Shining Hope Farms Receives Support From the Catawba Valley Community Foundation, an Affiliate of the North Carolina Community Foundation

Nov 6, 2023 | Press Releases

News Release: For Immediate Release



CONOVER, NC (November 6, 2023) – Shining Hope Farms is pleased to announce that it has received a $1,500 grant from the Catawba Valley Community Foundation, an affiliate of the North Carolina Community Foundation. The Catawba Valley Community Foundation is a growing family of philanthropic funds, source of grants for local causes like Shining Hope Farms, and partner for donors. CVCF was founded in 1997 and is led by a local volunteer advisory board that helps build community assets through the creation of permanent endowments, makes grants and leverages leadership – all for the benefit of Alexander, Caldwell and Catawba counties.

The grant will be used to support Shining Hope Farms’ mental health counseling program at their Conover location. The counseling is unique in that it utilizes equine interactions to address a client’s psychotherapy goals. This approach is successful in reaching patients who have not been compatible with traditional therapy but still have unmet needs. It’s also an important service for complex, often resistant patients and their families who are at a loss for where to turn.

Shining Hope Farms serves individuals of all ages including families and Veterans. Many who contact Shining Hope Farms are looking for an alternative therapy option than what they have tried previously. Others have complex situations and many are verbally resistant, meaning they are not eager to talk during a therapy session. All of these situations lend themselves perfectly to the unique approach of equine assisted psychotherapy (EAP) where the equine is utilized in the session as a biofeedback machine as an equine’s prey nature makes them intensely sensitivity to subtle changes in their environment, namely the demeanor of the patient. This is a successful approach for these patients because EAP is less direct, non-threatening (like only communicating with a therapist may be), and requires communication. It also provides immediate feedback to the patient leading to swift introspection and often immediate adjustment.

Shining Hope Farms’ Executive Director Milinda Kirkpatrick states, “Shining Hope Farms is profoundly appreciative of the Catawba Valley Community Foundation’s support. It is instrumental in helping us pursue our goal to provide accessible, affordable, and impactful mental health services. With their generous support, we are better equipped to extend our reach to those who need it most, making a positive difference in the lives of many. This helps reinforce our commitment to ensuring a brighter, more inclusive future for mental health services, and we are immensely thankful for their contribution.”


About Shining Hope Farms Shining Hope Farms is a 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to enable children and adults to reach their full potential through the use of equine assisted activities and therapies. Programs provided include physical, occupational, and speech therapy utilizing equine movement as a treatment strategy called hippotherapy. Shining Hope Farms is the only facility offering this treatment strategy in the counties that they operate in. Equine assisted mental health counseling is also offered along with therapeutic riding for children and adults including Veterans. They are a Premier Accredited Center of PATH Intl. (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship, International) as well as a member of the American Hippotherapy Association. Locations include sites in Charlotte, Mt. Holly, and Conover, NC. Between the three locations there are 30+ horses and 50+ staff members consisting of occupational and physical therapists, speech and language pathologists, PATH Intl. certified riding instructors, and administrative staff, plus many wonderful volunteers. Shining Hope Farms is also a GuideStar Exchange Platinum participant, a leading symbol of transparency and accountability among nonprofits. For more information, please visit the website at or call 704-827-3788.

Media Contact: Patrice Gibson, Development Director | (813) 597-9178 |

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