlotte Tool Bank. Special acknowledgement of Dewey Norwood with Wells Fargo is much deserved.  Dewey was the lead person and brains behind the entire Day of Caring for all the nonprofit organizations.  Materials including mulch, weed eater thread, landscape trim edging, and paint were provided courtesy of The Home Depot and John Reinke. Forty-five employees from Wells Fargo worked tirelessly using the tools provided by The Charlotte Tool Bank to totally renovate what had become a desolate area of the farm.  Other tasks accomplished on the day were:  weed eating around the arenas and fence lines, edging the parking lot and side walks, installing edging and mulch to the landscape beds around the stable, painting the handrails of the outdoor loading ramp, and mowing the grass.  The facility now appears to be like a brand new establishment.  Afterwards, the hardworking crew enjoyed a picnic lunch with delicious BBQ provided by chef, Peter Samaroo.  It could not have been a better day.  The weather had a cool crispness in the air which made working outside very pleasurable.  THANK YOU, Wells Fargo, The Charlotte Tool Bank, and The Home Depot for the wonderful partnership that benefits so many lives!

First Annual Regional Special Olympics Show
Shining Hope Farms together with the Special Olympics of Gaston and Mecklenburg Counties partnered together to provide the First Annual Regional Equestrian Invitational Horse Show at the Mecklenburg Farm on June 9, 2012.  Sixteen athletes from five different counties participated in the show. See the Special Olympics page for further information.

Run for the Money Fundraiser
A big thank you goes to all that participated and contributed financially to support Shining Hope Farms in the Run for the Money fundraiser held on April 28, 2012! It was a success and we enjoyed participating in the day. Thank you to the Community Foundation of Gaston County for supporting Shining Hope Farms once again!

Thank You Carolinas Rehabilitation
Carolinas Rehabilitation sponsored our horse show. Thank you for your support!

SHF Benefit Dance
We would like to thank everyone who came out to support SHF at our Benefit Dance in January! A good time was had by all, and funds were raised to support the program!

A big THANK YOU goes to our friends at the following Corporations for their efforts in 2011 Corporate Workdays!

  • SAP
  • Bank of America
  • PaeTec
  • Premier Inc
  • Wells Fargo
Thank you to the following Church and Community Service Groups for their awesome efforts in 2011!
  • Stone Bridge Church
  • Davidson United Methodist Church
  • Lake Norman Baptist Church
  • South Lake Presbyterian Church
  • Home School Groups
  • Salt Key Club
  • Lucia Baptist Church
  • Boy Scout Troops 313, 95, and 406 for completing their Eagle Scout projects at SHF

American Hippotherapy Association Level II Training
13 people participated in the AHA Level II Training workshop on December 1-4, 2011, including 4 Shining Hope Farms staff members! If you are interested in participating in an upcoming workshop, please contact the Shining Hope Farms office for further details.

Charlotte Bobcats - Cats Care Volunteer Day
August 13, 2011

Over 100 Charlotte Bobcats Season Ticket Holders volunteered their time to paint, cleaned tack and horse supplies, assemble new therapy and playground equipment, spread truck loads of sand to improve footing in the outdoor arena, repaired fence, and dug trenches for electrical wire needs.
Click here for further information and photos from the day.

Shining Hope Farms First Annual Horse Show
SHF had 31 riders participate in our first annual horse show on November 5, 2011. What a great day it was!