MOUNT HOLLY, NC – It was announced during the Speedway Children’s Charities’ annual grant notice this month that one of the grantees would be Mt. Holly based nonprofit Shining Hope Farms—a nonprofit that provides therapeutic riding to children with disabilities across their three locations in the western Piedmont region of North Carolina.
Speedway Children’s Charities has been a regular supporter of Shining Hope Farms, providing them with a grant for the past seven years. The grant will provided funds for the their Hippotherapy program, where occupational therapy, physical therapy and speech and language pathology professionals use the equine as a treatment strategy to engage sensory, neuromotor, and cognitive systems to achieve functional outcomes. It is the only one of its kind in the Charlotte Metro area.
“Operating this type of program is quite an undertaking,” said Milinda Kirkpatrick, Executive Director of Shining Hope Farms. “These programs often go out of business due to how expensive they are to operate. The expense comes from the fact that we require a licensed healthcare professional, a certified riding instructor, and an equine for each patient session. Luckily, due to the tremendous support we have received from the community, especially the Speedway Children’s Charities, we have been able to run a successful Hippotherapy program for over a decade, and help hundreds of local children make huge quality of life improvements.”
The grant generously awarded by Speedway Children’s Charities will help Shining Hope Farms to serve 100+ children a week no matter what the family’s financial means are.
“We feel honored to have Speedway Children’s Charities supporting our work and the children we serve year after year,” says Milinda Kirkpatrick. “They are a vital asset in our community.”
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, Mecklenburg, and Catawba Counties. There are 24 horses, 4 miniature ponies, and 34 staff members consisting of occupational and physical therapists, speech and language pathologists, PATH certified riding instructors, and administrative staff, plus many wonderful volunteers which 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.