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!