Our Amazing Volunteers
The Stable Moments™ and Stable Beginnings™ programs couldn’t exist without our super-star volunteers. These volunteers are the backbone of our program, facilitating healing connections between foster and adopted children participating in the program and our horses. For these children, the one time each week they get to come out to the barn to visit with their favorite animal is the one time they can really ‘let go.’ Each foster and adopted child comes from a different background, and each suffers from trauma differently. This one hour per week partnering with a volunteer and a horse allows the child to regulate and process his/her emotions, and learning about each horse’s stories and past trauma helps them make meaning of their own adoption story.
Our volunteers provide stable moments for children living in unsettled worlds.
Each month, we will feature one of our spectacular volunteers on this page. Check out the amazing volunteers in our program, below.
Our March Volunteer of the Month: Bruce
Looking out around the property at Stable Moments, it’s easy to find simple reminders of all the ways mentors make a lasting impression. From an organized clubhouse, well-maintained equine spaces to new activities for kids to experience in their sessions, our mentors know the value of their effort. One mentor in particular wears a variety of “hats” around Stable Moments. As you look across the pasture, one can find handcrafted bird houses from mentor Bruce and his kiddo Tyler. One may find Bruce constructing or painting fences, volunteering for extra barn chores or practicing natural horsemanship skills with his mentee Tyler. It is because of Bruce’s willingness to “dive in” to our cause that he is our March volunteer of the month. Click here to learn more about Bruce’s story!
Our February Volunteer of the Month: Ashleigh!
At Stable Moments we stress consistent, dependable, long-lasting, one-on-one relationships. In order to provide healing for children, we rely on mentors willing to commit an hour a week for at least 1o months. We are thrilled when mentors grasp the importance of an ongoing, healthy relationship in the lives of the children we serve. Mentors like this often stay for much longer than 10 months and offer more stability for the children they work with. Ashleigh has been with Stable Moments for over a year now and she continues to come every week to work on life skills goals with her kiddo! She started out with a boy in our program and has recently been paired up with a young girl in foster care! Regardless of the constant changes happening in her kiddos lives, Asheligh strives to remain a constant! Congratulations Ashleigh, you are our February volunteer of the month!
Our January Volunteer of the Month: Danielle!
Stable Moments has the unique ability to turn everyone who comes on the property into family! It is often that volunteers show up with an intention to help out once a week and end up coming several times throughout the week just for the community, energy of the property and calming nature of the horses. One volunteer in particular has made her mark here and we are happy to call her part of the Stable Moments family. Danielle has been with us since May 2015, through property changes, different horses coming and going and a restructure of the program! We are excited to announce Danielle as our January volunteer of the month!
Our December Volunteer of the Month: Adele
The weather has been crazy here at Stable Moments! One week the kiddos are in mittens, hats and coats and the next they’re in shorts and t-shirts. With all the rain comes mud, and the horses can’t help but roll around in the soft, wet earth. The children have certainly had their work cut out for them, brushing layers of dirt off their furry hooved partners. Change is all too familiar with the kiddos we serve, and we’re aware that some seasons can hold more meaning than others to children who have endured early developmental trauma. It’s always a mindful and curious process to prepare mentors and kiddos for changes in season, activities and schedule. One duo who has been with us for all seasons is Adele and Lexi. This team has come a long way, and for her dedication to her weekly sessions, Adele is our December volunteer of the month!
Our November Volunteer of the Month: Ashley
At Stable Moments we look for child mentors who are curious, engaged, attentive, patient, and most of all, dedicated. Children who suffer from trauma and especially attachment disorders need a stable adult in their life more than anything. We ensure that our mentors commit an hour per week for a 10-month period. Some mentors stay on far past their required time and serve multiple children through different session years. One of our very special mentors who has shown an immense level of commitment and dedication is Ashley Collins, our November Volunteer of the Month!
Our October Volunteer of the Month: Jake
Meet Jake Shepherd, our October superhero of the month!! Jake’s Volunteer of the Month award has been a long time coming. At 13 years old, Jake is one of our most reliable, trustworthy volunteers. All of us at Stable Moments are incredibly thankful for Jake coming to the farm and becoming part of our barn family! Here’s how it all began:
Shortly after we moved to Woodstock, Jake’s mom Amy came from Momentum Church to volunteer at one of our first work days. She was excited and told me she couldn’t wait to bring her sons and husband! Soon after, Jake came out to the farm and started to learn to care for the horses. Jake attended our barn chores training and quickly became accustomed to working with the horses, and taking chores on by himself. He has proven himself time and time again to be able to handle the flighty nature of the horses, and always keeps himself, and the horses, safe and in good hands. Click here for the rest of Jake’s story!
Our September Volunteer of the Month: Katie
Katie has been fully committed to Stable Moments since the first day we met! She became involved at our previous location, and followed us home to Misty Acres Farm. We’re so glad she came with us, and she brings a happy, sunshiney smile with her when she comes out to the farm every week!
Katie genuinely cares for all the animals at Stable Moments, in addition to the kiddos she’s worked with. She got involved with the program through family connections, and her dad suggested she should help with the program. She says, “I was thrilled to get an opportunity to serve others with my gift with animals that I hold close to my heart. It is such an honor being Volunteer of the Month, I can’t wait to get back out there and do my thing and have fun playing with the horses and kids!”
Our August Volunteer of the Month: Denise
This month, we’d like to feature one of the volunteers who has given her heart, her time, and her energy to our program in all facets. Denise Smallwood joined our program looking to spend time volunteering with kids and horses. Over time, she has become part of our Stable Moments family; from work days and fundraising events, to moving in to our new home, Denise has been a huge part of our success this year. We can’t thank her enough!
For Denise, it all started with a love of children. Her love of adopted children runs back to her high-school days, when her best friend and her brother were adopted. Later on, she was led to Russia to volunteer with children in an orphanage. She says, “One day as I was praying, I asked the Lord to show me where and how I could serve him, and He reminded of my trip to Russia into the orphanage. So many children with no home or parents that loved them… As I was thinking about this, it became very clear He once again called me to work with the children!!”
Our July Volunteer of the Month: Kim
This month, I’d like to introduce you to one of our volunteers who goes above and beyond in giving her time and commitment to this program. Kim has been involved in Stable Moments since the beginning, helping on project days and redesigning our barn, and now to taking on a kiddo she meets with every week.
Kim and Luke make a great team, and really enjoy their time together. Kim has made a difference for Luke in more ways than we knew she would!
Our June Volunteer of the Month: Serena
Serena is one of our volunteers with a special story of how Stable Moments has provided something for her life and she recently shared that story at Boots and Bowties, our first annual fundraiser.
Serena came to a Stable Moments volunteer training wanting to mentor a child. As an experienced horse woman, she felt she could offer her time to facilitate a healing connection between a child and horse in our program. She was matched with a family who had adopted 5 biologically related siblings. Her child was a four year old named Asher and they connected immediately!
Our May Volunteer of the Month: Donna
As we move through Spring into Summer, we have seen the partnerships at Stable Moments truly blossom. One relationship in particular that we’ve loved watching grow is the one between volunteer Donna and Gabby. It is her dedication to her hour each week, with Gabby, that makes Donna our May volunteer of the month!
Donna has her own history in foster care where she experienced the injustice of “the system”. This lead her to become involved at Stable Moments.
Our April Volunteer of the Month: Becky
For April’s Volunteer of the Month, we would like to introduce you to Becky Harrison! Becky has become an irreplaceable member of our team. From coming out every week to meet with her child, bringing smiles and hair accessories, to coming out after hours to groom and bond with Pistol Pete (aka Petor), she is one of the volunteers who have truly committed to be a part of Stable Moments. Her enthusiasm is contagious, and she inspires other volunteers and families to continue to become a bigger part of the program.
Our March Volunteer of the Month: Lee
Lee has been part of Stable Moments from the beginning. Lee loves horses and devoted her time to volunteering to care for horses, until she saw other volunteers who were using their knowledge of and love for horses to work with foster and adopted children and develop healing relationships between the two populations. “The relationships that the kids were forming with their volunteers and with the horses were helping them to learn to trust again,” Lee remembers, and this is part of what prompted her to begin volunteering with horses and foster/adopted children.
Lee took on a young boy named Trevor* when he enrolled in the program. Trevor has been with his foster family for 22 months, says his foster mom Gina. “Trevor has been in hippotherapy for 2 years. I noticed immediately how much he loved the horse and the farm and loving on animals. He especially loves caring for the horses and spending time with them. I started searching for a program where he could go and be a part of them farm in a different way rather than a patient. He also loves farm life!”
When asked about her favorite part of being a Stable Moments volunteer, the answer is easy for Lee. “My favorite part of being a Stable Moments volunteer is my weekly time with Trevor. He has the most engaging smile! When he sees me, he literally runs to me with his arms wide open!!”
*Trevor’s name has been changed to protect his privacy.
Our February Volunteer of the Month: Ken
Ken Miller has a special connection to the Stable Moments program- his daughter, Rebecca, is the director of the program, and she inspired him to give back.
“I am at a point in my life where I finally came to understand that it’s what you give that truly matters. In looking at various options as to where I could help, I decided that helping children cope with trauma is where the greatest return on my investment would be. An emotionally healthy child has many years ahead of him or her to not only be a productive member of society, but to also touch others and eventually have families of their own.” – Ken Miller
Alex is slowly getting more acquainted with his horse. His volunteer, Ken, has been unconditional in his attention with him although Alex’s primary focuses have been on more inanimate objects & exploration. Ken has battled Star Wars laser sword wars, crept through unruly woods to find our son’s special garden spot he has marked, dug for shiny rocks that become pocket treasures, got dirty knees from digging in six-foot high dirt piles, & played like a child on his level, ready for whatever the day brings. Recently, we have seen our son’s interests get more focused on his horse and voluntarily ran through all the horse brushes in the appropriate order caring for his new friend. During the week our son now speaks about his horse or his volunteer, which speaks of the lasting impression they are leaving on him. Healing takes time, consistency, trust, relationship, attention. Our son has received all of these virtues at Stable Moments. – Kelly H.
Our January Volunteer of the Month: Kathleen
Kathleen was interested in volunteering with foster and adopted children and attended our first volunteer orientation. “Volunteering helps others, but it also helps me live a more meaningful life,” Kathleen said. “After attending the volunteer information session, hearing about the program and stories from foster parents/children working with horses, I felt this program was a great fit.”
Kathleen was inspired to become a positive force for children with a trauma background, and she does every week. The child she works with, Shane, has a history with trauma. He was adopted three years ago with his biological brother, and his adoptive family was looking for an alternative therapeutic program for him. Shane is typically a dysregulated child; with his history in foster care and a lack of consistency in his young life, Shane thrives on a stable routine.
“Helping other people makes me happy. It makes all of my time and effort worthwhile to see Shane smile and know I’m making a difference in his life.” – Kathleen B.