Welcome back to Erin Chimberoff of Hand, Hoof and Heart! She's been making great progress on developing her business as you'll discover. Great job Erin!
It has been about 6 months since I finished working with Lisa as a Penniless Philanthropy Partner. In those 6 months a lot has happened! One of the bigger things going on in my life happens to be my philanthropy project that I agreed to do when I agreed to be a Penniless Philanthropy Partner. When I first thought about this project, I had my heart set on something that wasn’t quite falling together like I had hoped. I was actually kind of nervous that I wouldn’t find the right fit for this project.
However, In August I started speaking with a local school, for children with special needs, about offering an equestrian program. The school was already looking to start a number of different clubs for the upcoming year that would meet once a month. As we continued to talk, I realized this would be my perfect philanthropy project! For this first semester, I have had 5 meetings with my 8 equestrian club members. We have been learning about horses from when they were drawn on cave walls to where they are now.
Our first four meetings were in the classroom. I brought in tons of equestrian equipment including pictures, videos, and different horse related crafts. Putting together each meetings lesson plan has actually helped me implement more of a structure when teaching out at the barn. The most exciting part about running this equestrian club are the days the club members get to come to the barn and experience everything we have talked about during meetings.
Thursday, November 20th, was our second to last meeting of the semester and the clubs’ first visit to the stables. This was also my first big event that I had EVER put together for the barn and for Hand, Hoof and Heart. I had been preparing for this day for almost two months in advance and it was everything that I could have hoped for. The club members and their parents got a tour of the barn, met all of our horses, got to practice using the different grooming tools, started the first half of our final craft and EVERYONE got to ride! All of this success was thanks to being a Penniless Philanthropy Partner, 3 volunteers, Jenn Buck and 3 of our sweetest horses. I honestly wouldn’t have had the confidence or organizational skills to pull this event off without having worked with Lisa.
Our second day at the barn is scheduled for Thursday, December 18th and I cannot wait for my club members to come back. Some of my members are also looking at signing up for private lessons each week! Before beginning this project, I remember thinking to myself, “Is this going to be too much for me?” I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to put together a classroom lesson plan that would really engage and educate all of my kids that have all different kinds of special needs. I won’t say it hasn’t been a challenge because it has been the greatest challenge of my life so far. It has also guaranteed my equestrian club a spot for next semester and has opened so many doors for Hand, Hoof and Heart to become a part of the community.