We began our Monday evening board meeting with a pleasant surprise - a visit from one of our families' members. Joanne Barbera, pictured here with board chair Mark Culp, presented us with a check for $1700! The donation was made possible through the efforts of a group Joanne belongs to that does great work in the community - Beta Sigma Phi.
The members of the Stroudsburg-based group reached out to their local Moe's; if you're not familiar with Moe's, they are a quick-casual restaurant serving southwest fare; if you are familiar with them, you know they are very generous to local organizations and are GREAT at hosting fundraisers. On May 16, they hosted Equi-librium night, and it just so happened that the electricity went out to quite a number of homes in that area - so many people went to Moe's that evening, and we are the lucky beneficiaries! They raised $1625.82, and then the group added their own funds to make it an even $1,700.
Joanne shared with our board the story of why Equi-librium, and our work, is important to her; her granddaughter is one of our participants. Through her experience riding here with us, she has been able to rise above many of the challenges she faces. Since she joined our program she is more confident, self-assured, is on a regular schedule with her medication, and has gone from having issues in school to making honor roll every marking period! That's the kind of turn-around story we hear here a lot, but it never gets old. We are so glad that we've been able to make that kind of difference in their lives, and we are so grateful to them and their efforts to make a difference for our budget!
Here's the story in their own words:
Brandi & her sister have been living with my husband and I since 2006 (almost 3 and 1 1/2 years old). Both parents abandoned them and on top of it all Brandi has bipolar disorder. She had some very rough years, numerous hospital stays and 14 months in a residential facility. While all of this was very difficult, Brandi has made amazing progress. She attends regular school now and makes the honor roll, she is a very talented artist and through Equi-librium horse therapy, she absolutely loves horseback riding. She has made an incredible friend in Rylee which has also improved her socialization skills. She has decided she would like to become a veterinary technician since she loves animals and bonds with them, just ask Willie, one of her favorite horses. Thank you, for this wonderful organization, it truly has made a huge impact on our lives.
Joanne & Nick Barbera