Standing at the front of the crowded conference room, Nicole quickly closed her eyes and took a deep breath before speaking. She is visualizing herself in her happy place, at UpReach, atop of her horse Clarissa, where she feels most confident. She sees the barn, where she feels at home and doesn’t have to worry about judgment if she stutters. As the background noise begins to interrupt her visual image, she is reminded she must present on a topic she is passionate about: The message of words and the importance of choosing words with dignity. The room goes quiet as she powerfully states her opening sentence, “I’m not disabled. I’m differently-abled.”
Nicole started physical and occupational therapy when she was 6 months old to help her better utilize the left side of her body. However, it was quickly becoming evident to her parents, Brenda & Wayne, that the office setting was not the right place for Nicole and decided to give UpReach and the therapeutic riding program a try. She was hooked after the first lesson, and not just because she loves horses, but because of the many physical and emotional benefits, she received from her weekly lesson -The horsepower!
Nicole, like so many participants, benefits immensely from programming. “Therapeutic riding helps to loosen the muscles in my body, helping me to be more aware of my left side. I stay different degrees of loose for days following my weekly lesson and it keeps me healthy and out of the wheelchair.” But it’s so more than just the physical benefits. Horsepower helps Nicole with her confidence, personal growth, and greater independence. In addition to her riding, Nicole is an invaluable volunteer who helps in the barn, with horses, and often mentors new volunteers. Brenda describes Nicole’s volunteering as “the perfect rounding out of things. It lifts Nicole up to help others like they’ve helped her.”
“This place (UpReach) is magic - You can’t put words to it," states Nicole. "There’s a reason I’ve been coming here for over 20 years. Your contribution will fuel the horsepower to help UpReach continue the magic.”
Become a Fundraising Champion and be entered into win a $100, $50, $25 gift card to the store or restaurant of your choice! BUT WAIT! Want to increase your chances of winning? For each "sticker" you earn, you will be entered to receive an additional entry for the drawing (up to 8 more chances) to win!! Fundraising Champions will also receive opportunities to win free UpReach logo gear and other fun prizes throughout the course of the campaign - we will be sending you a message directly from the platform, so sign up to be an F.C. and start FUELING THE HORSEPOWER! To begin, click on the "start fundraising" button at the top of the page and follow the directions. Questions? Contact Veronica via firstname.lastname@example.org or (603)497-2343!