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 adviser. For the community, the Foundation serves as a grant maker and a civic leader. Through the support of its donors and fund holders, 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.