Hope Lives Foundation Executive Director Chris Robertson and Board Members Jim Freitas and Denise LeClair Robbins recently traveled to the Harmony Hope Stables in Palm City to present a grant check for $20,000 to Kristi Huddleston, CEO, and Founder of the nonprofit whose mission is “to bring harmony, hope, and healing into the lives of children in need and provide them a therapeutic and educational experience from which they can learn and grow”.
Harmony Hope Stables is a licensed PATH, Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship, center, the only one in Martin County. The Harmony & Horses program encompasses music activities with equine-assisted learning and other opportunities for animal interactions as an integral part of each child’s therapeutic process. The Harmony & Horsesprogram helps children build vital social, emotional, and coping skills using music, horses, and other ranch animals as the catalyst for better childhood outcomes.
In addition to Harmony & Horses, they offer a unique opportunity for local high school students through VIBE Leadership. In this program, students are trained in PATH equine therapy methodology and develop their internal leadership skills with the goal of being able to support staff in working with the children.
VIBE Leadership consists of learning horsemanship skills and how to care for animals, building a working bond with therapy animals, and learning to apply leadership skills within the organization, all while earning volunteer hours necessary for graduation.
VIBE also offers potential industry-recognized certifications, part-time employment, and community awards for the participating students.
“We operate a very unique blended program model that combines VIBE Leadership with Harmony & Horses to ensure that our high school volunteers are learning leadership, horsemanship, and how to work with children in need through equine-assisted learning” said Huddleston. “For children, the horses provide a sentient being with whom they can achieve a partnership through trust. VIBE Leadership enables our high school volunteers to harness this trust and act as the connection between the children and the horses, creating a special bond built on safety and compassion.”
“We are forever grateful to Hope Lives Foundation for believing in our mission, Harmony Hope Stables now has the support necessary to continue our music and equine therapy programs this year. Together, we are confident our organizations will make a huge impact on the lives of children in need!”
By offering grants to smaller non-profit organizations, Hope Lives Foundation strengthens and supports community organizations that serve children on the Treasure Coast, North Palm Beach, and Okeechobee County
On April 9th, Hope Lives presents its 4th Annual Battle of the Bags Cornhole Tournament beginning at 10 am at Trident Golf Course at Club Med. To learn more about this family-friendly event, please visit HLives.org