I have been in communication with all of you a lot lately, as we have had one of our big fundraisers: Give Big. I want THANK ALL OF YOU for your tremendous help in making this year’s effort a HUGE success! We raised $8385.00. That does not include whatever the Seattle Foundation gives us above and beyond the donations we received. I am humbled once again by your generosity! My deepest gratitude!
We have had a great success in our candy sales, too! The kids have taken ownership of this effort and sold those candy bars to care for their horse. It was heart-warming to see the great effort they put forth for the horses they love. We ended the contest for the April sale and have a winner (though it was SO CLOSE!). Ben sold over $400 of candy bars. So he will receive a gift card of his choice in the amount of $50! Congrats, Ben!
Because we still have candy left, we have decided to have a NEW CONTEST and up the prize- we will sell candy as long as we have some available (we will not buy any more) and now the person who sells the most will receive a $75 gift card to wherever they choose! Mostly, I want everyone to know that RRR was able to collect over $2000 to help support our beloved horse counselors. Let’s bring it home for the horses! We can potentially garner another $1500 for hay- That’s a lot of hay! Those of you who have not paid for the candy you received can count it towards the final contest. This will be counted from May 15-June 15. That is when the money will be due for all candy!
We and our herd thank all of our dedicated candy sellers!
The hardest part of my job is hearing the stories about the kids we serve. It is heart-breaking to ponder the trauma and tragedy that happens to such vulnerable people. I have recently met a boy who has been in foster care for much of his 13 year life. He has the fortune to have been adopted recently, but as many can guess, the trials are not over. In many ways, new trials are just beginning.
Adolescence is difficult for everyone, but add to it feelings of not being wanted or lovable, and that difficulty looks formidable. It is impossible to admit to fears, yet because life has been chaotic and unpredictable, fear defines this young man. He has become a master of avoidance, using everything from detachment to humor to refusing to participate.
Each time he has gone into “hiding” within the prison that is his own fear, my heart breaks a little more for him. Rocky chose him and waited for him to make eye contact. This boy averted his eyes for the first few sessions, as though looking into Rocky’s eyes would reveal something about himself that must be hidden. But Rocky waited patiently, kindly alert to any small indication that the boy would choose him back. But none came.
Finally, Rocky’s patience was rewarded. On that day, I told this boy that his purpose here was to care for Rocky- a horse with visibly crooked legs that made him unwanted by anyone else. In that moment, the boy understood. He felt a commonality with this beautiful little horse- a horse that some might find unlovable, but who he knew had a beautiful spirit- much like his own. As he brushed the copper-colored coat with long, tender strokes, he leaned his head against Rocky’s side, taking in the warmth, the breath, the closeness that he may not have felt ever before. We all need physical touch, but some of us must begin with the touch of a horse. What a safe way to make the first steps of the boy’s journey to healing.