Small Miracles Therapeutic Equestrian Center serves diverse population
Nov 30, 2012 at 4:26 AM
Nestled on top of a rolling scenic hill is a pasture with six ponies and five horses enjoying a crisp and beautiful day. At first glance, the stable looks like a well-kept home for the fortunate equine inhabitants there. But take a closer look and you will discover this is a busy and productive group of animals. This is the Small Miracles Therapeutic Equestrian Center, located off of Rock Springs Road, in Kingsport. A place full of hope, love, encouragement and achievement for individuals from many walks of life.
Small Miracles serves a diverse population ranging from children with special needs, to youth in the Positive Youth Development Program to veterans in our community.
Sherri Russell, executive director of Small Miracles, emotionally speaks of the groups of students served at the facility and how working with the horses has increased fundamental life skills for so many children and youth. For example, a group of adolescent girls learn how to share, work together while forming relationships, and learn the concept of actions and consequences while performing activities at Small Miracles. The instructors coordinate a variety of life skill lessons in everything from art/craft activities, decorating the stables for horse shows and learning the basic skills of horsemanship.
Because of the many individuals served through Small Miracles, their list of donations and needs can grow extremely long over the course of the year.
There is always a need for volunteers.
"We are very volunteer driven. I started out as a volunteer here and everyone in the organization started as a volunteer initially," Russell said.
This non-profit United Way agency serves approximately 75 to 100 students a week each year. Costs are kept low through fundraising and scholarship programs. Any donation is accepted and area children have been know to collect spare change and bring a bundle of loose coins as their donation to the facility.
The hard-working horses at Small Miracles have their own needs. Donations of carrots and apples are always accepted and appreciated any day of the week. Maggie, the known diva horse at the stable, loves peppermints and there is always a need for bags of peppermints. Gift cards to large commercial stores are always a great way to assist, as this covers the cost of office, paper and barn supplies.
School, church and community groups are always welcome to contact Small Miracles for character education skills and/or to assist with fundraising. The staff at Small Miracles encourages positive life skill traits and interactions within the groups at the stables, and reinforces the need to carry on those character traits in the future for all the students who enter the doors.
For additional information on Small Miracles, the individuals they serve, or various ways to donate your time or funds, visit their Facebook page or the website at http://www.small-miracles.org/. Or call 423-349-1111.